# Get to Know Large Numbers: Names and Expressions

Updated December 2, 2021
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What's the biggest number you can think of? Chances are, it has a lot of zeros in it. But what are the names of very large numbers, and how much bigger are they than ordinary numbers? Keep reading to get to know the largest numbers in mathematics and the best ways to express them.

## Names of Large Numbers

One million sounds like a big number. However, in the world of big numbers, one million is the smallest number! For every three zeros you add after 1,000,000, the name of the number changes. This table shows the names of large numbers from one million up to one decillion. Notice that using scientific notation is a very effective way to write these large numbers without listing dozens of zeros.

 Number Name Numeral Scientific Notation one million 1,000,000 106 one billion 1,000,000,000 109 one trillion 1,000,000,000,000 1012 one quadrillion 1,000,000,000,000,000 1015 one quintillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 1018 one sextillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1021 one septillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1024 one octillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1027 one nonillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1030 one decillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1033

Once you get to a decillion, you're dealing with a number that has 33 zeros! It's unlikely that you'd encounter any amount of items that are as numerous as a decillion in your daily life. However, scientists and mathematicians rely on having names for large numbers for their calculations.

## Names of Very Large Numbers

You may be wondering if numbers can even get bigger than a decillion. Don't worry — they can. If you continue adding three zeros to the end of very large numbers, you'll get to one centillion or 10303.

 Number Name Numeral Scientific Notation one undecillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1036 one duodecillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1039 one tredecillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1042 one quattuordecillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1045 one quindecillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1048 one sexdecillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1051 one septendecillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1054 one octodecillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1057 one novemdecillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1060 one vigintillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1063 one trigintillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 1093 one quadragintillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 10123 one quinquagintillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 10153 one sexagintillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 10183 one centillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 10303

One centillion is the largest number that ends in -illion. It has 303 zeros and is the last large number in the English dictionary. You can see the enormous journey between the "small" number of one million and the unimaginably large number of one centillion!

### Googol and Googolplex

While a centillion is the largest -illion number, it's not quite the largest number that has a name. A googol has 100 zeros, and a googolplex has googol zeros — basically, ten to the power of googol. These numbers are too big for even mathematicians to fathom, as neither googol nor googolplex are words in formal mathematical use.

### Fictitious Numbers

Are you wondering if "zillion" is missing from the above list? What about "jillion" or "bagillion"? They're not missing because they're not real numbers. They're placeholder words used to mean very, very large numbers. Another fictitious number is affectionately known as "Sagan's number," which denotes the number of observable stars in the universe.

## Interesting Facts About Big Numbers

Sometimes it can be difficult to imagine these huge numbers in the context of our real lives. Check out these interesting facts about the largest numbers in mathematics to help you make more sense of them.

• There are over 43 quintillion ways to arrange a Rubik's cube. That is a tiny fraction of the number of possible ways to stack a deck of cards, which is over eight vigintillion.
• There are approximately 133 quindecillion atoms on Earth (which is still not as many as the possible deck of card combinations).
• If you counted one number a second, it would take over 11 days to count to one million, but a lifetime (79 years) to count to a billion. After that, it would take over 31,000 years to count to a trillion.
• If you wrote out a googolplex on paper, the stack of paper would weigh more than the entire Earth.
• The approximate number of grains of sand on Earth's land is 7.5 quintillion.
• Astronomers estimate that there are roughly one septillion stars in over 10 trillion galaxies in the universe.
• If you examined 10 drops of water, you'd find over one septillion H2O molecules (yes, the same number as stars in the universe).