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Picture of a billion dollars by [1]

Billion has meaning of large amount of something; Billion is almost equivalent of specification A lot of.

Also, billion can be interpreted as an integer number; its value may vary from \(10^{9}\) to \(10^{12}\). [2].

Use of this term billion indicates that even the order of magnitude of the quantity cannot be estimated.

The term is often used by pseudo–scientists and journalists who cannot estimate even orders of magnitude of quantities they are talking about.

Examples of the use

The economical cost of mitigation of the damage due to the Fukushima disaster is estimated to be of order of 10 trillion yen or 124.55 billion dollars [3]. Perhaps, the author mean the USA dollars. Then, if one knows the relation between Japanese yen and the USA dollar, one can write the equation for the possible meanings of words trillion and billion and guess the order of magnitude of the quantity mentioned; giving the estimate of \(10^{14}\) dollars of order of magnitude of cost of the nuclear energetics to Japan. On the other hand, the practice of use of words without certain meaning, like billion and trillion, indicates the bad will or poor education of the authors, causing doubts in any information they distribute.


  1. What does one TRILLION dollars look like?
  2. How many is a billion? In British English, a billion used to be equivalent to a million million (i.e. 1,000,000,000,000), while in American English it has always equated to a thousand million (i.e. 1,000,000,000). British English has now adopted the American figure, though, so that a billion equals a thousand million in both varieties of English.
  3. TEPCO officials suggested the costs of compensation and decontamination could double to 10 trillion yen (dollaR124.55 billion), making greater government support vital. November 07, 2012


Trillion, Confuson