Here's What a Googol-to-One Gear Ratio Looks Like

posted by Jason Kottke Mar 05, 2020

To celebrate being alive for a billion seconds, Daniel Bruin built a machine with 100 gears with a 10-to-1 gear ratio...meaning that the overall gear ratio is a googol-to-one. (A googol is 1 with 100 zeros.)

This machine has a gear reduction of 1 to 10 a hundred times. In order to get the last gear to turn once you'll need to spin the first one a google [sic] amount around. Or better said you'll need more energy than the entire known universe has to do that. That boggles my mind.

You can watch the machine spin for an hour — it's kinda relaxing:

Bruin says his machine was inspired by Arthur Ganson's Machine with Concrete, a contraption whose gears spin so slowly that the final gear is embedded in concrete. (via digg)