The Uses of Large Numbers

Large numbers are used mostly used in astronomy and cosmology.  According to the Big Bang Model, the universe is estimated to be 4.3 \times 10^{17} seconds old, the observable universe is 8.8 \times 10^{26} meters, and it contains 5 \times 10^{22} stars.

In computing, if a hacker attempts to open a computer with up to a 40-character password, we should really wish him luck. Even though he may create a program that would display 1 billion strings per second indefinitely, it would take him 2 \times 10^{87} seconds or about 6 \times 10^{79} years to complete all the combinations.  That is way, way older than the universe which is  only about 13.7 billion years old. » Read more