Talk:Names for large numbers

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Need to edit name of article from "Names for large numbers" to "Names for large and small numbers" or something along those lines

Gwib 15:26, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

I think maybe we need to focus on one topic. English has a few different pages for the different topics that are touched upon in this article here. A few of these are:
It makes it difficult to add links to articles in other languages when more than one topic is discussed on a page. Maybe we could break this page into a few different articles, which focus on one topic each. Or we could think about re-naming this article to match the name of one of the English Wikipedia pages (perhaps "Names of large number"?) What do you think? · Tygartl1·talk· 15:41, 9 July 2007 (UTC)



I'm all for changing this articles name, and also splitting it up into several different articles. But what do you think about how information in the article is explained? There isn't much point in splitting it up if it is hard to understand.
I'm no teacher, and terrible at explaining things, have I made how numbers are written or named simple to understand in this article?
Thanks
Gwib 16:41, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

The article is definitely worth keeping and splitting. You have done a fine job of explaining the topic. Go ahead and be bold and split the articles as you see fit. This isn't my area of expertise, but I could certainly try to help guide you if you would like. Just ask! · Tygartl1·talk· 16:55, 9 July 2007 (UTC)



Just one thing I'm really not happy about. In the article, there are a couple of tables displaying the different names of large or small numbers. The small number table has a problem with the first column. It cuts off some of the powers of ten. I think it makes it harder to read and I don't know much about wikiscript. I had to "steal" the table script from another page and I would be so grateful if you could change the table or tell me how to.
Thanks
Gwib 07:36, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Number systems[change source]

The lists for the seperate number systems was backwards. American (and most english speaking countries) numbering uses the short form while most European countries (and french speaking) use the long form, but this was listed backwards in the list: ie 10^9 in American is billion, Milliard is never used in the US. The article even states this directly just before the table (billion = ^9). The same problem was on the article for small numbers (Milliardth rather than billionth for 9). I have reversed the headers for the tables on both pages. -- Creol(talk) 13:17, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Indeed. :) --Isis§(talk) 13:23, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry about that, some misinformation on my part :( Thanks for fixing it!
Gwib-(talk)- 16:50, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

In the UK[change source]

Although it's true that in many circumstances the US billion is used (for example, when referring to populations), it's common practice when referring to money to use "a billion dollars", but "one thousand million pounds". This usage is used by the BBC, among other news outlets. 135.196.2.145 (talk) 14:57, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Trivia removals[change source]

I removed three claims from the long list at Names for large numbers#Trivia. All three were inconsistent with other claims on the same list. How did I decide which claims to keep? I usually stick to more basic copyediting, but I decided it wasn't really WP:Original research because: I wasn't adding claims, I was removing unsourced claims. The claims contradicted other claims in the very same list. And most people who are likely to read this, are capable of verifying my arithmetic in a few minutes, after verifying my numbers below by clicking them.

The first and hardest choice was between "There are 1 vigintillion cubic inches in our galaxy." and "The volume of our galaxy is 1 sexdecillion cubic miles." (actually "sedecillion" before my copyedit, but it has to mean "sexdecillion".) The en:Milky Way infobox says our galaxy has "7.85 trillion cubic light years[citation needed]". Unfortunately, other sources give widely different figures, partly because the edges of the Milky Way are hard to see, and partly because there is no definite edge and therefore no unarguable definition of volume, especially if the galactic halo is included. But all of them give results closer to the sentence I kept than to the sentence I removed. 7.85 trillion cubic light years, for instance, is 7.85 x 1012 cubic light years3 × 8.47×1047 m³ per cubic light year × 61,023.74 cu in per m³ = 4.06 × 1065 cubic inches = 406 vigintillion cubic inches, not 1 vigintillion. For cubic miles, 7.85 x 1012 cubic light years3 × 8.47×1047 m³ per cubic light year ÷ 4,168,181,825.440579584 m³ per cubic mile = 1.595 × 1051 cubic miles = 1.595 sexdecillion cubic miles, more than 1 sexdecillion but much closer.

"There are a quintillion pounds of air in the Earth's atmosphere." versus "There are 200 tredecillion atoms in the atmosphere." Earth's atmosphere is much easier to measure: 1.135×1019 lb, which is 11 quintillion pounds, not one quintillion. That English Wikipedia figure matches 200 tredecillion atoms as follows: The same article gives the atmosphere's mass in kilograms as 5.1480×1018, times 103 grams per kilogram, times Avogadro's number 6 × 1023 atomic mass units per gram, divided by about 14 or 15 amu per atom because the atmosphere is mostly nitrogen (14 amu per atom) and oxygen (16 amu per atom), rounds off to 2 × 1044 atoms = 200 tredecillion atoms.

Finally, "There are 142 quattuordecillion atoms on the surface of the Earth." versus "There are 89 quindecillion atoms of the Earth." Those can't both be right, because 89 quindecillion divided by 142 quattuordecillion is 627, so one out of every 627 of Earth's atoms are on the surface. The Earth's radius is 4000 miles, so that means the "surface" must be miles thick. Maybe they meant Earth's crust instead of surface, but figuring the crust doesn't come out quite right either. The most obvious meaning of "surface" is the Earth's very top atoms, so the surface's thickness should be the thickness of an atom, not several miles. 89 quindecillion atoms in the Earth is about right, as follows: According to en:Earth's infobox it has 5.9736×1024 kg. Multiply by 103 gm per kg, and by Avogadro's number 6 × 1023 atomic mass units per gram to get about 3.6 × 1051 amu or 3600 quindecillion amu. Divide that by 89 quindecillion atoms to get 40 amu per atom. That's plausible because the most plentiful atom iron has 56 amu per atom, and the other atoms are mostly smaller. Art LaPella (talk) 06:02, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

That makes a lot of sense and makes it a better article. Well done and thanks Sgt. Detritus and the Piecemaker (talk) 06:09, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Trivia Explanation[change source]

The whole point of the article is to explain that a "billion" can mean two different things (10^9 or 10^12) and so on for other names. And then comes the trivia section, giving us some interesting facts, without explaining what form these numbers' names are? This comment was added on 2014 January 14‎ and not signed by IP editor. (note added by Fylbecatulous on 2014 August 9)

Yes, I am bothered by this trivia section because it has little relation to the article itself. It seems to be for just naming large numbers about an entire garden variety of unrelated things, just to do so. Example: There are a quadrillion ants in the world. No sources for any, no explanation of why we need to read these. I suppose they are interesting to someone who likes trivia. My opinion is we don't really let trivia sections stay in articles, but I see no way to put these factlets into the article itself. The article is about math and these trivias are not needed to explain the article. As the editor above says, it actually makes the article more difficult. I am going to let my comment sit here and see if someone else comes along to make this a discussion. Fylbecatulous talk 14:33, 9 August 2014 (UTC)