Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What is the biggest number?

  1. Sep 25, 2009 #1
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2009 #2

    CompuChip

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Actually I thought this one was funnier.
     
  4. Sep 25, 2009 #3
    Biggest named number is Googolplex
     
  5. Sep 25, 2009 #4
    Biggest number is ZERO.
     
  6. Sep 25, 2009 #5

    CompuChip

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Or sup R?
     
  7. Sep 25, 2009 #6
    The biggest number is infinity minus one.
     
  8. Sep 25, 2009 #7

    Integral

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Are you sure? how about infinity - .5 ... no wait....maybe infinity - .1 .... no wait...

    Gee maybe there is NO biggest number.
     
  9. Sep 25, 2009 #8
    No, its infinity minus one over infinity.
     
  10. Sep 25, 2009 #9
    You're right. My mistake.

    Infinity minus one is the largest WHOLE number.
     
  11. Sep 25, 2009 #10

    Hurkyl

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What about [URL [Broken] constant[/url]?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  12. Sep 25, 2009 #11

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Second for Graham's number.

    Infinity is a concept, not a number. Graham's number has the distinction of being the largest number ever used in a serious work of math.

    And it is large indeed. In fact, it leaves 'large' lying upside-down on the dirt track, feet in the air with one shoe off and its frillies billowing in the breeze.
     
  13. Sep 25, 2009 #12

    Redbelly98

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    That would be true if infinity were a whole number, but it isn't.
     
  14. Sep 25, 2009 #13
  15. Sep 25, 2009 #14

    Hurkyl

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    While probably true given some interpretation of these words, there are several number systems that have numbers named "infinity" or some variation thereof.
     
  16. Sep 25, 2009 #15

    Hurkyl

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's not a big number: that's a big numeral.
     
  17. Sep 25, 2009 #16

    CompuChip

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    No no ,you got it all backwards!

    (And we're back at post #1)
     
  18. Sep 25, 2009 #17
    You're forgetting Jimmy's constant J equal to Graham's constant plus one. There's a mathematical theorem that makes use of Jimmy's constant in the form J - 1.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  19. Sep 25, 2009 #18
    Jimmy's back to mine-is-bigger game.

    I think jobyts constant is bigger than any of other constants. It's defined as Pi without the dot.
     
  20. Sep 25, 2009 #19

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You kill me.
     
  21. Sep 26, 2009 #20
    Sorry, I meant "biggest number known to humanino before Hurkyl's post". Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  22. Sep 26, 2009 #21
    Well, the thread is a joke, but it is an interesting question, as in if there's a semantic limit to the ability to coherently represent a number. In other words, what would be the biggest real number hypothetically represented by all the possible symbols imbued with maximum semantic sense (by semantic sense, i mean, we can say G64 in regards to graham's number and that can have some semantic meaning, but surely at ooe point there's an absolute limit that would actualy be representable?)
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
  23. Sep 26, 2009 #22

    CompuChip

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Isn't the point of mathematics that there isn't?
    There simply are infinitely many numbers, so whenever we need to represent them we can always find a way to express them mathematically, like
    [tex]10^{10^6}, 3 \uparrow\uparrow\uparrow 64 \text{ or } x[/tex]

    Or am I really misunderstanding your question, Galteeth?
     
  24. Sep 26, 2009 #23
    Let A be the set of all positive integers that cannot be represented by all the possible symbols imbued with maximum semantic sense. This set must have a smallest element. That element has just been represented by symbols imbued with semantic sense. Therefore, the set A must be empty.
     
  25. Sep 26, 2009 #24

    Redbelly98

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Ha ha, I just got around to watching this. The bits at the end were pretty good too.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  26. Sep 26, 2009 #25

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Strangely, same can be said about B-2.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook