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Stephen J. Shawl
Professor
shawl@ku.edu
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Kansas
A Googol of Atoms?: A Directed Case in Estimation and Large Numbers

What is a googol?  Invented by Edward Kasner, an American mathematician who popularized the number in his 1940 book, Mathematics and the Imagination, it is a 1 followed by a hundred zeros. This directed case in estimation and very large numbers was written for a college-level introductory astronomy course, although it could also be used in a variety of other courses in chemistry, planetary science, biology, and mathematics.