Fact 13: Graham's number will make your head implode - literally
Fact: Graham’s number is so large, that if you were to think it, your head would implode into a black hole.
Explanation: Graham’s number is an unimaginably (literally!) huge number that is a solution to a problem in graph theory. The problem is (you needn’t understand it to get the facts explanation, I just leave it here for completeness’s sake): if we take an n-dimensional cube, connect all its vertices to each other and colour these lines either red or blue, what is the lowest number of dimensions for which there will always be at least one ‘slice’ of this cube with all lines either red or blue?
Graham’s number is the upper bound of the answers to this problem, i.e. whatever the answer is, it is less than Graham’s number. How big is it? Well, think of it as a tower of 64 layers. Each layer is used to calculate the layer above it and the final layer is Graham’s number. The first, smallest number is so massive in itself, that it wouldn’t fit in the universe if each digit took up a space of one novendecillion (one followed by sixty zeroes) smaller than the volume of an electron, called a Planck volume.
But how will that make your head explode? Well, the universe has an interesting quality - information is a thing. A certain volume of space can hold a certain amount of information in it. The interesting bits is that as black holes suck in more and more things, they suck in more and more information as well. If you were to imagine the Graham’s number digit by digit, or even the first layer, your head would contain too much information for the volume it occupies. The information overload would cause your brain to implode, leaving a black hole where it used to be.
And who said maths can’t kill you.