You've heard of billions and trillions, but the known universe is teeming with numbers far larger than this! In Chapter 2.1 we'll explore the astronomical numbers that occur in cosmology, the study of the universe and it's origins. Then we'll see how combinatorics leads to even vaster numbers!
A brief purview of the topics for Chapter 188.8.131.52 - A Primer on Scientific Notation
In this article we learn about the power of exponentiation, the real numbers, and how to express very large and very small numbers using scientific notation. Lastly we establish an alternative notation for scientific notation, known simply as E Notation, and learn about stacked exponents.
2.1.3 - A Survey of the Cosmos
Take a mind-blowing journey across the cosmos. With a trusty tape measure in hand, delineated in meters, we'll measure the length of various well known objects that we find in the known universe ... we'll even speculate about the size of the unknown one ...
Here I go over the large numbers we hear so much about in the modern world. Because of their frequent use, the size is often under appreciated. Here I try to recapture the immensity of such numbers as a million, billion, and trillion through a number of interesting illustrations.
Continuing the trend begun in the previous article, I now extend the large numbers into territory usually restricted to astronomy. Numbers in science are even more staggeringly huge than those we usually read about in the papers.
Here is the grand finale of our tour of large numbers which represent physical quantities. We now use all the tools of modern science to arrive at the theoretical limit of "largest number representing physical reality".
Now we go beyond mere measurement, and consider even larger numbers that can occur when we count combinations, and the ways in which something can play out.
I wrap up chapter 1 with a more in depth discussion of my "Number ranges" and how this applies.
If you have read all the articles in Chapter 2.1 I hope you found it informative and entertaining. In the next chapter I will start to go over how scientists cope with large numbers. The main topics are scientific notation and the SI prefixes.