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

Stand on Zanzibar

Stand on Zanzibar is a 1968 science fiction novel by John Brunner. It takes its name from the author’s projection that by 2010, if all the world’s population stood shoulder to shoulder, the island of Zanzibar could accommodate them.

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How tall is tall?

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?

Visualising 1 in a million

Scienceogram: UK Science Spending in Context

How Crowded is the World?

One in a Thousand

How much do things weigh?

The Power of a Thousand

Is That A Big Number? - The Book

Yes, there's going to be a book based on these numbers. Oxford University Press: July 2018.

Click here to learn more about it.