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The Googol machine

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posted on Mar, 4 2020 @ 11:56 AM
I don't post here very often, but I stumbled across this gear-based machine while perusing the Internet and it is insanely interesting to me. I have seen a couple of different iterations of it, but the premise is that the machine visualizes the number googol (1 with 100 zeros). To get last gear to turn once the first gear must be spun around a googol amount. Apparently, this requires more energy than the entire universe has, and the universe will cease to exist before the last gear can be spun 1 time.

The maker of the first machine below explained:

The first gear has 10 teeths, those teeth engage with the gear next to it that has a 100 teeth, so the first gear needs to spin 10 times for the next gear to spin once. attached (fixed) to that second gear is again a small 10 teeth gear that will engage with the next large gear that has again 100 teeth etc..Every gear in the line adds another 0 to the total amount of spins for the first gear.

Gear 1Gear 2 - 10 (rotations for the first gear)Gear 3 - 100 timesGear 4 - 1.000 timesGear 5 - 10.000 times....Gear 100 - 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 times

This is also known as 10 to the power of 100 Estimated amount of atoms in the known universe is 10 to the power of 82.

Link to quote

Here are a couple of videos showing two different machines similarly structured (one of them has the last gear encased in concrete, visually signifying that the gear will never turn):

My favorite:

The one that inspired the previous machine:

To put things in perspective, there are also some interesting comments about it on reddit in the comments section(Link to comments), such as (note: I haven't done the math but you get the picture)-

If you speed it up so the first gear runs at 1hz, 1 revolution per second, 1 million years will turn the 13th gear once. There's 100 gears.

For context, if the first gear turns at a rate of one rotation per second, it will take over 317,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years for the last gear to complete one revolution. It will be around long after the heat death of the universe. Still spinning.

There are also comments about the impossibility of manually spinning the last wheel due to torque and energy considerations.


posted on Mar, 4 2020 @ 12:24 PM
I don't see the point here. We'll be long gone before there are any significant developments. Whoever comes after humans won't know what it means....

I still have u a star n flag for your efforts.
edit on 4-3-2020 by lostbook because: Word add

posted on Mar, 4 2020 @ 01:09 PM

originally posted by: jburg6
I don't post here very often,


You may post again when it finishes

great thread its bizarley captivating to watch

posted on Mar, 4 2020 @ 04:09 PM
An amazing mechanical visualization of time in this universe. To see something that illustrates the physical concept of "beyond the limits of the universe" in one small machine is actually quite astounding and really makes one think about the temporary nature of this whole universe and what a little speck in time we all really are.
Thanks for sharing!

posted on Mar, 4 2020 @ 04:56 PM
a reply to: jburg6

Essentially this is the fabled perpetual motion machine?

posted on Mar, 4 2020 @ 07:31 PM
a reply to: jburg6

This is awesome! I see some posters are having trouble grasping the concept - i'll take a stab at explaining:

Its meant to put in perspective the size of the number itself (or, for example, the number of atoms in the universe, a much smaller number at 10⁸².)

Its not meant to actually ever make that last gear turn, and it isn't a perpetual motion machine.

posted on Mar, 5 2020 @ 07:25 AM
Mildly Interesting and remarkably boring at the same time.

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