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A Googol of Atoms?
A Directed Case in Estimation and Large Numbers
Author: 
Stephen J. Shawl 
Abstract:  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 collegelevel introductory astronomy course, although it could also be used in a variety of other courses in chemistry, planetary science, biology, and mathematics. 
Objectives: 

Keywords:  Googol; scientific notation; powers of ten; relative sizes; estimation; approximation; the size of the universe 
Topical Area:  N/A 
Educational Level:  High school, Undergraduate lower division 
Formats:  
Type/Method:  Directed 
Language:  English 
Subject Headings:  Astronomy Mathematics Physics Chemistry (General) 
Date Posted:  07/14/03 
Date Modified:  N/A 
Copyright:  Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work. 
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