How much is a Trillion?

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 =
103n =

 

American
name

 

European
name
SI prefix

 

Greek-based
name
(proposed)
3
109

 

billion milliard
giga-

 

gillion
4
1012

 

trillion billion
tera-

 

tetrillion
5
1015

 

quadrillion billiard
peta-

 

pentillion
6
1018

 

quintillion trillion
exa-

 

hexillion
7
1021

 

sextillion trilliard
zetta-

 

heptillion
8
1024

 

septillion quadrillion
yotta-

 

oktillion
9
1027

 

octillion quadrilliard

 

ennillion
10
1030

 

nonillion quintillion

 

dekillion
11
1033

 

decillion quintilliard

 

hendekillion
12
1036

 

undecillion sextillion

 

dodekillion
13
1039

 

duodecillion sextilliard

 

trisdekillion
14
1042

 

tredecillion septillion

 

tetradekillion
15
1045

 

quattuordecillion septilliard

 

pentadekillion
16
1048

 

quindecillion octillion

 

hexadekillion
17
1051

 

sexdecillion octilliard

 

heptadekillion
18
1054

 

septendecillion nonillion

 

oktadekillion
19
1057

 

octodecillion nonilliard

 

enneadekillion
20
1060

 

novemdecillion decillion

 

icosillion
21
1063

 

vigintillion decilliard

 

icosihenillion
22
1066

 

unvigintillion undecillion

 

icosidillion
23
1069

 

duovigintillion undecilliard

 

icositrillion
24
1072

 

trevigintillion duodecillion

 

icositetrillion
25
1075

 

quattuorvigintillion duodecilliard

 

icosipentillion
26
1078

 

quinvigintillion tredecillion

 

icosihexillion
27
1081

 

sexvigintillion tredecilliard

 

icosiheptillion
28
1084

 

septenvigintillion quattuordecillion

 

icosioktillion
29
1087

 

octovigintillion quattuordecilliard

 

icosiennillion
30

 

1090

 

novemvigintillion

 

quindecillion

 

 

triacontillion

 

31

 

1093

 

trigintillion

 

quindecilliard

 

 

triacontahenillion

 

32
1096

 

untrigintillion sexdecillion

 

triacontadillion
33
1099

 

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 (1445-1488) 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 Latin-based systems and move to a Greek-based 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 Greek-based 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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