An Incredible Machine Driven by Gears That Visualizes the Number Googol (Ten to the 100th Power)

To celebrate one billion seconds of his life on March 1, 2020, artist and designer Daniel de Bruin built an incredible gear-driven machine that visualizes 10100 or the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.

This mind-bending number is known as Googol, which was discovered by mathematician Edward Kasner (and named by his young nephew). It is larger than both the number of hypothetical moves in a chess game or the size of the visible universe.

That’s a 1 with a hundred zeros. A number that’s bigger than the atoms in the known universe.In order to get the last gear to turn once you’ll need to spin the first one a googol amount around. Or better said you’ll need more energy than the entire known universe has to do that. That boggles my mind. ?

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.