A team of Russian mathematicians from the Steklov Institute of Mathematics claim to have discovered the largest non-infinite number ever. If true, it would take the world record for largest number known to man, a title once held by numerical giants such as one billion zillion gazillion, Graham’s number, and infinity minus one.
The team, led by Alexander Denisov, began their search in late 2005. A complex method was devised, applying concepts from sequence theory, infinitesimal topology, structural proof theory, and hyperreal quantum analysis among others. Aside from finding a remarkable mathematical oddity, the discovery raises a number of philosophical questions. How can such a number even exist? Could there be an even larger number? If so, what is the limit for number size?
“It is fucking huge,” commented the visibly excited Denisov. “I mean, you don’t even know how fucking ridiculous it is. I can’t even describe how ass this number is. Any comparison to anything whatsoever would be a despicable insult to the reality of—seriously it is fucking goddamn balls humongous.”
The paper is currently being peer-reviewed by scholars around the world. Meanwhile, Denisov and his team are confident, brainstorming for possible names for the number. “We want to show some creativity,” explained Mikhail Ledkovsky, a member of the group. “[We] …don’t want to name it after some random Greek letter or some guy’s name. That would be lame.”
While mathematicians are quick to show enthusiasm for the event, many point it out as an example of the uselessness of pure math. In the words of popular blogger, Mark Beaser: “Look at these imbeciles putting all this effort into something so utterly pointless. Name me a single real life application for this. You can’t, because there is none. These are creations exclusive to an imaginary world created by lifeless aspies. If you are studying pure math, I want you to know that you are wasting your life, that I hate you, and that you should feel bad.”