Googol and Google

In last week’s post, we have talked about large numbers and their importance to scientific studies and everyday life. In this post, we talk about one of the most famous large numbers: googol.

A googol is the name of the number which is 10^{100} or a 1 followed by one hundred zeros. If you are wondering how large it is, well it is fairly large since the number of atoms in the observable universe is only 10^{80}. That means that we need 10^{20} universes, the size of the observable universe, to create a universe with googol number of atoms.


The term googol was coined in 1938 by Milton Sirrota (he was 9 years old the time he invented the term), nephew of Edward Kasner, an American mathematician. Kasner was famous for his book Mathematics and the Imagination where he introduced the term googol.

Googol and Google sounds the same. Are they related?

Yes they are. Google got its name from googol. According to Google’s history page, the company’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin chose Google, a play on the word googol, to “reflect their mission to organize a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.”


Now, you already know why Google has a lot of o’s when you perform search.


The Google image is copyrighted by Google.

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