million, billion, trillion... then what?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by qfrontier, Aug 14, 2002.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,621
    I have not read every post to this thread. My apologies if the following has already been posted.

    It is a shame that the average person does not use (& prehaps does not understand) exponential notation.

    It is much easier to write 10[sup]9[/sup], 10[sup]10[/sup], et cetera than to keep track of the verbal equivalents.
     
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    That's not so convenient in speech. Are we going to call Warren Buffet a ten-to-the-ninth-aire? That the radius of the universe is ten-to-the eleventh light-years? Or better yet, six times ten to the twenty-first miles? If I got any of those wrong, it sorta proves my point.

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    Not to mention, the verbal morphemes (both the scientific prefixes like giga- and the vernacular prefixes like quint-) group them by powers of 1000, rather than ten. This is conceptually easier to deal with.

    As for exponential notation, I don't think the average person even understands exponentiation!
     
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  5. Mathers2013 Banned Banned

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    Million Billion Trillion...
     
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