Davis student loves "hella" big numbers

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March 2, 2010 7:53:32 PM PST
A UC Davis student is getting some attention these days.

You are probably familiar with kilo, giga and tera, though you may not know they refer to units of 10. The highest named reference is yotta, or 10 to the 24th.

Student Austin Sendek is petitioning to make "hella" the official prefix for 10 to the 27th; that's ten and 27 zeros, or a trillion trillions.

Twenty-thousand people have signed Sendek's petition.

One expert says the name would come in handy for measuring Internet traffic or even the national debt. However, the scientific group in charge of accepting new names says it is unlikely "hella" will be adopted.

By most accounts, the word "hella" originated in San Francisco, meaning "many." More uses and definitions of the word can be found at urbandictionary.com.