Counting the grains of sand with Archimedes

Photo by Michael Olsen on Unsplash

Archimedes (287–212 BC) invented a method of describing large numbers for purely theoretical purposes, to show that the number of grains of sand contained in the universe was not infinite, but just very large. This is how the Arénaire begins:

There are people, O King Gelon, who think that the number of grains of sand is infinite. I am