The Second Order Intercept Point, also known as the SOI or IP2, is a measure of linearity that quantifies the second-order distortion generated by nonlinear systems and devices.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-order_intercept_point The third-order intercept point (IP3, IP3 or TOI) is a measure for weakly nonlinear systems and devices, for example receivers, linear amplifiers and mixers. It is based on the idea that the device nonlinearity can be modeled using a low-order polynomial, derived by means of Taylor series expansion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-order_intercept_point Besides being a measure of nonlinearity i'm trying to understand what a high number means vs. a low number.

For example if i have two amps, one that measures 10 for IP2 and one that measure 1000 for Ip2 what is the difference? Does the first produce higher distortion? What about IP3?

Someone explain this to me like you woulld to a first grader, I will be very appreciative.