Monday, November 19, 2012

Introducing the Mamo

A while back, I was considering the infinite.  I had some time on my hands, what can I say?

Infinity, as the saw goes, is really, really big.  You think you know big?  You don't know anything.  Aunt Bertha's behind? Insignificant. The Earth?  Pish.  C'mon: the Milky Way galaxy is the smallest starting point with some 200 to 400 billion stars.

OK, now we're starting with something: a Billion.  A 1 with 9 zeros: 1,000,000,000.  We have 200 to 400 of these Billions when we count the stars in the Milky Way. And there may be some 100 Billion galaxies.  That's 100,000,000,000 galaxies times 300,000,000,000 stars per galaxy!  That's a lot of stars, but we can think of even bigger things!

OK, let's get sexy.  From 2010, in the Huffington Post, Scientists believe there may be up to 300 Sextillion stars -- that's 1 with 21 zeros: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.  You know, typing that is quickly going to get boring.  We're switching to scientific notation: 1021.  But that's stars, not galaxies, so let's keep our units straight.  If each galaxy had about 300 billion stars, then it would be 1021 divided by 109, so we subtract exponents and get 1012.  Back to a Trillion.  Boring.

Wikipedia talks about large numbers, and we get up to funky numbers like Vigintillion (1063) and Centillion (10303).  Of course, there's also the Googol (10100) and the Googolplex (10googol).

But this really doesn't do it when one considers the infinite. Let's go back to the Billion; we can grasp that.  Try this on for size, you may have heard it: if you spent $0.25 every 15 minutes playing video games, then you, and everyone else in your 100 person company could play non-stop for nearly 7,000 years.  That's freaking big.  Or, you could buy 1/3 of a nuclear powered submarine.

Or, you could build 3 schools.  And hire 200 teachers and administrators. And build a police department and buy cruisers and all the nifty equipment. And a fire department with trucks.  And hire 60 police officers and 30 fire fighters. And build a hospital.  And staff it with 40 doctors and 80 nurses. And hire 50 engineers.  And build houses for all of them.  And pay their salaries.  For over 14 years..

Or buy one B2 Stealth Bomber.

OK, that's helped me tremendously with one Billion.  One.  Just one.

We think there are a Trillion (that's 1,000 Billion) galaxies.  Each galaxy with 200 - 400 Billion stars.  And that doesn't even do the infinite justice.

No, we need another number.  That Googol doesn't help us either.  Psh, it has only 100 zeros in the exponent.  No we need something really massive.

So, I invented a new number:  The Mamo.  The Mamo is 101,000,000,000.  Yep, 10 raised to the Billion.  Now that's a number.  Now we can think about a Mamo sub-atomic particles in the conceivable universe and really expand our concept of wicked big.

But for the infinite, we need even more: We need the SuperMamo.  That is MamoMamo.  Yes, a Mamo raised to the Mamo.

Phew.  I need to rest.