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Largest Number on the Calculator

We have such faith in our calculators.  It is hard to believe that they do not have the answers to ALL calculations, even in approximate form.

But, unfortunately, there is a point beyond which our calculator cannot compute.  Most calculators, including the TI-83+/84+, cannot handle numbers larger than 9.99999999 x 10 99
Numbers beyond this value create an overflow error.

As an example, the largest factorial that can be computed on the TI-83+/84+ is the factorial 69!.   The factorial 70! produces an overflow error.

It is possible to continue investigating some larger factorials by multiplying the decimal portion of 69!.

69! = 1.711224524 x 10 98
70! = (70 x 1.711224524) x 10 98
70! = 119.7857167 x 10 98 = 1.197857167 x 10 100

Sometimes, YOU are more powerful than your calculator!!!

 


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