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Unformatted text preview: But picture the difference between someone earning $10,000, $100,000, and $1,000,000 a year. The difference is huge. But we can write this as the difference between someone earning $10 4 , $10 5 , and $10 6 . This is a difference of only 2 powers of 10, but clearly a large difference in terms of wealth. The usefulness of understanding powers of 10 notation cannot be overstated. Picturing big numbers. The number of grains of sand in a one-gallon plastic jar is about a billion - 1 x 10 9 . How big is a billion? The number of seconds in a year is 3 x 10 7 , and multiplied by 33, you get about 1 x 10 9 . That is, if you are 30 years old you have lived about a billion seconds. If we think about how long a billion years is, then the ration of a year to a billion years is the same as the ratio of a second to about 30 years. The Universe is 13.7 billion years old. So, the ratio of a year to the age of the Universe is the same as the ratio of a second to 300 years....
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- Spring '06