Wednesday, May 04, 2005

How many zeros does 1 trillion have?

Just found this so amusing that I had to blog about this...

Question of the day: How many zeros does 1 trillion have?

12 zeros or 18 zeros? How about 1 billion?

1 million we know for sure is 6 zeros yah but according to this website:

Trillion
The word trillion denotes different numbers in American and British usage. In the American system, one trillion equals 1012. In the British, French, and German systems, one trillion equals 1018.

AND

Billion
The word billion denotes different numbers in American and British usage. In the American system, one billion equals 109. In the British, French, and German systems, one billion equals 1012. In recent years, however, the "American" system has become common in both the United States and Britain. This constitutes a fortunate development for standardization of terminology, albeit a somewhat regrettable development from the point of view that the British convention for representing large numbers is simpler and more logical than the American one.

"The system used in the U.S. is not as logical as that used in other countries (like Great Britain, France, and Germany). In these other countries, a billion (bi meaning two) has twice as many zeros as a million, and a trillion (tri meaning three) has three times as many zeros as a million, etc. But the scientific community seems to use the American system."

3 comments:

Bowman said...

Shouldn't you people know by now? America is always right. :-P Even the scientists agree... lol

~*sim*~ said...

aha. and then there's a googol (not to be confused with "google") -- 1 and 100 zeroes! don't get started on the "googolplex" though... it's mindnumbing.

Jesse said...

perhaps the british system makes sense from an etymological point of view, but it is inadequate in praxis

if we call 10^12 billion, we are for lack of an easy to remember name for 10^9, and have to use something that is confused easily with million (milliard)

similar troubles as you get higher