Free-form entry eg: '125000km', '1.5 million inches', '$67bn', '45000000 AUD', 100years', '123456789', '1 trillion', '1.5e6', '25 million kg'

For the Love of Numbers

Number-led writings for the truly geeky

A Trip to the Theatre

The Greek Theatre in the Sicilian town of Taormina could, so they say, accommodate 5000 theatre-goers. Could this be true? Let’s do some rough and ready calculations …

Getting to Grips with Big

Stop worrying and learn to love big numbers

Numbers Astronomical and Beyond is about extending our number sense. We make comparisons that are (mostly) down-to-earth: populations of people and animals, national budgets, river lengths and so on.

But when we leave behind everyday experience and look at the kind of numbers you find in astronomy and in combinatorics, we come across vastly bigger numbers.

One strategy to grasp these numbers is to break them down into a series of levels, to see them as stupidly big aggregations of things that are themselves stupidly big aggregations of …  Here are some good clips illustrating this:

Landmark Numbers

Prominent and memorable numbers

Visualising 1 in a million

Cute video featuring nine ways to visualise 1 in a million. Interesting that five of the nine ways involve the use of an intermediate grouping. For example, 100 people have an average of 100,000 hairs on their heads. 10 hairs represents 1 in a million. 4 of the comparisons are direct, eg 1 word in all of the text of the Harry Potter novels.

More ...

Around the world in how long?

Early Infographics

How many tennis balls does it take to fill St Paul’s?

How Heavy was King Kong?

Scienceogram: UK Science Spending in Context

How Crowded is the World?

One in a Thousand

How much do things weigh?

Stand on Zanzibar

The Power of a Thousand

Click on the ad above to help us!

If you appreciate this site, do us a favour and click on the ad above. We'll earn a penny or two and that will help us keep going.

You'll know that you have done a good thing for numeracy and rationality in the world!