How much is a Million?
How much is a Billion?
How much is a Trillion?
What's the difference between
a million, a billion, a trillion?
A million seconds is 12 days.
A billion seconds is 31 years.
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.
A million minutes ago was – 1 year, 329 days,
10 hours and 40 minutes ago.
A billion minutes ago was just after the time of Christ.
A million hours ago was in 1885.
A billion hours ago man had not yet walked on earth.
A million dollars ago was five (5) seconds ago
at the U.S. Treasury.
A billion dollars ago was late yesterday afternoon
at the U.S. Treasury.
A trillion dollars is so large a number that only politicians
can use the term in conversation… probably because they
seldom think about what they are really saying. I've read that
mathematicians do not even use the term trillion!
Here is some perspective on TRILLION:
Trillion = 1,000,000,000,000.
The country has not existed for a trillion seconds.
Western civilization has not been around a trillion seconds.
One trillion seconds ago – 31,688 years
– Neanderthals stalked the plains of Europe.
Million: 1,000,000
Billion: 1,000,000,000
Trillion: 1,000,000,000,000
Quintillion: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000
Sextillion: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Nonillion: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Centillion: 1 followed by 303 zeros
n = 
10^{3}^{n} =

American
name

European name 
SI prefix

Greekbased name (proposed) 
3 
10^{9}

billion  milliard 
giga

gillion 
4 
10^{12}

trillion  billion 
tera

tetrillion 
5 
10^{15}

quadrillion  billiard 
peta

pentillion 
6 
10^{18}

quintillion  trillion 
exa

hexillion 
7 
10^{21}

sextillion  trilliard 
zetta

heptillion 
8 
10^{24}

septillion  quadrillion 
yotta

oktillion 
9 
10^{27}

octillion  quadrilliard 

ennillion 
10 
10^{30}

nonillion  quintillion 

dekillion 
11 
10^{33}

decillion  quintilliard 

hendekillion 
12 
10^{36}

undecillion  sextillion 

dodekillion 
13 
10^{39}

duodecillion  sextilliard 

trisdekillion 
14 
10^{42}

tredecillion  septillion 

tetradekillion 
15 
10^{45}

quattuordecillion  septilliard 

pentadekillion 
16 
10^{48}

quindecillion  octillion 

hexadekillion 
17 
10^{51}

sexdecillion  octilliard 

heptadekillion 
18 
10^{54}

septendecillion  nonillion 

oktadekillion 
19 
10^{57}

octodecillion  nonilliard 

enneadekillion 
20 
10^{60}

novemdecillion  decillion 

icosillion 
21 
10^{63}

vigintillion  decilliard 

icosihenillion 
22 
10^{66}

unvigintillion  undecillion 

icosidillion 
23 
10^{69}

duovigintillion  undecilliard 

icositrillion 
24 
10^{72}

trevigintillion  duodecillion 

icositetrillion 
25 
10^{75}

quattuorvigintillion  duodecilliard 

icosipentillion 
26 
10^{78}

quinvigintillion  tredecillion 

icosihexillion 
27 
10^{81}

sexvigintillion  tredecilliard 

icosiheptillion 
28 
10^{84}

septenvigintillion  quattuordecillion 

icosioktillion 
29 
10^{87}

octovigintillion  quattuordecilliard 

icosiennillion 
30

10^{90}

novemvigintillion

quindecillion


triacontillion

31

10^{93}

trigintillion

quindecilliard


triacontahenillion

32 
10^{96}

untrigintillion  sexdecillion 

triacontadillion 
33 
10^{99}

duotrigintillion  sexdecilliard 

triacontatrillion 
Names for Large Numbers
The English names for large numbers are coined from the Latin names for small numbers n by adding the ending illion suggested by the name "million." Thus billion and trillion are coined from the Latin prefixes bi (n = 2) and tri (n = 3), respectively. In the American system for naming large numbers, the name coined from the Latin number n applies to the number 103n+3. In a system traditional in many European countries, the same name applies to the number 106n.
In particular, a billion is 109 = 1 000 000 000 in the American system and 1012 = 1 000 000 000 000 in the European system. For 109, Europeans say "thousand million" or "milliard."
Although we describe the two systems today as American or European, both systems are actually of French origin. The French physician and mathematician Nicolas Chuquet (14451488) apparently coined the words byllion and tryllion and used them to represent 1012 and 1018, respectively, thus establishing what we now think of as the "European" system. However, it was also French mathematicians of the 1600's who used billion and trillion for 109 and 1012, respectively. This usage became common in France and in America, while the original Chuquet nomenclature remained in use in Britain and Germany. The French decided in 1948 to revert to the Chuquet ("European") system, leaving the U.S. as the chief standard bearer for what then became clearly an American system.
In recent years, American usage has eroded the European system, particularly in Britain and to a lesser extent in other countries. This is primarily due to American finance, because Americans insist that $1 000 000 000 be called a billion dollars. In 1974, the government of Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced that henceforth "billion" would mean 109 and not 1012 in official British reports and statistics. The Times of London style guide now defines "billion" as "one thousand million, not a million million."
The result of all this is widespread confusion. Anyone who uses the words "billion" and "trillion" internationally should make clear which meaning of those words is intended. On the Internet, some sites outside the U.S. use the compound designation "milliard/billion" to designate the number 1 000 000 000. In science, the names of large numbers are usually avoided completely by using the appropriate SI prefixes. Thus 109 watts is a gigawatt and 1012 joules is a terajoule. Such terms cannot be mistaken.
There is no real hope of resolving the controversy in favor of either system. Americans are not likely to adopt the European nomenclature, and Europeans will always regard the American system as an imposition. However, it is possible to imagine a solution: junk both Latinbased systems and move to a Greekbased system in which, for n > 3, the Greek number n is used to generate a name for 103n. (The traditional names thousand and million are retained for n = 1 and 2 and the special name gillion, suggested by the SI prefix giga, is proposed for n = 3.)
This process can be continued indefinitely, but one has to stop somewhere. The name centillion (n = 100) has appeared in many dictionaries. A centillion is 10303 (1 followed by 303 zeroes) in the American system and a whopping 10600 (1 followed by 600 zeroes) in the European system.
Finally, there is the googol, the number 10100 (1 followed by 100 zeroes). Invented more for fun than for use, the googol lies outside the regular naming systems. The googol equals 10 duotrigintillion in the American system, 10 sexdecilliard in the European system, and 10 triacontatrillion in the proposed Greekbased system.
The googolplex (1 followed by a googol of zeroes) is far larger than any of the numbers discussed here.
The original definition of a googelplex is a 1, followed by the number of zeros it took unitl the man's son's hand got tired.
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