Study Guide

# One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science - Chapter I: Big Numbers Summary & Analysis

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## Chapter I: Big Numbers Summary and Analysis

How High Can You Count?

The Hottentot tribes did not have a name for numbers over three. If asked how many children they had and if the answer was more than three, they would answer "many." In advanced civilizations, all we have to do is add zeroes to our heart's content to arrive at the biggest number ever - a number larger than the total number of atoms in the universe or 3 x 1074 . Of course, modern math was not known in ancient times and was only developed some 2,000 years ago by an unknown Indian mathematician. Prior to that, time numbers were represented in Egypt by symbols and in Rome by Roman numerals. For these human ancestors, the grains of sand on a beach or the number of stars in the sky were considered "incalculable." In...

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 This section contains 435 words (approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page) View a FREE sample