Name required for 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
Scientists are lobbying for a new word to help them describe numbers larger than 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, amid concerns that the current system of units is insufficient.
A campaign for "hella" to join the likes of "kilo", "mega" and "giga" as an internationally accepted prefix is attracting growing support.
More than 20,000 scientists, students and members of the public have signed an online petition backing the new quantity, which would be used for figures with 27 zeros after the first digit.
Currently the highest prefix allowed by the International System of Units (SI) is the "yotta", for 24 zeroes.
The amount of energy released by the Sun would be more elegantly expressed as 0.3 hellawatts than as 300 yottawatts
Hella is North Californian slang for "very" or "a lot of". Mr Sendek and his supporters argue that its adoption would be a fitting honour for the state's impressive record of scientific research.
If the change is approved, the hella would be the first new SI prefix introduced since 1991, when the International Committee for Weights and Measures approved yotta and zetta (21 zeroes).