For questions relating to the computation, estimation and properties of extremely large quantities that are not usually used in mainstream mathematics.

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69
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it possible to represent every huge number in abbreviated form?

Consider the following expression. 16313107343153908912074032799466965289077771751767944648966669091376847859711382649033004075188224 This is a 98 decimal digit number. This can be represented as ...
33
votes
4answers
2k views

Which is bigger: $9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9^{9}}}}}}}}}$ or $9!!!!!!!!!$?

In my classes I sometimes have a contest concerning who can write the largest number in ten symbols. It almost never comes up, but I'm torn between two "best" answers: a stack of ten 9's (exponents) ...
32
votes
1answer
687 views

How do I calculate the 2nd term of continued fraction for the power tower ${^5}e=e^{e^{e^{e^{e}}}}$

I need to find the 2nd term of continued fraction for the power tower ${^5}e=e^{e^{e^{e^{e}}}}$ ( i.e. $\lfloor\{e^{e^{e^{e^{e}}}}\}^{-1}\rfloor$), or even higher towers. The number is too big to ...
24
votes
7answers
760 views

Examples of Diophantine equations with a large finite number of solutions

I wonder, if there are examples of Diophantine equations (or systems of such equations) with integer coefficients fitting on a few lines that have been proven to have a finite, but really huge number ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Graham's Number : Why so big?

Can someone give me an idea of how R.Graham reached Graham's Number as an upper bound on the solution of the related problem ? Thanks !
9
votes
7answers
2k views

Is there a way to calculate absurdly high powers? [closed]

Could it be at all possible to calculate, say, $2^{250000}$, which would obviously have to be written in standard notation? It seems impossible without running a program on a supercomputer to work it ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Graham's number expressed using xkcd's “Knuth Paper-Stack Notation”

The title text for xkcd #1162 describes a method for expressing extremely large numbers: Knuth Paper-Stack Notation: Write down the number on pages. Stack them. If the stack is too tall to fit in ...
8
votes
5answers
571 views

Is there a number so large that we could never calculate it?

Note that I edited this post significantly to make it more clear (as clear as I think I could possibly make it). First, let me mention what I am NOT asking: I am NOT asking for the largest number we ...
8
votes
4answers
12k views

What is the biggest number ever used in a mathematical proof?

Probably a proof (if any exist) that calls upon Knuth's up-arrow notation or Busy Beaver.
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the last whole number before a googolplex?

"What's the last whole number before a googolplex?" My six yr old asked me this tonight. How does a math challenged dad answer this?! A googolplex is hard enough as it is to imagine or visualize. ...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

How to simplify or calculate a formula with very big factorials

I'm facing a practical problem where I've calculated a formula that, with the help of some programming, can bring me to my final answer. However, the numbers involved are so big that it takes ages to ...
7
votes
2answers
394 views

Logarithms of logarithms of Graham's number, is the result ever handy?

The other day I was asked how to represent really big numbers. I half-jokingly replied to just take the logarithm repeatedly: $$\log \log \log N$$ makes almost any number $N$ handy. (Assume base ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

If I call the Ackermann Function with Graham's number as both of its arguments will it be less than $g_{65}$

In xkcd comic 207 it states that [xkcd] means calling the Ackermann function with Graham's number as the arguments just to horrify mathematicians. $A(g_{64},g_{64})$ In this explanation it ...
6
votes
1answer
412 views

What is the explanation for the $64$ in Graham's number $g_{64}$?

As in, why does the iteration of the function until $g_{64}$ guarantee this property that defines Graham's number? Why was this number chosen? If I had to guess (emphasis on guess), I'd say that the ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Estimating a certain row of Pascal's triangle

I need to calculate all the numbers in a certain row of Pascal's triangle. Obviously, this is easy to do with combinatorics. However, what do you do when you need to estimate all the numbers in, say, ...
5
votes
2answers
153 views

Approximation of (n^n)^n

To be specific, what is the best way to calculate the first 10 digits decimal approximation of $$ \large \left(123456789^{123456789}\right)^{123456789}$$? Even WolframAlpha gives the result in a ...
5
votes
4answers
121 views

How do we compare the size of numbers that are around the size of Graham's number or larger?

When numbers get as large as Graham's number, or somewhere around the point where we can't write them as numerical values, how do we compare them? For example: $$G>S^{S^{S^{\dots}}}$$ Where $G$ ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

With $f(n) = n!$, what is the least $k$ such that $f^k(\text{googolplex}) > \text{Graham's number}$?

$\text{googolplex} = 10^{(10^{100})}$ Is $\text{googolplex}!$ greater than $\text{Graham's number}$? How would this be proven? If $\text{googolplex}! \le \text{Graham's number}$, (which I expect) ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Are there any secure ciphers you can use without a computer?

I have some kids that like encryption schemes such as the Caesar cipher and the Vigenère cipher. I would like to teach them something that's not easily breakable by todays maths and computers, but I ...
4
votes
2answers
239 views

RSA: Creating a key of desired length

Thanks and with respect to the users of this site, I've succeeded in creating an Encryption/Decryption procedure for the RSA algorithm. I also implemented a Miller-Rabin probabilistic primality test. ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

Comparing up-arrow's

Is it true that $$3\uparrow^{n+1} 3\ >\ n\uparrow^n n $$ holds for every $n\ge 1$ Since $3\uparrow^{n+1}3=3\uparrow ^n 3\uparrow ^n 3$ and $3\uparrow^n3$ is much bigger than $n$ for $n\ge 3$, ...
4
votes
1answer
28 views

Predicting how long the result of a permutation

We're calculating the result of a 'tweaked' Birthday Problem, but when we're calculating, we stumped by a very nasty permutation. $$10^{576}P_{10^{16}}$$ Which, make us stop working at the number, ...
4
votes
0answers
69 views

What is the smallest prime factor of the number $14^{14^{14}}+13\ $?

What is the smallest prime factor of the number $$N\ :=\ 14^{14^{14}}+13\ ?$$ The number of digits of $N$ is $12,735,782,555,419,983$ (The number of digits of $N$ has itself $17$ digits). The first ...
4
votes
0answers
162 views

Transfinite Knuth-arrow hierarchy vs. fast-growing hierarchy

Suppose Knuth arrow notation (and hence the hyperoperation sequence) is extended to transfinite ordinal indices as follows: Let μ be a large countable ordinal such that a fundamental sequence is ...
3
votes
2answers
822 views

Which number is larger?

If $n$ is large enough, which is greater: $(n+1) ^{n+1}$ or $(kn)^{n}$ where $k$ is a natural number? I've plotted a graph which suggests that the second is larger, but surely the larger power ...
3
votes
3answers
240 views

Comparing $\large 3^{3^{3^3}}$, googol, googolplex

How to show that $\large 3^{3^{3^3}}$ is larger than a googol ($\large 10^{100}$) but smaller than googoplex ($\large 10^{10^{100}}$). Thanks much in advance!!!
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How to explain Real Big Numbers?

Mathematicians, and esp. number theorists, are used to working with big numbers. I have noted on several occasions that lots of people don't have a clear understanding of big numbers as far as the ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How to handle big powers on big numbers e.g. $n^{915937897123891}$

I'm struggling with the way to calculate an expression like $n^{915937897123891}$ where $n$ could be really any number between 1 and the power itself. I'm trying to program (C#) this and therefor ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Proof of the inequality $2\uparrow^n 4 < 3\uparrow^n 3 < 2\uparrow^n 5$

I tried to prove the inequality $$2\uparrow^n 4 < 3\uparrow^n 3 < 2\uparrow^n 5$$ for all natural numbers $n\ge 1$ For n = 1 , the claim is true because of 16 < 27 < 32. The left ...
3
votes
1answer
349 views

Magnitude of $10 \uparrow \uparrow \uparrow 10$

Is there any way to understand the magnitude of $$10 \uparrow \uparrow \uparrow 10$$ ? I know that the number can be constructed as follows : $$M_1 := 10$$ $$M_2 := 10^{10^{10^{...10}}}$$ ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Quick Exponent Clarification

$N = 5^{\displaystyle 5^{\displaystyle 5^{\displaystyle 5^{\displaystyle 5}}}}$ In the following equation is N equal to $5^{5^4}$ or $5^{(5^{(5^{(5^5)})})}$? One of them is huge compared to the ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Can different tetrations have the same value?

Suppose, we have two numbers $a\uparrow \uparrow b$ and $c\uparrow \uparrow d$. To avoid trivial cases, suppose $a,b,c,d>2$ and $(a,b)\ne (c,d)$. Is there a quartupel $(a,b,c,d)$ with ...
3
votes
1answer
533 views

First digits of extremely large numbers (Generalization of “first digits of Graham's number”)

I found a question about the first digits of Graham's number and would like to generalize it : We want the first n digits of the number $a\uparrow^b c$. Which method is the most effective to do ...
3
votes
3answers
232 views

Graham's Number versus another large number

I recently read this article about the most damage you can do in a single turn in Magic the Gathering. According to the current version of the deck, that damage is about a) $2 \rightarrow 17 ...
3
votes
1answer
614 views

How to solve an inequality containing the sum of factorials and powers

In previous question, I asked how one would simplify the following equation for the case where the variables are very big: $\sum\limits^{k}_{i=m}(N-i)^{k-i}(\frac{1}{N})^k\frac{k!}{(k-i)!i!} \leq a$ ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

Does Graham's number have an odd or an even number of digits?

I think it is hopeless to decide whether the number of digits of Graham's number is even or odd because the only way that I can think of is determining the logarithm with accuracy $0.1$ or even ...
3
votes
0answers
565 views

First $n$ digits of Graham's Number

I know using Euler's Totient function, it's easy to find the last $n$ digits of Graham's number (or any large repeating power tower), but is there any known way to find the first $n$ digits of ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Calculate the root of a number without useing the root function or decimal numbers

I'm trying to build a program in c# which will calculate prime numbers for me. I'm using the BigInteger class to work with 'endless' numbers. However, there is a big down side on this function, I ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

For which n does the inequality $2 \uparrow^{n+1}n > 3\uparrow^n 3 +2$ hold?

For which n does the following inequality hold ? $$2 \uparrow^{n+1}n > 3\uparrow^n 3 + 2$$ where $\uparrow$ stands for knuth's up-arrow notation. I need this inequality to prove that ...
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Definition of the function $f_{\epsilon_0}$ in the fast-growing hierachy

I found an article where the growth of $$f_{\epsilon_0}$$ in the fast-growing-hierachy is described, but the text is very long and difficult to understand. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
173 views

What are the last 20 digits of mega?

What are the last 20 digts of the number mega, which is "2 in a pentagon" in steinhaus-moser-notation ? In contrary to power towers or tetration, the ending digits are not stable. I found out that ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

Large numbers in real world

I am a high school math teacher and I am looking for a comprehensive list of large numbers which occur in real world. For example There are $10^{14}$ cells in the human body $10^{100}$ is called ...
2
votes
2answers
30 views

The number of logarithm applications to get from n below 1

Let $L(n)$ to be a number of logarithms that you need to apply on $n$ until you get below 1: $$ 0 \leq \log\cdots\log n < 1 \\ \uparrow \\ L(n)\mbox{-times} $$ Is there a name for this function? ...
2
votes
2answers
347 views

How can I calculate or think about the large number 32768^1049088?

I decided to ask myself how many different images my laptop's screen could display. I came up with (number of colors)^(number of pixels) so assuming 32768 colors I'm trying to get my head around the ...
2
votes
1answer
794 views

How to calculate modulo of large integer (number having 25000 digits)

I'm looking for solution to a problem to calculate modulo of very large number that can contain 25000 digits or less (n) with 10 digit number (m). ( n % m ) ? Pointer to appropriate theory resource ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Find modulo of multiplication of two number?

Given $m$, $a$ and $b$ are very big numbers, how do you calculate $ (a*b)\pmod m$ ? As they are very big number I can not calculate $(a*b)$ directly. So I need another method.
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Making sense of combinatorics-based marketing hyperboles

Diablo 3 has 97 billion possible skill/trait builds. Per class. LessPop_MoreFizz, emphasis is mine. I used base two logarithm to claim "97 billion" configurations only are roughly 37 binary ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

How does one prove that $2\uparrow\uparrow16+1$ is composite?

Just to be clear, close observation will show that this is not the Fermat numbers. I was reading some things (link) when I came across the footnote on page 21, which states the following: ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Do “small” and “large” numbers actually exist in an absolute sense?

Numbers like $(10)^{-10^{10^{10}}}$ are generally regarded as small, whereas numbers like, for example, Graham's Number, are regarded as extremely large. My question is, are these numbers simply ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Is the estimation of number's name's length and comma-grouping feasible?

I am thinking in a mathematical problem that probably is already formulated and even solved. It is about big integers and someting else. Let n be an integer positive number. For n := 1,000 we have ...