1,2,3,…. What’s the largest number?

Counting, the history of mankind changed as they learned how to count things. From symbols to numbers, we’ve evolved as a species together to achieve this marvelous feat. Ancient cave drawings show us how they counted by drawing the number of the animal figure on the cave walls, slowly symbols came into existence and so did numbers in later years. How did they grow? Ancient civilizations counted the animals or humans by using tally marks, as the complexity grew, that system became less useful. And so, different civilizations in different regions of the world came up with their own idea of counting big numbers. Few started it by donating each number by each symbol and few others started it by detonating few symbols with groups of numbers respectively. A system named as positional number system grew up slowly in various parts of the worlds. The Egyptians, the Babylonians, The Chinese came up with their own number system; each position increasing with complexity in each civilization. By the 8th century, Indian’s have mastered the art of counting and introduced a system which has Base 10 1 ( the decimal system was introduced) i.e. from 0-9 and slowly the idea of the system was spread into middle Europe and later all of the worlds. Even today we use these numbers. Only with these 10 digits, by iterating them at each stage, we drew the modern number system we know of. So, how did they come to a specific base to count numbers? Like 10,20, 60…  The most preferable answer would be, by the observations. Observing 10 fingers on the hands could have lead to the base 10 system.  Besides a different group of civilizations used different bases which like have the same answer on how they fixed to a particular base. By observing all the fingers( base 20). There are chances that they used different methods but if we try to imagine the complexity involved in drawing these numbers to this particular stage,  the above explanations could be the simplest answer. If anyone comes up if a new number system, can it be introduced in the modern world? Definitely yes (depending upon the simplicity of understanding ). That was one short long history on how the numbers came into existence. Phew, each number does have a specific purpose for us.

So, what is the largest number we have found out? Infinity you might say, but Infinity is a concept but not a number. ( same goes on with infinitesimal ). Stating from the names for numbers, we might go from ones,tens,hundred,thousand,million,billion,trillion,quadrillion,quintillion,sextillions,septillion,octillion,nonillion,decillion.. the list goes on. What’s the largest in this kind of sequence? Googolplex would be the answer.  1 Googolplex = 10^{{10}^{100} } latex

Lets begin the count,

Starting with the number of atoms in a body = 7 *10^{27}

Number of atoms on earth( excluding massless particles)  = 
1.33 *10^{50}

Number of atoms in the observable universe  =
10^{78} to
10^{82}      2

7*7 Rubik’s cube possibilities = 1.95*10^{160}  

A number of the different possible universe’s calculated by Andrei Linde and Vitaly Vanchurin = 10^{{10}^{16}}    .  3

The number of different universes distinguished by each person =10^{{10}^{{10}^{7}}} .

1 GoogolPlexian=

Skews Number: 10^{10^{10^{34}}} later increased to
10^{10^{10^{963}}}  4

Graham’s Number = G64 5  

( Fun Fact:  if you try  to memorize Graham’s number, your brain would  collapse into  a  black hole)

Next in sequence is TREE(3) 6

Next is Loader’s number  7

And the final would be Ryos number. 8

It states, the smallest number bigger than any finite number named by an expression in the language of set theory with googol symbols or less.

So, what can’t I say just a number which could be bigger than the largest of large numbers?  Like Ryos number +1. Well, Arbitrarily you can’t. There are some rules to follow in the modern number system only from which you could say you have discovered another largest number. Who knows you could be the next one who could discover it and you could name that largest number.

When we come to measuring the numbers with cosmos, we fall short of numbers and even the largest number seems just like a tiny piece of information in this multiverse.


1 ) http://www.archimedes-lab.org/numeral.html

2 ) https://www.universetoday.com/36302/atoms-in-the-universe/

3 )  http://arxiv.org/abs/0910.1589

4)  http://mathworld.wolfram.com/SkewesNumber.html

5) https://brilliant.org/wiki/grahams-number/

6) https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/math/a28725/number-tree3/

7) http://googology.wikia.com/wiki/Loader%27s_number

8) http://googology.wikia.com/wiki/Rayo%27s_number


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