

Examples of Infinity
Name: reanna montgomery
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Question:
I want some examples of what goes on forever. What is infinite?
Replies:
Infinity is not 'a thing'  we don't know any practical
examples of infinity. It's a purely abstract concept  if
you can't see any logical reason why 'something' should
stop, you think of it as infinite. Like numbers: which
number is the biggest? Whenever you pick an actual number,
like 762454230347032457652734735874325875483248723423 or
whichever you like, you can always imagine that you add
something to it, like the number 1, and immediately you
have a bigger number.
To make things worse, 'infinite' isn't just 'infinite'.
Take the set of all integers: it's infinite. So is the set
of real numbers. But there are more real numbers than
integers  the 'infinite number of reals' is greater than
the 'infinite number of integers'. This can be proved, of
course, but not here. I may find a reference, if you're
interested.
jan p anderson
Check out an author named Rudy Rudkin for a very readable
account of the various "levels" of infinity.
billrob
"I can't help it, the idea of the infinite torments me."
Alfred de Musset (18101857)
I offer this as a physicist, not as a mathematician.
On the other hand, William Blake wrote:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
hawley
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Update: June 2012

