Nugget of Knowledge: Factorial nugget

Len uses a deck of cards to demonstrate a factorial

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – How many ways can you arrange the cards in a regular deck of 52 cards?

Take just four cards as an example: You multiply 4x3x2x1 and that equals 24. Mathematicians call that a factorial.

Take five cards. How many combinations can you get?


How about a deck of 52 cards?

That’s 52x51x50x49, and so on.

The answer: 8.07×10 to the 67th power, or 8 followed by 67 zeros — more combinations than all the possible ways to combine the atoms on Earth.

Start shuffling at the¬†beginning of the universe — 13 billion years ago, and you still wouldn’t have reached all the combinations today. It will take millions and millions of more years.

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