Friday, March 14, 2014
3.14 Happy Pi Day!
Which one is a billion: 1,000,000,000 or 1,000,000,000,000? Is a billion a thousand million or a million million? We found out from the Numberphile website that it all depends on whether you're using the short system (base 1,000) or the long system (base 1,000,000). We, in the English speaking world, adopt the short system.
For her Pi Day presentation at Wed Club, Serena tried to convince her audience that the names given to the numbers in the long system make a lot more sense. Think about it, a billion, according to our short system, is 1,000 to the power of 3 - shouldn't "bi" (as in bicycle) have something to do with 2?? And a trillion (tri = 3) is 1,000 to the power of 4, so why is it a "tri"??
In the long system, a billion is a bi-million, 1,000,000 to the power of 2. A trillion is a tri-million, 1,000,000 to the power of 3. Logical!
Watch this video to decide which system you like better!