Scientists Propose 'Hella' as New Big-Number Prefix

US Davis physicists want to honor NoCal's scientific legacy
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2010 4:00 PM CST
10^27, or as some would like to see, "hella".

(Newser) – Our world's expanding technological horizons draw ever-bigger numbers into household usage—witness "giga" and "tera." So a group of scientists at UC Davis figure they'd head the next one off early: they're petitioning to make "hella" the official prefix for 1027, or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. A Boing Boing contributor notes that "it would come in handy for eventually measuring Internet traffic and US national debt." Check out the Facebook petition here.

The name is a tribute to Northern California and its scientific accomplishments, says the petition. "The area is also notorious for the creation and widespread usage of the English slang 'hella,' which typically means 'very,' or can refer to a large quantity (e.g. 'there are hella stars out tonight')."

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