During the course of this book, a simple convention of a numbering system will be adopted that allows us to use a very large and very small numbers to be written in a compact form. The very large numbers will be used to describe the universe, while the very small numbers will be used to describe atoms and cells. The system used is called the exponential system. Let us begin with everyday numbers: since 10,000 = 10 x 10 x 10 x 10, it is written as 1E4, which means 1 multiplied by 10 four times, or 1 followed by four zeros. The letter E refers to the exponential system.
A million = 1,000,000 or 1E6
A billion = 1,000,000,000 or 1E9
A trillion = 1,000,000,000,000 or 1E12
Very small numbers are written in an analogous way. One millionth (that is 1 divided by 1 million) will be written as 1E-6, or 0.000001.
One billionth = 0.000000001 or 1E-9
One trillionth = 0.000000000001 or 1E-12
There is a price for such compactness. It is easy to forget the difference between 1E4 and 1E8, since both are large numbers, or the difference between the small numbers 1E-4 and 1E-8. Let us not forget that the difference between the above two sets is 10,000 or 1E4, which is a big number.
If we accept that the size of the observable universe is 1E26 Meters and the size of the smallest part of an atom is 1E-14 Meters, then, the ratio of the largest to the smallest known sizes is 1E26/1E-14, or 1E40. This is 1 followed by 40 zeros, or 10 thousand trillion trillion trillion times!
The human brain cannot even come close to comprehending these huge or tiny numbers. But they exist. Similarly, one cannot attempt to grasp the concept of the eternal, limitless, omnipotent, omniscient and Mighty God. But He exists.
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