Thursday, March 18, 2010

Things that make you go WTF

It's good to see sports writers using big words, but this headline is a bit strange. Odds: Kansas, Kentucky favorites; Lehigh a 10 googolplex-1 shot to win NCAA tournamen
USA TODAY's resident sports analyst Danny Sheridan has released his odds for winning the NCAA men's national championship and -- no surprise here -- Kansas and Kentucky lead the way.
OK, a googol is 1 x 10100. It is larger than the number of elementary particles in the universe (currently estimated to be about 1 x 1080.

A googolplex is 1 x 10googol. Or a 1 followed by a googol of zeros. A piece of paper large enough to print this number on won't fit into the known universe.

(Which is still smaller than Graham's number, but I won't even go into that.)

So anyway, back to the bookmaker...
Morgan State: 5 trillion:1
UC-Santa Barbara: 1 octillion:1
Ark.-Pine Bluff/Winthrop: 1 googolplex:1
East Tennessee State: 2 googolplex:1
Vermont: 5 googolplex:1
Lehigh: 10 googolplex:1
Not sure what you would have to bet, to get those odds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Someone tell Sheridan about the Ackermann function so we can watch his head explode. :-)