don steward
mathematics teaching 10 ~ 16

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

a billion

supposedly what a billion dollars looks like

we seem to have adopted the (U.S.) version of 10^9
this is sometimes called a milliard, or so I've read.

 a billion seconds is 31.7 years
a billion minutes ago, the Roman Empire was flourishing
a billion hours ago, humans were Stone Age (Middle Paleolithic to be precise)
a billion metres is around 3 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon

the population of India is over 1.2 billion
the population of China is over 1.3 billion
that of the World is around 7 billion.

a human genome (not too different to other genomes) carries 3 billion letters of DNA code

for trillions (apart from very large national debts) we have around 10 to 100 trillion cells in our body - but estimates vary

it's always seemed helpful that in India they use the lakh for 100, 000 and the crore for ten million (10, 000, 000)

maybe we don't have enough names for things

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