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 Subj:.....Large Numbers (S670)           From: MathNexus.wwu.edu           on 9/7/2008 Drawing from MathNexus...

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Source: http://mathnexus.wwu.edu/Archive/problem/detail.asp?ID=135

Consider this list of numbers, in increasing order:
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Match one of the above numbers as a "best" estimation
of each of the following items:
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 1. Number of people in the world  2. Number of grains of sand that would fill       a sphere the size of the earth  3. Average number of hairs on one's head  4. Age of the universe (in years)  5. Number of possible chess moves in a chess game  6. Number of times your heart beats in your life  7. Number of words in the English language  8. Number of atoms in the universe  9. National debt (in dolars) 10. One light-year (distance light travels in a year) in miles
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Good luck!
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 Drawing from tom on 8/21/2009
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Hint: Do some estimations....
some calculations...
some eliminating....
some comparisons....
and some Internet searching.

Source: Tom Swanson's "Large Numbers,"
Oregon Mathematics Teacher, Dec. 2003, p. 37.

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 Finger pointing down from darrell94590 on 1/2/2006
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 Drawing from Ripleys-Believe It Or Not
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THE SOLUTION

1. Number of people in the world
From: http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html
The world population is 6 billion.

2. Number of grains of sand that would fill
a sphere the size of the earth
After answering the other nine questions,
this one must be 400 nonillion.

3. Average number of hairs on one's head
From: http://www.enotes.com/science-fact-finder/human-body
The average number of hairs on a person's head is about 100,000.

4. Age of the universe (in years)
From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_universe
The universe is between 13.5 and 14 billion years old.

5. Number of possible chess moves in a chess game
From: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/chess1.htm
The number of possible chess moves is 1x10^120.

From: http://caramoan-kanvar.blogspot.com/2007/11

7. Number of words in the English language
From: http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/JohnnyLing.shtml
The compendious Oxford English Dictionary lists about
500,000 words; and a further half-million technical
and scientific terms remain uncatalogued.
This is probably the 800,000 number on the list.

8. Number of atoms in the universe
From: http://pages.prodigy.net/jhonig/bignum/qauniver.html
"Atoms in the universe" spans from 10^78 to just under 10^81.

9. National debt (in dolars)
From: http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/
The national debt is 11 trillion dollars.
So this is probably the 6 trillion on the list done in 2003.

10. One light-year (distance light travels in a year) in miles
From: http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs
........../StarChild/questions/question19.html
One light-year is equal to 9,500,000,000,000 kilometers.
So this is probably the 7 trillion on the list done in 2003.

It is absolutely amazing that I could answer nine of these ten
questions in less than an hour using the internet.  The age
we are living in is completely mind boggling.

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