# What Comes After a Trillion, Quadrillion, and Sextillion? Exploring The Big Numbers

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The human mind often struggles to grasp the sheer magnitude of extremely large numbers. While terms like “trillion,” “quadrillion,” and “sextillion” are becoming more common in discussions about the national debt, data storage, quantum computing, and astronomical distances, understanding what these numbers represent and what comes after a Trillion,  a Quadrillion, etc. can be quite daunting.

This comprehensive guide will delve into these colossal numbers, providing context and explaining what follows them in the sequence of large numbers.

## The Basics: Million and Billion

Before we dive into the larger numbers, it’s essential to understand the basics:

1. Million (10^6): One million is 1,000,000. It’s a thousand thousands.
2. Billion (10^9): One billion is 1,000,000,000. On the short scale (used in the United States), a billion is a thousand millions.

### Trillion (10^12)

A trillion is 1,000,000,000,000, or one thousand billions. It’s a number that’s often used in the context of national economies and large-scale scientific data.

• Contextual Example: The national debt of many countries is often measured in trillions of dollars. For instance, as of 2023, the U.S. national debt exceeds \$30 trillion.

## What Comes After a Trillion?

Hereunder is what comes after a Trillion, Quadrillion, Sextillion, etc.:

Following a trillion is a quadrillion. A quadrillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand trillions.

• Contextual Example: The total number of grains of sand on Earth is estimated to be around 7.5 x 10^18, which is 7,500 quadrillion grains.

### Quintillion (10^18)

After a quadrillion comes a quintillion. A quintillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand quadrillions.

• Contextual Example: The number of bits of information processed by the human brain in a lifetime is estimated to be around 10^18, or one quintillion bits.

### Sextillion (10^21)

Next in line is a sextillion. A sextillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand quintillions.

• Contextual Example: The total number of stars in the observable universe is estimated to be around 1 sextillion.

## Beyond Sextillion

### Septillion (10^24)

A septillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand sextillions.

• Contextual Example: While there’s no commonly referenced example in everyday life, septillions are used in theoretical physics and cosmology to describe incredibly large quantities.

### Octillion (10^27)

Following a septillion is an octillion. An octillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand septillions.

• Contextual Example: The number of atoms in a few hundred grams of any element is typically around an octillion.

### Nonillion (10^30)

A nonillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand octillions.

• Contextual Example: Large-scale cosmological phenomena, such as the volume of space in the universe, can sometimes be described using nonillions.

### Decillion (10^33)

After a nonillion comes a decillion. A decillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand nonillions.

• Contextual Example: Decillions are often used in theoretical contexts, such as the number of different possible games of chess, which is roughly 10^120.

### Undecillion (10^36)

An undecillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand decillions.

• Contextual Example: Undecillions can be used to describe large combinatorial or probabilistic numbers in mathematics.

### Duodecillion (10^39)

A duodecillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand undecillions.

• Contextual Example: Duodecillions are generally theoretical and are used in advanced mathematical contexts or to describe vast quantities in cosmology.

### Tredecillion (10^42)

Following a duodecillion is a tredecillion. A tredecillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand duodecillions.

• Contextual Example: Tredecillions are rarely used outside of specific scientific or mathematical discussions.

### Quattuordecillion (10^45)

A quattuordecillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand tredecillions.

• Contextual Example: These numbers are often encountered in advanced theoretical physics or large-scale cosmological studies.

### Quindecillion (10^48)

Next in line is a quindecillion. A quindecillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand quattuordecillions.

• Contextual Example: Quindecillions are used in mathematical theories and high-level scientific research to describe incredibly vast quantities.

## Beyond Quindecillion: Even Larger Numbers

### Sexdecillion (10^51)

A sexdecillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand quindecillions.

### Septendecillion (10^54)

A septendecillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand sexdecillions.

### Octodecillion (10^57)

An octodecillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand septendecillions.

### Novemdecillion (10^60)

A novemdecillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand octodecillions.

### Vigintillion (10^63)

A vigintillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one thousand novemdecillions.

## The Importance of Understanding Large Numbers

Understanding these large numbers is crucial for various fields:

### Economics

In economics, large numbers like trillions are used to describe national debts, gross domestic product (GDP), and large-scale financial transactions. As global economies grow, these numbers become more common in economic discussions.

### Data Science

In data science and information technology, large numbers are essential for describing data storage capacities, such as petabytes, exabytes, and beyond. As data generation accelerates, understanding these large units becomes increasingly important.

### Astronomy

Astronomy regularly deals with vast distances and quantities, such as the number of stars in a galaxy or the mass of celestial bodies. These large numbers help astronomers convey the scale of the universe.

### Mathematics and Physics

Advanced mathematics and theoretical physics often involve large numbers when discussing probabilities, combinatorics, and theoretical models of the universe. These fields require a deep understanding of large numbers to solve complex problems.

### Conclusion

From trillions to vigintillions, large numbers play a critical role in various scientific, economic, and technological fields. Understanding these numbers and their magnitudes helps us grasp the scale of the universe, manage vast amounts of data, and comprehend the complexities of global economics. Whether you’re a student, professional, or simply curious, exploring these colossal numbers can provide a fascinating insight into the world around us.

A computer scientist, lover of modern techs and a technical writer at 3rd Planet Techies.