# Why use standard (index) form for large numbers?

Example 1

It makes long distances easier to understand

At the furthest point of its orbit Pluto is over 4,583,000,000 miles from the sun. This can be written in standard form as 4.583times10^9 miles.

Example 2

It makes large numbers easier to understand

The world population is:

7.4times10^9 people

Or

7,400,000,000 people

Which is easier to understand?

We think 7.4times10^9 people.

Example 3

It makes large masses easier to understand

The mass of the Earth is

6times10^24 kg

Or

6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000kg

Or

6 Sextillion kg

Which is easier to understand?

We think 6times10^24 kg