Wednesday, September 24, 2008

700 billion

It boggles the mind. I can't even picture how big 700 billion dollars is. We're doing the mole in chemistry right now, and part of what we do is try to put really big numbers in perspective. The current population of the US is 305,247,222. If you take that 700 billion dollars and divide it by the current population you get $2293.22. Take that times my family of 5, and I would have to write a check to the federal government for $11,466.12. I honestly have no idea what the right thing to do is, it just seems really scary either way.

million = 106
billion = 109
trillion = 1012
quadrillion = 1015
quintillion = 1018
hexillion = 1021
heptillion = 1024
octillion = 1027
nonillion = 1030
decillion = 1033
unodecillion = 1036
duodecillion = 1039.

So the mole is right in there between a hexillion and a heptillion. That's a lot of atoms. Thank goodness we don't have to come up with that in dollars!


Quilt Pixie said...

from the outside it seems the US is committed to being a world leader, remaining a world leader, and not letting any other "empire" get ahead of it economically -- that has a pretty hefty price tag... on the other hand the price tag paid by individuals in their mental and financial health by allowing the economy to collapse in on itself would be mighty hefty too... No easy answers when the questions are this hard.

Amy (lilme2_99) said...

I think I need to print out this post to get some good discussion going with my Pre-Calc students. I wish our Chem. teacher would do more with "Mole day." I remember have almost the entire school doing something related to "mole" when I was in High school. Kinda neat! (But NOW that I'm a teacher, I know how difficult it is to organize a full school-wide day.) I've tried organizing a PI Day (3.14) for all the JH Staff, but it takes a lot of planning in order for it to be successful.

Anyway---thanks for sharing!