Carl Sagan is attributed to the following quote.

A googolplex is precisely as far from infinity as is the number 1.

A googolplex is the number 10googol . A googol is 10100 .

Think about writing this number out in one-point font, about a third of a mm per digit. It would take something like 3.5x1096 meters.

The universe is estimated to be 8.8x1026 meters in diameter, or around 93 billion light-years.

This means that, if you wanted to write out the value of a googolplex, you’d have to live in a universe that is 4x1069 times further across than the one we live in.

All this and yet, compared to infinity, it might as well be 1.

Posted
AuthorSheffield Leithart