INFINITYFrom time immemorial, infinity has stirred the passions of men more than any other matter. It is hard to find an idea that has stimulated the mind in likewise fruitful way, but no other concept has more need of clarification.
Infinity is a conquest of thought: it is the testimony that the intellect, although starting from the experience, can overcome limits and boundaries.
Today we represent the infinity
using the symbol, attributed to John Wallis
, considered by Newton
the greatest English mathematician in the seventeenth century.
The concept of infinity is one of the ideas that most interested, fascinated, but also scared the human beings in the course of history.
To infinity is anything that has no limit in extent, amount, and duration. The word itself admits it in many languages: in-finito
... where the prefix is intended to negate the meaning of the root word that indicates limit.
Although since the dawn of human history this entity has never been directly connected to practical problems, there have been many ideas from which the concept of infinity originated, as, for example, the innate human desire to explore beyond the known world, which has always had a limit.
The immensity, the unclear, the immeasurable have often given rise to different opinions, even sharply opposed. Pythagoras of Samos
(c. 570 BC – c. 495 BC) regarded negatively the idea of infinity, because it showed no regularity, completeness and harmony.
This entity is very difficult to imagine on the whole.
We began to speak of infinity only thanks to the development of mathematical thinking, which managed to break away from practical problems and reached a more abstract and wider level.
Using the natural numbers
, we can realize the infinity, since it is possible to add 1 to any number, as many times as we want. From this, we deduce that the natural numbers can be connected to the points of a half-line: they have an origin but do not have an end. For more, if we type any number on an enough powerful calculator and divide it repeatedly for 2, for 3 or for any other number, we will notice that, even in the small, there exists an infinity: the so-called infinitesimals
As long as we talk about abstract numbers, however, the infinity remains imaginary, the result of human genius, but is there any chance that it actually exists? Maybe no one will ever find out, but will be content to hypothesize it or deny it.
Gif source: http://beesandbombs.tumblr.com/Read my other post
" A fractal is a way of seeing infinity
": https://plus.google.com/+annaritaruberto/posts/DTdUWBtiET1Further reading
:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/writing/infinity.htm#mathematics #science #ScienceSunday #scienceeveryday #scienceongoogleplus