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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 (1810-1857) 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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