While driving to swimming lessons.
Gal Smiley: My favourite number is six. What’s yours?
Little Miss Sunshine: Mine is 13.
Captain Jelly Belly: Mine is googolplex.
Me: That is not a real number.
Captain: It is too! Brian at school told me so!
Me: A googol is a number. Googolplex is nothing.
Captain: Mom, you are SO wrong.
Gal Smiley: Don’t make me start calling you Miss Wrong-Wrong Answer. Because I WILL.
Captain: Daddy already agreed with us.
Me: I know Daddy is usually right, but this time, seriously, he is wrong.
Gal Smiley: Don’t make me do it! Don’t make me!
Captain: You are being a sore wronger!
Me: You are SO going to regret this conversation someday.
Turns out Brian, Sir Monkeypants, the Captain, and the Gal were completely correct. Just call me Miss Wrong-Wrong Answer. That’s TOTALLY going to be the name of my next blog.
12 thoughts on “Googolplex”
By the time your kids are my kids’ age, you’ll know not to argue when they’re that certain. (Eve and her friend Victoria call that number ‘kookooflex’. At least I know THAT’s wrong. I think).
So this is a commonly known thing among children? I feel like an idiot.
In fact it was invented by a child. Well, close, anyway; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googlplex, where you’ll also find a bunch of other reasons why you could never write it out.
(Tangent: reading that bit, I was surprised to learn that (apparently) the number of elementary particles in the universe is known to two significant digits.)
A googol is already bigger than the number of elementary particles in the universe. (And so, bigger than the number of X in the universe, where X is just about anything: galaxies, stars, planets, people, grains of sand, molecules of water, whatever.)
A googolplex is 10 with a googol of zeros after it. If the Captain can wrap his head around how big that is, and then understand that most numbers* are bigger than that…, well, thinking about that should keep him quiet for a while 🙂
* meaning most positive integers
@CapnPlanet I bow to you
As do I, always. This is fabulous info, I am going to blow the Captain’s mind this evening during bedtime chat :).
Oh, useful corollary: you can write down a googol in decimal notation (easy but perhaps interesting exercise for someone the Captain’s age), but it’s impossible to write out a googolplex in decimal notation, even if you had unlimited time.
Riffing away, now. If he’s interested in writing out a googol, challenge him to include the commas (while he’s writing it out, not after the fact).
Man, I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to be interested in this stuff. I’m going to have a field day.
LOL that is too funny! And I had no idea what a googolplex was 🙂
This is the one time I would have made a good phone-a-friend. I actually knew what googolplex meant. (I learned it from my 8 year old daughter! lol)
Gah – I strongly dislike them coming home from school smarter than I am 😉 We had to head to the dictionary twice this year for words the firefighter learned at kindergarten!
I have been telling lil d that googolplex is not a number (only googol). He seems to have ignored me and uses it all the time- for once I’m glad!
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