how many cells?

Nina Koch ARHS nkoch at
Tue Apr 9 12:33:06 EST 1996

Hi-- I teach high school math in AMherst, Mass.  In my
Quantitative Reasoning class, we're exploring the realm of big
numbers.  I challenged my kids to come up with something to
count that there might be a googol of.  I don't think it will
be anything physical (since even atomic particles is only
10^87 or so), but they suggested counting all the cells in all
the organisms in the world.  I know it's well short of a googol,
but I have no idea of the order of magnitude.

Can anybody give me any facts I can use to put together a
rough estimate?  Like how many organisms are there in the
world?  how many cells in various broad categories of things?
we could start with humans, I guess.

tell me anything you know that might help here.


email to:   nkoch at


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