Saturday, October 26, 2013

Some number between 10^78 and 10^82

The number of atoms in the entire observable universe is estimated to be within the range of 10^78 (one quinvigintillion) to 10^82 (ten sexvigintillion).  We’ve added the word ‘observable’ because we realize that there are really many things to discover about the entire universe so, basically, that range back there is only an estimate based upon what we currently know.

Now, before you go on wondering as to whether, because of the Universe’s expansion and all, this number can be growing, note that what’s taking place is simply a mere expansion or dispersion of the masses that make up the Universe. That is, no amount of matter that wasn’t there in the beginning is ever added during this expansion.


  1. Let me note that that estimate of the number of atoms is extremely wide -- the high end of the range is 10,000 times the low end.. It's equivalent to being asked how many balloons I'll need for a party and answering "Somewhere between one and 10,000.

  2. "within the range of 10^78 (one quinvigintillion) to 10^82 (ten

    These scientists are so inexact. One would think they should tighten up
    their figures a bit.

    1. I can tighten it up a little. If they are right, then the total number of atomes is between 10^78+1 and 10^82-2.