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Extended Power Multipliers

Copy of an e-mail proposing terminology for quantities multipled by 1020–1090, taking bigger steps than the 103-based SI system.

I was just thinking that although the current naming of powers of 10 (million, billion etc.) and SI multiplier prefixes[Open External Link in New Window] (k M G T P E) are very useful, the current system based on steps of 103 gives diminishing returns past about 1018 or "Exa-", where the original prefixes stopped.  There has been a recent standard that adds "Zetta-" and "Yotta-" for 1021 and 1024 but somehow these seem too 'close together' in some way and still fall far short of the numbers like 10−34 that appear in quantum theory.  Also, "quintillion" for 1018 scans quite well but "sextillion" and "septillion" sound contrived.

So I was thinking about a new system, based on steps of 1010 starting from 1020 (a "metric" rather than imperial scale if you like).  The easiest names I could think of were "twentillion" for 1020, "thirtillion" for 1030, etc. up to "nintillion" for 1090 which comes just before the already establised "googol" at 10100. Physics doesn't tend to go much higher than that (also there is unofficially a "zillion" defined as 1010 which fills a gap if necessary).  The power prefixes could be two-letter ones (Tw Th Fo Fi Si Se Ei Ni), though Ei clashes with the binary "exbibyte" EiB = 260 bytes, so Eg could be used instead for 1080. Not sure if these would work well in speech 5×1022 J would be "500 twentijoules"?

Haven't thought about the negative powers like 10−20, 10−30 yet either (beyond nano, pico, femto, atto).  10−34 m could be a million fourtometres?  (ending with 'o' to match the others)

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