|All the material located at this web page address|
is © J. C. Adamson, and prior years,
unless otherwise noted.
Trillions, Billions & Millions
Few of us have any idea how much a trillion is—or a billion—or even a million—because nothing in our personal experience is measured in numbers that large. It's difficult to visualize meaningful examples, but I'll try.
Please note that the following applies to American usage of these terms.
They are used differently in some other parts of the world.
First, comparisons between the three quantities:
A dollar bill is a little thicker than a typical human hair.
Then what would a trillion dollars buy? (figures approximate for 2012)
Next time you see a headline about a $17 trillion debt, or a $700 billion financial package, think about it in terms of these examples. Perhaps it will mean more.
How about larger numbers?
The next named number in American usage is a quadrillion (a thousand times as large as a trillion). The word is seldom heard, because few disciplines deal with such large quantities. Applications in science and mathematics regularly employ quantities of unimaginably greater magnitude, but usually don't name them. They are expressed in an exponential format, called scientific notation.
The National Debt
(National Debt Clock provided by zFacts.com)
Why Doesn't Your Congress Look Like Your Nation?
43% of you are independent;
less than half a percent of your congress is.
Most Americans Want a 3rd Party
We Need a Think Tank for Independent Political Power
an Open-Source Approach to Politics