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# The largest number ever to exsist?

33 replies to this topic

### #16 MID

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 12:33 AM

Harte on Apr 16 2008, 05:43 PM, said:

Actually, numbers "reach" zero in precisely the same sense that they reach any other number.

Harte

This is true, Harte.

However, that idea is not what I'm addressing.

I speak to the fact that one can have an ever larger number, or an ever smaller number that never hits zero...not that a number cannot reach the zero point.

All one has to do to get to zero is get there.

What I'm saying is that if you have a rediculously large number , like 10E1,000,000...you can always make it larger.   And if you have a ridculously small number like 10E-1,000,000, you can make it smaller indefinitely, without ever reaching zero  (10E-1,000,000,000,000, for instance!   ).

### #17 uosha1

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 12:37 AM

MID on Apr 23 2008, 12:33 AM, said:

This is true, Harte.

However, that idea is not what I'm addressing.

I speak to the fact that one can have an ever larger number, or an ever smaller number that never hits zero...not that a number cannot reach the zero point.

All one has to do to get to zero is get there.

What I'm saying is that if you have a rediculously large number , like 10E1,000,000...you can always make it larger.   And if you have a ridculously small number like 10E-1,000,000, you can make it smaller indefinitely, without ever reaching zero  (10E-1,000,000,000,000, for instance!   ).

MID, I'm impressed. are you a mathematic professor, or a scientist of some sort, because you know alot about all these areas of science

### #18 MID

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 09:51 PM

uosha1 on Apr 22 2008, 08:37 PM, said:

MID, I'm impressed. are you a mathematic professor, or a scientist of some sort, because you know alot about all these areas of science

...nah!
No mathematics professor here.
Just an old dummy.

When I was an engineerring student back in the old days (whew...) I found myself getting absorbed with everything: mathematics, physics, astronomy and cosmology, astronautics, celestial mechanics...and, oddly enough, Oriental philosophy (huh???).  I wanted to know everything about all of it...much to the chagrin of my professors

As a result, I know absolutely nothing about everything!!!

...but seriously, thank you again for the nice comments!

### #19 Raptor

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 10:19 PM

MID on Apr 23 2008, 09:51 PM, said:

As a result, I know absolutely nothing about everything!!!

...but seriously, thank you again for the nice comments!

We should pair you up with someone who knows everything about nothing, any quantum physicists around?

### #20 Showgirl

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 11:47 PM

as ppl have already said, there can be no largest number coz numbering is an abstract method of quantifying... well... quantity !!

im thinking what u should be considering is the need for numbers larger than is useful. as u said if there are a finite quantity of atoms/electrons/quarks/mesons/stranglets in the universe then there is no need for a number larger than that (even if a larger number can be measured or calculated).

quantification is infinite, just like the meaning of the word 'infinite'
Min xx

### #21 lmbeharry

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 11:53 PM

Tiggs has extensive knowledge of physics and quantum theory. You may wish to ask him to join in with some insight.

Raptor on Apr 23 2008, 11:19 PM, said:

We should pair you up with someone who knows everything about nothing, any quantum physicists around?

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### #22 Showgirl

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 12:10 AM

lmbeharry on Apr 24 2008, 12:53 AM, said:

Tiggs has extensive knowledge of physics and quantum theory. You may wish to ask him to join in with some insight.

im sure he'll poke his baldy little bonce in if he feels the need !!

Mmmwah Tiggs !!

Min xx

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 01:23 PM

Showgirl on Apr 23 2008, 06:47 PM, said:

as ppl have already said, there can be no largest number coz numbering is an abstract method of quantifying... well... quantity !!

im thinking what u should be considering is the need for numbers larger than is useful. as u said if there are a finite quantity of atoms/electrons/quarks/mesons/stranglets in the universe then there is no need for a number larger than that (even if a larger number can be measured or calculated).

quantification is infinite, just like the meaning of the word 'infinite'
Min xx

It's not impossible we'll find that atomic components are comprised of large numbers of parts
or maybe "dark matter" is.

There may not be a lot of practical value to knowing if it's  more likely for a monkey to write
War and Peace or to get 6' of snow in  the Sahara in August but they are legitimate questions.

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### #24 Ghø§t

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 07:50 PM

A number is an abstract idea. It gives a figure to a certain property so that it can be identified. Numbers are all in your head. Therefore, they never have a maximum.

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### #25 PsiSeeker

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:13 AM

I still think everyone is making a mistake by assuming that what we see and what we know about reality is all there is.  Like.  Fair enough this guy calculated this insane number but it was only calculated from what he knew of this reality and then concluded that its an impossibility so it must've been God that intervened.  I don't see why jumping to God in a situation like this is necessary.  Everything in existence might just be very symmetrical due to how they came into existence.  I prefer to think of our universe as a byproduct of sorts.  An eventual anomoly resulting from a "perfect" many dimensional construct.  Everything when looking at a larger scale compared to a smaller scale of the same thing is going to show up as some form of equilibrium and symmetry.  I don't see why we have to assume that God somehow intervened directly with this.  If God did intervene I think it goes more deep than simple "creation."  Creation is too simple of an answer for me.

(Once again I suck at explaining my ideas since my mind is jumping from one thing to another, fingers finding it hard to keep up.)

An illusion is an illusion.  The key difference between the two is that one is limited by time and the other by perception.

### #26 Tiggs

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 02:53 AM

lmbeharry on Apr 23 2008, 04:53 PM, said:

Tiggs has extensive knowledge of physics and quantum theory. You may wish to ask him to join in with some insight.

I wouldn't say that. StarTraveller and AI Guardian, however, do have. I'm more of an interested amateur.

The quickest way to get to infinity (mathematically) is divide any number by 0.

The easiest way I've found to explain infinity is to imagine a ball, with 9's written around it's centre, spinning round and round forever. If you were to sit there forever and read that number, as it continually span around, you'd have infinity.

In Maths - it's easier to say 9., rather than writing a list of never-ending nines down. However - as this would only hold true for base 10, Maths has it's own special symbol ∞, to represent it, which looks a lot like a Möbius strip. (Note that the actual history of the infinity symbol is a little more interesting)

The more interesting question is - Does infinity actually exist outside of mathematics?

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### #27 Wombat

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 07:17 PM

Such probability calculations, though perhaps impressive to the mathematically illiterate, are meaningless, because they involve calculating backwards. Let me demonstrate:

Imagine that you throw two dice 5 times. You will end up with a string of 10 numbers, ranging from 1 to 6. For example: 5, 3, 6, 2, 2, 4, 1, 4, 5, 1.

The chances of you getting this set of numbers is calculated like this: (1/6)^10 = 0,00000001653817168792. That's 1 in 60466176. On average, you would have to throw the dice every second for almost 2 years to reproduce those results. And that's just from 5 throws of two dice.

Now imagine that you are playing a game of monopoly, where you get to throw the two dice a total of, for example, 60 times. You will end up having thrown a total of 120 numbers ranging from 1 to 6.

The probability calcuation for this is: (1/6)^120. Excel can only handle up to 20 decimal places, so there are a lot of zeroes in my answer. Anyway, the chances of getting each of those numbers right is less than:

1 in 2,388,636,399,360,130,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00
0,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

That's roughly 2,38864E94.

One in 2388 billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion.

Does this mean that there is a dice throwing god? Of course not.

Edited by Wombat, 27 April 2008 - 07:30 PM.

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### #28 Elite

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 07:45 PM

i always thought that the biggest number u could say without resorting to literally saying stuff like 999999999999999999999999999999999
was googolplex

### #29 Wombat

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 07:54 PM

Tiggs on Apr 27 2008, 03:53 AM, said:

The more interesting question is - Does infinity actually exist outside of mathematics?

Of course. It can be applied to virtually anything, for example 1∞th of a metre. Or the time that it is "actually" 12 o'clock.

Edited by Wombat, 27 April 2008 - 08:02 PM.

The statement below is true.
The statement above is false.

And do you think that unto such as you,
A maggot-minded, starved, fanatic crew,
God gave the secret, and denied it me?—
Well, well, what matters it! believe that too.

Omar Khayyam

### #30 Tiggs

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 08:23 PM

Wombat on Apr 27 2008, 12:54 PM, said:

Of course. It can be applied to virtually anything, for example 1∞th of a metre. Or the time that it is "actually" 12 o'clock.

1∞th of a metre is zero. Or at least, smaller than Planck length, rendering it unmeasurable.

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