Question: How Big is a Billion? [Video]


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So geeks, how big is a billion? The answer, which varies depending on where you live or how old you are, is not as simple as most people think!

We discuss millions, billions, trillions and centillions is this film about the long and short scales. We also touch on quadrillions, sextillions, milliards, billiards and the Greek myriad.

[numberphile]





9 Responses to Question: How Big is a Billion? [Video]

  1. Up until very recently I always assumed it was a language issue (ie Billion in English != Biljon in Swedish) and figured "whatever".
    Then i learned that it was a system for it and figured "english people is retarded" ;-) I mean most (or atleast a big part) of the english speaking world still uses illogical measurments as feets and inches and Fahrenheit!

    SI and the "Long system" rocks!

    ;-)

    • I always thought the same thing (it´s a language thing) but it was messing up my brains. What I do now is that when I talk in english I use the short version and when I talk in spanish I use the long version, I started automatically doing the math as soon as I translate.. F´d up.

  2. … I hate myself right now for the fact that I am going to be forced to use the short system for the rest of my life now that I know this…

  3. What everyone seems to be forgetting with all those zeros floating around, is that it was the Mayans who invented the zero and inserted it into mathematics.

  4. This is more about english hate for Americans than anything.
    Silly video and silly infomercial type explanations.

  5. @container ship: dafuq?
    Also, I live next to Quebec, and I didn't know they used a different system