# Difference between revisions of "Talk:2319: Large Number Formats"

I've added the way I'm familiar with (Polish) to the "normal person in Europe outside of UK" caveat, but I think this still might be over-generalization to say that all Europe outside UK uses "." separator; I've actually never seen it used, but I've seen "'" used, even though I have no connection whatsoever with Switzerland. 162.158.154.175 11:13, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Yes. We also use the single apostrophe as a thousands separator in Sweden. And in Excel we use the semicolon in formulas, since the comma is used for decimals.

Embridioum (talk) 22:18, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

## Scientist avoiding rounding

Would love an explanation of the scientist avoiding rounding one. Would make sense to me with 2.525997..., but as 2.5997... I'm at a loss! 198.41.238.106 (talk) 22:19, 12 June 2020 (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Truncating the number just before a digit less than 5 so that the final digit is not rounded up. (I do this all the time, and, I am a scientist.) 108.162.216.172 (talk) 00:48, 13 June 2020‎ (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

(The above was posted (anonymously?) seconds before I could get mine in, so here it is in the original format.)

This is probably completely irrelevant but it seems Randall made a small typo when trying to show a "Scientest trying to avoid rounding up." I assume it should be 2.525997*10^13. It seems he left out a 5 and a 2 and I say such because whether he forgot the 52 or 25 is up for debate.

Relevant screenshot: [[1]]

Also, if I'm just being completely daft and am missing something completely, please feel free to criticize me harshly and I'll go back to my little hideyhole. 108.162.237.24 22:21, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

In reality, a scientist would probably say 6.416*10^13 cm. (Although possible counterpoint, this comic is really about the number 25,259,974,097,204, not the distance 25,259,974,097,204 inches.) 172.69.33.207 22:47, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
Centimetres are not an SI unit. it would be 6.416*10^11 m 172.68.255.14 01:51, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Depends on field. It can easily be 35.67 light minutes. Or 2140 light seconds if you insist on SI units. -- Hkmaly (talk) 22:11, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

I believe the "2.5997" was intentional, or at least I thought it was when reading it. At first I thought it was a typo, but Randall calls that number "Scientist trying to avoid rounding up" which makes me think Randall intentionally made that "mistake" as if the scientist had accidentally forgotten the first two digits (25) and used the remainder of the number (259974...), rounding it to "2.5997x10^13" Kirypto (talk) 23:03, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

Randall fixed it! Gvanrossum (talk) 05:43, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Looks like that was just a typo, Randall replaced it with a new version. Natg19 (talk) 02:55, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

As a (not so?) old British person, I approve. Let the Trillions come around later, when it's worth increasing the prefix to "level 3". Don't waste them on the more petty numbers. 162.158.155.122 23:13, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

I'm also a not-so-old British person, and therefore use the short-scale as a matter of course. But, although I'm too young to ever have used the long scale, I regret its passing, for all that. On a visual level, if a million gives us a chunk of six zeroes, there's a simple elegance to the "bi-", "tri-", "quad-" (etc.) prefixes numerating two chunks, three chunks, four chunks, etc. From a less visual, more linguistically neat perspective, if you've got a million^2, a million^3, a million^4 and so on, then using "bi" to mean two, "tri" to mean three, "quad" to mean four makes sense...because that's what those things mean.Yorkshire Pudding (talk) 10:32, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

## "Engineering" notation omitted?

I find it somewhat strange that Randall doesn't offer 25e12 or any of those variants (25.259...*10^12). I feel like a lot of "non-normal" people would map billion to E12 instead of requiring a single digit to the left of the decimal point. shrug JohnHawkinson (talk) 23:09, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

Honestly I thought "engineering" notation was a myth invented by HP's calculator division. But I'm personally offended that the programmers' notation 25_259_... was omitted. Maybe Randall still uses Python 2. :-) Gvanrossum (talk) 05:47, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Well, just because HP's calculator division invented something doesn't mean it's a myth. They do have the power to invent things and had the market penetration for their names to have power and influence the world; but for sure, having used HP calculators in high school affected how I thought about numbers in college. But I think anyone who works with SI prefixes on a regular basis and reports results using them will appreciate "engineering" notation given the direct correspondence. And, of course, it also corresponds to how "normal" people use write numbers in the millions/billions/trillions, as this comic shows…which was the point… JohnHawkinson (talk) 12:03, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

## Actual scientist:

"What's an inch?" 162.158.62.119 23:18, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

The imaginary nano-scale multiple of the speed of light times Planck's constant. Which, dimensionally, would seem to be kg.m³/s²? 162.158.154.73 00:15, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

As an article pointed out to me the other day that seemed obvious after it was said it's a non-tariff trade barrier used as American protectionism that doesn't get tariffed back. 172.69.63.81 (talk) 00:10, 13 June 2020 (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

## Can someone explain the set theory notation?

Can someone explain the set theory notation? 172.68.255.14 (talk) 01:56, 13 June 2020 (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

You can use only sets to construct the natural numbers, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_number#Constructions_based_on_set_theory - 172.68.215.76 (talk) 02:20, 13 June 2020 (UTC) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

## Title Text 10^13.4024

It seems nobody has pointed out that the power of 10 in the title text is really just the log(x) of the number, which is in fact very common in scientific contexts -> log(25,259,974,097,204) = 13.4024 Ianrbibtitlht (talk) 02:31, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

The alternative would be for him to write 10^13.402432900872993447734410070128 (Rounded up). Notation that produces a longer string of digits than the original number seems useless on all fronts but somehow even more fun. I like the current explanation, though. It was insightful, IMO. -B- 162.158.106.126 17:14, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

## Old Sweden

We have kept the olden ways here in the north. Miljon (10^6), miljard (10^9), biljon (10^12), biljard (10^15). Also, "biljard" is the same word as the game of pool in Swedish. Embridioum (talk) 07:17, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Another thing an Older British Person might argue about is Billiards, the cue-and-ball game. Often, among all the vaiations, it was the three-ball version (white and white-spot cueballs, for each player, and red ball as the common target) on either pocketted or non-pocketted tables (the former mostly as a sop to using an unmodified snooker table) or, explicitly, Bar Billiards with target holes and obstacle pegs (quite common as early coin-operated pay-to-play tables). Only by succumbing to the americanism was Pool (usually 15-ball, spots+stripes+8ball) ever called billiards. Well, I thought that was interesting... 162.158.159.136 12:49, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
"Why sure I'm a billiard player, certainly mighty proud to say, I'm always mighty proud to say it. I consider that the hours I spend with a cue in my hand are golden." -Harold Hill 108.162.216.60 14:34, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Also Italian uses the long scale for large numbers, and also in Italian the word for the game of pool coincides with 10^15. Albeit I have to say that I've never heard anyone use bilione and biliardo referring to numbers. We usually stop at miliardo, saying things like "un milione di miliardi" when we need to say those large numbers, or use the scientific notation. --172.68.198.106 09:04, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

While we're on different languages, how about this one: 1262998704860-vingt-quatre - French person. --IByte (talk) 11:11, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

Russian uses the short scale, like million, billion, trillion, quadrillion, etc. But it calls a billion a milliard, and a thousand milliards is a trillion. Why? 172.69.68.195 18:09, 13 June 2020 (UTC)
Sounds to me like Russia 'inherited' Milliards from its usage by trade partners at one point in time when that was a number people were starting to want to use seriously, but adopted the short-Trillion from a later time when (different) people were needing to discuss higher values and adopt terms for these into their own tongue. If you check the chequered history of what-means-what (before Short and Long scales were mad3 at least self-consistent amongst their adherents) you could reasonably blame/credit many different sources for each development. 162.158.158.249 01:03, 14 June 2020 (UTC)

## Why *that* number?

OK, so it's a big number (well, maybe not compared to all the other numbers). One oddity is that the prime factors are:

2 2 7 11 82012902913

7 11? Subliminal advertising? If you turn the big prime upside-down calculator style, you get: eigzogzlos8

I'm surprised that 5 and 23 are missing. In fact, that's almost suspicious.