This question comes from follower, firstname.lastname@example.org, who asked me to answer this question and its a very thought provoking one. Its a question I wanted to know myself so I’ll try to answer this the best way I can.
Now, if you were to type this question into google search, it would probably give you an answer like this, “Googolplexian: The worlds largest number with a name. A “1” followed by a googolplex of zeros. Googolplex: The second largest number with a name. A “1” followed by a googol of zeros.”
But is this the be all, end all number? Could and can you go any higher? In a way yes…
See, if we combine various facts and theories from well known science and sources, we can easily produce very large numbers. But from skimming through various books and articles, I’ve learned that we could produce much higher numbers than most of us realize. The best way to answer this question is to ask it a different way; that is to ask: What is the largest number that could theoretically represent a physical quantity? We still have a long way to go …
Let’s break it down, so, currently we live around 15 billion years after the big bang. The volume of the universe 150 billion years after the big bang would be 47 novemdecillion vigintillion vigintillion cubic planck lengths! So why this cut off point at a googolplex? After all, a vigintillion is rarely used but its possible, and one could argue that it is no more useful than googolplxian.
In theory, there is an infinite quantity of numbers. But then you say that infinity is that largest number, however that is not correct. Infinity in this sense is a never-ending supply of numbers. Infinity is an unlimited set, i.e. it is only a concept; it is not a number. If I choose some really big number and call it RBN1. Now assume that RBN1 is larger than any other number ever defined or imagined. Therefore, I just named the largest number. However, if someone else add “1” to RBN1 we get a larger number. We will call that RBN2 = RBN1 + 1. We can then have RBN3 = RBN2 + 1, RBN4 = RBN3 + 1 and so forth. We can keep doing this for a long time until we realize we are no nearer to the biggest number than before, because there is an infinite supply of bigger numbers.
However, what we do know is that, the largest officially named number in a dictionary is centillion. So what about the googol?The googol and the googolplex, and for that matter the whole family of googol numbers that are not based on any official standard. I feel like they’re generally reserved for cocktail party discussions and do not have any place in math, science or engineering. Your Thoughts?
By the way, if you guys have questions that you want me to answer, put them in the comments! I still have more to answer so keep them coming. Plus serpentspeaks will be expanding in a BIG way very soon so stay tuned for more information.