What does Googol mean? You mean Google? No, in math terms. Oh, let me Google.

04 April 2012

What is a googol? My son wanted to know...researched and then told him and above is his illustration (in his math book) -- Yes, we do have paper, but he forgot. ;)

Son: What does googol mean?

Me: Don't you mean Google?

Son: Nope. In math terms please.

Me: Oh. Let me Google what googol means and get right back to you.

A googol is a large number equal to (i.e., a 1 with 100 zeros following it). Written out explicitly,


The term was coined in 1938 by 9-year-old Milton Sirotta, nephew of Edward Kasner (Kasner 1989, pp. 20-27; Bialik 2004). Kasner then extended the term to the larger "googolplex." It should be noted that "googol" is indeed the correct spelling of the term, so the spelling "Google" refers to the internet search engine, not one with 100 zeros.

The residues of googol (mod ) for , 2, ... are 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 4, 4, 0, 1, 0, ... (Sloane's A066298).

The integer sequence that counts the number of matrices over an alphabet of size 10 and having first few terms 10, 10000, 1000000000, ... (Sloane's A076782) reaches googol at its 10th term, and googolplex () at its term. Since grows exponentially, this gives an idea of how big a googolplex is with respect to the size of googol.


Origlio, Vincenzo and Weisstein, Eric W. "Googol." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Googol.html

*just a tidbit I'd like to share. Learning at home is fun!! :) And it shows me that I don't know everything (to my husband's disbelief) - HA HA HA - j/k. ;) Thank God for resources outside the home...

Disclaimer: Yes, I know not everything on the internet is true...which is why I definitely try to research in detail. :)

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! Come back soon! Sincerely, Jessica

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