In writing the book Mathematics and Imagination , published in 1938, American mathematician Edward Kasner wanted to explore the difference between an enormously large number and infinity. He had the idea of using the number 1 followed by 100 zeros, which he called Googol. The name comes from his nephew Milton Sirotta who Kasner would have asked to invent a word that would represent a very large number.
In the words of Google:
- What does Google mean? The mathematical term "Googol" refers to the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. This term was coined by Milton Sirotta, nephew of the American mathematician Edward Kasner, and made famous in Kasner and James Newman's book "Mathematics and Imagination". With this play on words, Google wants to reflect its mission: to organize the huge amount of information available on the Web.