"Graham's number, named after Ronald Graham, is a large number that is an upper bound on the solution to a certain problem in Ramsey theory. This number gained a degree of popular attention when Martin Gardner described it in the "Mathematical Games" section of Scientific American in November 1977, writing that "In an unpublished proof, Graham has recently established ... a bound so vast that it holds the record for the largest number ever used in a serious mathematical proof." The 1980 Guiness Book of World Records repeated Gardner's claim, adding to the popular interest in this number. Graham's number is much larger than other well-known large numbers such as a googol and a googolplex, and even larger than Skewes' number and Moser's number, other well-known large numbers. Indeed, it is not possible, given the limitations of our universe, to denote Graham's number, or any reasonable approximation of it, in a conventional system of numeration. Even "power towers" of the form ((a^b)^c)^...))) are useless for this purpose, although it can be easily described by recursive formulas using Knuth's up-arrow notation or the equivalent, as was done by Graham. The last ten digits of Graham's number are ...2464195387.
Specific integers known to be far larger than Graham's number have since appeared in many serious mathematical proofs (e.g., in connection with Friedman's various finite forms of Kruskal's theorem)."
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