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 googol and the name google is derived from this...
  • There are $6\cdot 10^{23}$ atoms/molecules in one mole

So is there any good book or website (even better) where such examples are collected?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ There are a couple of additional examples in Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ – Álvaro Lozano-Robledo Jan 28 '12 at 15:47
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Look at these slides by Terence Tao. They are terrific! terrytao.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/cosmic-distance-ladder.pdf $\endgroup$ – Christian Blatter Jan 28 '12 at 16:38
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    $\begingroup$ I have an uncountable amount of papers sitting on my desk. I say uncountable because anything finite or countable can be well-ordered and nothing about my desk points well-orderability, if anything I suppose it proves the axiom of choice is false. I saw several mathematicians (mostly set theorists, actually) whose office is in a much worse condition too. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jun 17 '12 at 12:56

Lure of the Integers, by Joe Roberts. The Penguin Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers, by David Wells. Les nombres remarquables, by le Lionnais.

EDIT: Here's a website about large numbers (though mostly it's about numbers of interest only to mathematicians).

MORE EDIT: You'll find a few at this website, and there are links there which may lead to more.


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