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!

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!

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!

Good question Emma – the US and Canadian usage is 10 to the 303 whereas in Europe it was 10 to the 600. We now use the US system. Why, don’t know – something to do with the exchange rate??? ðŸ™‚

## Comments

Emmacommented on :I hadn’t heard of a googolplex Hywel! I’m learning so much ðŸ™‚

Emmacommented on :I hadn’t heard of a centillion either Alastair! (why does it have 303 zeros?)

Alastaircommented on :Good question Emma – the US and Canadian usage is 10 to the 303 whereas in Europe it was 10 to the 600. We now use the US system. Why, don’t know – something to do with the exchange rate??? ðŸ™‚

Keithcommented on :Interesting to note the googol / Google similarity, which it seems is not inadvertent:

http://www.graphics.stanford.edu/~dk/google_name_origin.html

picklezcommented on :i know that the highest number used in mathmatics is called “grahams number”but really there isnt a highest number as you can always add 1 to it.

battyman69commented on :its grahams number foool!!!!!