Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Billions and billions.....

When talking about large numbers - national debt, cost of the Iraq war, economic bailouts, or just the distance to stars we have to use some very large numbers. Unless the numbers are shortened a bit to a more readable format, the decimal point is just so far to the right of the long line of numbers that it's just totally pointless.
So, astronomers and other scientists like to abbreviate numbers using scientific notation, avagadro's number or mole, light year, parsec or simply 1 mile is the same as 5,280 feet.
We wouldn't want to write out light years in feet, since that would be:
1 Light Year = 3.10383858E+16 Feet -- to hard to write, so we use light years for distances to the stars....etc.
Anyway, the point of this blog entry is leading to a site that I came across that shows large numbers in an interesting format. It shows how large numbers of pennies would look. An interesting way to get a clue about how big numbers would look if shown as something familiar.


Kevin said...

Wow! there are just so many cool things on this blog I don't know how I will ever be able to read them all! very interesting information though I will definitely continue reading all of the new updates.

Tom said...

I just keep finding "billions" of interesting and strange things to post on here. I just hope the club website catches visitors to the blog page. :-)


Kevin said...

Yeah people should look at this stuff! I hope they start reading all of these cool articles. :)