Aug 2, 2005

Google and Googol


When I first heard of google in 1999, I thought it was a smart indication of the number of webpages that it can search. I had known, during my college days, that a google is 1 followed by 100 zeros, i.e. 10 to the power of 100. Since googol.com already existed, I thought, they coined something sounding similar to that.

Initially google was displaying the number of websites that were covered by it.. (they have stopped it, since there is virtually no competion now). When I was thinking a few days ago whether googol is a possible number, I got the answer that it aint.

Can the world, why, the entire solar system be made of a goole particles? The mass of sun (which constituted over 99% of mass of the solar system)is about 2 X 10 to the power 30 kg. Mass of an electron is 9 X 10 to the power -31 kg. Even if you suppose all of sun is made of only electrons (which itself is not true, there are heavier protons and neutrons..), for the sake of extreme argument, then sun has about 2.2 X 10 to the power 60 particles. That is 1 followed by 40 zeros smaller than a googol!! So, by all means, all the stars and stuff that you can see by bare eye on a clear night, might be, put together a million times more than our solar system, which still leaves a large number. So, I think, the number of particles in the entire space would still fall short of a googol.

Can anyone think of a googol of anything (except such weirdos like all the possible ways of arranging the living objects in the world)?

2 comments:

tt_giant said...

I find it amazing to believe that there would not be a collection of objects more than a quantity N. It defies the principle of infiniteness.

Whatever calculations which we make is within the "known" - which is just the tip of the iceberg.

Who knows, somewhere in another distant system, kids would be playing with googol cubes!! - (ok, i copied that from MIB!!!).

GP said...

Yeah Deepak.. however large certain number is, it does have a certain value..

MIB's climax scene of the galaxy cubes was amazing to think about.. Monsterous kids, huh?