# 10^40 is close enough to infinity for us humans

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#### Omega Force

##### Senior Member
Hello.

I'm speaking about a very big number, 10^40 which a 1 followed by 40 zeroes, and I would like to say that it is "close enough to infinity for us humans"...

Like if someone ask "Is the number infinite?" and I reply "It's 10^40, so yes in a sense it's near infinity".

But I'm not sure how I could say it in a very elegant way. I would like some suggestions please.

• #### Cenzontle

##### Senior Member
The number that you're talking about would be pronounced "ten to the fortieth power".

#### PaulQ

##### Senior Member
To me, 1040 is "ten to the power of forty."

#### Andygc

##### Senior Member
Your thread title seems to me to be the way to say what you want to say:
"10^40 is close enough to infinity for us humans"
and I would say 10^40 as "ten to the fortieth". Saying "power" is redundant if talking to people who have some understanding of big numbers, and meaningless to those who have none.

#### srk

##### Senior Member
Omega Force said:
I would like to say that it is "close enough to infinity for us humans"...

I wouldn't say that around a street gang of mathematicians. Even the stay-at-home types get testy at that kind of insult.

You might say that 10^40 is more than a billion times the diameter of the observable universe in inches
— not infinite but unimaginably large.

#### Cenzontle

##### Senior Member
Saying "power" is redundant if talking to people who have some understanding of big numbers, and meaningless to those who have none.
I estimate that 10% of the audience have some understanding of big numbers (enough to appreciate srk's observation that 10^40 is not near infinity),
and another 10% have none, leaving 80% for whom "power" is not redundant.
C'mon, people, where are the poets in this crowd? We're talking rhetoric, not mathematics.

#### JustKate

##### Senior Member
I think "close enough to infinity for us humans" is really good, actually. It's just supposed to be a joke - but a joke with a point. So I like it.

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