In mathematical circles does a google have any practical or real world application use? Or is it more or less a fun term?

Just a fun term, basically. Better than saying “a zillion”, frinstance.

The mathematical term is spelled * googol*.

However, the old cartoon strip character was Barney Google. And the most bestest search engine in the known universe is also Google.

If I’m not mistaken…and I might be, Google was the name of a character. That’s where the term “Googly eyes” comes from. (Those are the eyes that are white disc with a free floating black disc for the middle.)


The mathematician who coined the word googol to mean 10^100(actually, it was supposedly a suggestion from his young son) also came up with the googolplex, 10 to the power of a googol, or 10^10^100.

My understanding is that mathematicians really do use these stupendously large numbers when working with theorems dealing with abstract mathematics. The Guinness Book of World Records lists as the largest number ever defined as a value inexpressible in conventional notation, concerning the properties of “polychromatic hypercubes”.

Sweet mama! ‘Barney Google, with the goo goo googly eyes,
Barney Google ,had a wife three times his size.’
Barney Google was the name of the strip and the main character. Barney had a hillbilly cousin named Snuffy Smith, there was an uncanny resemblance between the two,and each had a huge wife. Snuffy gained popularity,the Sunday strip became’ Barney Google ,featuring Snuffy Smith,'then ‘Snuffy Smith, featuring Barney google’,finally ‘Snuffy Smith’ the daily is 'Barney Google and Snuffy Smith ' to see it. I couldn’t find google defined in any of my dictionaries! So don’t have an etymoligy. Eddie Cantor the musical actor, had googly eyes if you remember him.
Google search gave me a googal of links for google. Most of them about that google called google because it ‘looks all around?’ I wonder if a googal of monkeys at a googal of drawing boards could come up with Barney Google?

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Here’s another link:

It was the nephew, not the son, of Edward Kasner.

When dealing with really huge numbers, I’ve usually seen measurements like “million billion” and that sort of thing…never have seen “googol” actually used to measure something…

Since when did practicallity have anything to do with the desire of scientists to create or name something. Scientists, and especially mathematicians, have no need to be practical. That’s someone elses job. Forget about the use for 10^100; there wasn’t a name for it, therefore we needed one. Something as beautifully harmonious as 10^100 couldn’t go without having a name for that long, now could it…

If you people really get bored, I can tell you about all the wacky stuff chemists do just because it hasn’t been done yet. Ask me sometime about the real substance “windowpane” (and it’s derivative sidechain “windowpyl”)

Jason R Remy

“No amount of legislation can solve America’s problems.”
– Jimmy Carter (1980)

Jayron, you mean lysergic acid diethylamide ?

No, that would be “acid,” I mean the isomer of C9H16 that is shaped like a windowpane. They call it “windowpane” and its root is windowp-. I am not making this up.

Jason R Remy

“No amount of legislation can solve America’s problems.”
– Jimmy Carter (1980)

So C9H15COOH would be windowpanic acid?

The number called the ‘googol’ could also, and much more coherently, be called ten duotrigintillion, although that is by extrapolation from the conventional naming rules, which only ‘officially’ apply up to a mere vigintillion.


ten duotrigintillion.100 <–the “googol”
etc to>>>

This is a repost.

Latin assistance was provided by
Robert McKay <GoffsCA> from orig. AOL SBMD

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The reason you don’t see googol when people are measuring or counting something is that there isn’t enough stuff (time, meters, electrons) in the universe to come even barely remotely close to having a googol of it. (Except, of course if you arbitratily go really small and then multiply back up again [or vice versa], i.e. a googolth of a second times a googol equals a second.)
P.S. Will someone teach me how to italicize in these things?

*whc03grady: P.S. Will someone teach me how to italicize in these things? *

If your HTML is ON, simply surround the text with a <i> and a </i>

<i>This is really important</i>

appears as:
This is really important

AHunter, if you would READ the prior posts, you would have seen that in the very SECOND POST in this topic, I gave a link to the Mailbag column that listed out all that crap that you so painstakingly typed.

Would have saved yourself – and all future readers of this topic – a buncha time.

Not entirely true; the link you posted “only” gives the names up to vigintillion, + centillion, googol, and googolplex, whereas I provided the extrapolated names (trigintillion, quadragintillion…nonagintillion). You wouldn’t want someone to be at a loss someday when they’re confronted a number with 160-some-odd zeros after it and trying to come up with the right name, now would you?

PS–regarding the British naming system–I agree with those who say it does (would have) made more sense, with each full proper name consisting of a nice even million of the prior name, with x-iard for the 1000 in-between. See for complete nomenclatures for both systems, which, assuming it remains, would be a better hyperlink to refer to.

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