Moving Beyond Quadrillions... 1,000 Quadrillion is One Quintillion

During the Spring 2007 semester, MathBabbler felt it was necessary to learn decimal (base-10) place values beyond the trillions (i.e. the quadrillions). But an accidental discovery of the MegaPenny Project prompted him to remember Don Hendley's song lyric "the first word out of baby's mouth is more" (i.e. let's move beyond quadrillion to quintillion).

    1,000 million is one billion ...and...
    1,000 billion is one trillion ...and...
    1,000 trillion is one quadrillion ...and...
    1,000 quadrillion is one quintillion ...

The MegaPenny Project website provides a visualization of what a collection of one quintillion pennies would look like. [Note: the MegaPenny project actually displays 1,000,067,088,384,000,000 pennies.]

Some observations...

   1 thousand = 10^3             [kilo]
   1 million = 10^6              [mega]
   1 billion = 10^9              [giga]
   1 trillion = 10^12            [tera]
   1 quadrillion = 10^15         [peta]
   1 quintillion = 10^18         [exa]

Switching from very, very, very big to very, very, very small...

   1 thousandth = 10^-3          [milli]
   1 millionth = 10^-6           [micro]
   1 billionth = 10^-9           [nano]
   1 trillionth = 10^-12         [pico]
   1 quadrillionth = 10^-15      [femto]
   1 quintillionth = 10^-18      [atto]
Exercises
  1. No or Yes: 1 quintillion written as a whole number is a one followed by six groups of three zeros.

  2. 1,000,067,088,384,000,000 rounded to the nearest billion is _____________________________.

  3. 1 quintillion equals ________ trillion.

  4. 1 atto-foo times 1 quintillion foos equals _____ foo(s).


Creator: Gerald Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Created: 02 March 2007

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.