### How much is a Trillion? : Can you say National Debt, I knew you could.

Current National Debt according to the “U.S. National Debt Clock” for today March 16, 2009 as of 12pm EST.

10,997,537,033,705.24

(over Ten Trillion dollars)

(http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/)

With this little factoid in mind, I wondered how many people ask “What *is* a Trillion, anyway?”

Since I love numbers, and I especially like to see what the numbers mean in context; I came up with some comparative figures for your enjoyment. After all when someone says a Billion dollars is “just a drop in the bucket”, shouldn’t we know how big that bucket is?

For Example, if one person spent one penny per second; to spend one trillion dollars it would take 31,688.76 years, or arguably twice as long as humans have had civilization.

If the person spent one dollar per second, it would take 316 years, or longer than America has been a nation.

If the person spent one hundred dollars per second, it would take 31.6 years, or just shy under the minmum age to be President.

If the person spent one thousand dollars per second, it would take roughly four months; which if you earn $25,000.00 per year it would take less than the span of the average commercial to spend a year’s wages at this rate.

Let’s begin.

—————————————————————————–

One Billion:

1,000,000,000

10^9

Total base pairs in the genome: approximately 3×10^9 base pairs in the human genome

Total possible unique IPv4 addresses (web addresses): 4,294,967,296

Total web pages: approximately 8×10^9 web pages indexed by Google as of 2004

Total stars in our galaxy: approximately 4×10^11 stars in the Milky Way galaxy

One Trillion:

1,000,000,000,000

10^12

Total fish in the ocean: 3,500,000,000,000 (est.)

Total number of ants on the Earth: 200,000,000,000,000 (est.)

Total known digits of pi: As of 2002, the number of known digits of pi was 1,241,100,000,000.

One Quadrillion:

1,000,000,000,000,000

10^15

Total number of human cells in the body: 1,000,000,000,000,000 (10^14)

(the rest are bacteria, etc.) (est.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orders_of_magnitude_(numbers)

Measurements for scale:

One Trillion:

One Trillion pennies

Value: $10,000,000,166.40

(Ten billion, one hundred and

sixty-six dollars and forty cents)

If the pennies where laid out into a cube form–

Width: 273 feet

Height: 273 feet

Thickness: 273 feet

Total weight: 3,125,000 tons

Height stacked: 986,426 Miles

Area (laid flat): 89,675.2 acres

(http://www.kokogiak.com/megapenny/fourteen.asp)

Km Trillions of Pennies stacked: 1,587,498.76 km

( or approx to from the moon 3.92 times at its farthest distance )

One Quadrillion:

One Quadrillion pennies

Value: $10,000,670,883,840.00

(Ten trillion, six hundred seventy million, eight hundred

eighty-three thousand, eight hundred and forty dollars

and zero cents)

If the pennies where laid out into a cube form–

Width: 2,730 feet

Height: 2,730 feet

Thickness: 2,730 feet

Total weight: 3,125,000,000 tons

Height stacked: 986,426,768 Miles

Area (laid flat): 89,675,161 acres

(http://www.kokogiak.com/megapenny/seventeen.asp)

Km Quadrillions of Pennies stacked: 1,587,500,000.52 km

( or approx to from the moon 3,919.75 times at its farthest distance )

The average distance to the Moon is 382,500 km. The distance varies

because the Moon travels around Earth in an elliptical orbit. At perigee, the point at

which the Moon is closest to Earth, the distance is approximately 360,000 km. At

apogee, the point at which the Moon is farthest from Earth, the distance is approximately

405,000 km.

(http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav

/materials/listbytype/Distance_Moon.html)

Last but not least:

To Get One Trillion Dollars, each $ below would be worth: $ 204,081,632.65

To Get One Quadrillion Dollars, each $ below would be worth: $ 204,081,632,653.06

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