• Question: what is the highist number in the world???????????????/

    Asked by natalie1996 to Alastair, Emma, Hywel, Keith, Vicki on 18 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Alastair Sloan

      Alastair Sloan answered on 16 Jun 2010:

      Hi Natalie,

      A centillion is a 1 with 303 noughts after it That’s a large number and the largest I think there is

    • Photo: Keith Brain

      Keith Brain answered on 16 Jun 2010:

      There isn’t one- the numbers just keep going on forever. You can prove this by noting that for every finite number you can always add one to find a bigger number. Interestingly though – not all infinities are the same. For example, while the number of integers (like 1,2,3, …) equals the number of rational numbers (those that can be expressed as one integer divided by another integer), both of these infinite sets is smaller than the set or rational numbers (of which pi is an example). Infinity is a strange concept!

    • Photo: Hywel Vaughan

      Hywel Vaughan answered on 16 Jun 2010:

      Hi Natalie,
      Theoretically there is no ‘highest’ number, as there can always be one higher – hence why we use the term ‘infinity’ to explain that it just goes on and on forever.
      There are some interesting names for large numbers though. A ‘googol’ which is 1 followed by 100 zeros. You then have a ‘googolplex’ which is 1 followed by a googol zeros!

    • Photo: Emma Carter

      Emma Carter answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      Infinity! But the highest actual number with a name is a googol (10 x 10 x 10….. a hundred times – or 1 with a hundred zeros)

    • Photo: Vicki Stevenson

      Vicki Stevenson answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      well, the word infinity stands for the highest number in the world, but it’s not really possible to get there – I’d run out of digits, space on the screen and life if I tried to type it out!