UC Davis Grad Student "Hella" Loves Big Numbers

New name proposed for numerical shorthand

By Jackson West
|  Tuesday, Mar 2, 2010  |  Updated 1:30 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
UC Davis Grad Student "Hella" Loves Big Numbers

Ingorrr / Flickr

Yes, that is Hello Kitty done up as Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton.

advertisement

Austin Sendak, a graduate student in physics at the University of California, Davis wants to put a new name to a very large number.

Currently the largest number with a designated prefix is the "yotta," or ten to the 24th (one followed by 24 zeroes). As in, "Google probably processes yottabytes of data every day."

Sendak suggest that ten to the 27th, currently unnamed under the International System of Units, be given the prefix "hella" in honor of Northern California's contributions to science.

From Sendak's petition on Facebook:

Under this designation, the complexity of high-magnitude nomenclature would be greatly reduced. For example, the number of atoms in 120 kg of carbon-12 would be simplified from 6,000 yottaatoms to 6 hellaatoms. Similarly, the sun (mass of 2.2 hellatons) would release energy at 0.3 hellawatts, rather than 300 yottawatts.

"Hella" as a slang term for "a lot" or "very" is widely attributed to the Yay Area, with an Urban Dictionary user pinpointing at Hunters Point in San Francisco. (Don't tell your friends in their Hella Love Oakland tees.)

And of course the petition made news on Boing Boing, meaning hella nerds are on board.

So get with it, International Bureau of Weights and Measures. Gives us our due for providing slang for your mouths.  And science, of course.

Photo by Flickr user Ingorrr.

Jackson West has been saying hella since he was a kid.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Bay Area Proud
Bay Area Proud is NBC Bay... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out