Thread: Is there such thing as infinity?

1. 1/-0 = ?

Overnumerousness.

I'm not entirely sure if it applies to the concept of the universe though. I haven't been that far.

2. Argue with my High School math teacher guys.. not me please??..

PM me for her details, if you feel that strongly about what she taught me.

It's a pretty abstract concept.. therefore I am sure no answer is correct, nor can we use math to explain something abstract.
It's fun trying though.

3. for those interested in mathematics history and philosophy, David Foster Wallace's book, on the history of infinity is fascinating! and, of course b/c it's DFW, extremely witty and well-written. highly highly recommend.

4. Infinity may exist in reality, but we will never be able to prove its existence.

5. Originally Posted by EcK
As I was saying to thatgirl on vent, infinity is a direction, not a destination
Eck I am putting this in my sig. I love it.

6. Originally Posted by Arclight
Argue with my High School math teacher guys.. not me please??..

PM me for her details, if you feel that strongly about what she taught me.

It's a pretty abstract concept.. therefore I am sure no answer is correct, nor can we use math to explain something abstract.
It's fun trying though.
Your math is neither correct, nor not correct. It's complicated. Think of it this way:

There's a sequence of numbers (1/2),(1/3),(1/4),(1/5)...(1/0)
and then you've got 1/(1/2), 1/(1/3), 1(1/4)...+∞ (ie. 2,3,4...+∞)

On the other hand you have (-1/2),(-1/3),(-1/4),(-1/5)...(-1/0)
and 1/(-1/2), 1/(-1/3), 1(-1/4)...-∞ (ie. -2,-3,-4...-∞)

So you want to "define" (1/0) as infinity (you want to give it that value). Despite the fact that ∞ isn't a real number, we'll call it a real number here for argument's sake.

So we've got our whole numbers increasing until positive infinity and we have our fractions going down further towards our limit of (1/0). But wait, now we've named that number ∞. Is it +∞ or -∞ if the other numbers are all increasing towards +∞?

Ok, well, let's look at it from the other side. We have our negative integers decreasing towards -∞ and our negative fractions going up towards....what? +∞? -∞? Oh no what do we call it??

We can't just call it negative or positive based on how we feel about it at that time (or based on which direction we're approaching it from - whether from the positive integer's viewpoint or the negative integer's viewpoint). So we say that (1/0) is undefined and infinity isn't a number.

It makes things much less messy and our mathematical axioms remain flowery and virginal.

7. Ok, let's think in 2nd grade math.

If we give 1 apple to 0 people, will it result in an infinity of apples per person?

8. We're infinite aren't we? Our physical body is at least, because it can't be destroyed. Energy is infinite. It's not really a time, and it isn't space, it's what occupies that space. Anything that occupies space is a form of energy and therefore is infinite. Mathematically infinity can't really have a -/+ because it's everywhere and doesn't travel anywhere. It just is.

9. Subatomic particles (quarks and electrons) are the smallest thing we know of that matter and energy are made of:

That's why we built a particle collider.

10. I believe infinity is highly plausible.

In the context of quantum physics, an electron cannot be cut in half - but mathematically it can.

So mathematically - you can have 1/2 of an electron, then cut that half by another half, and that half by another half, and that half by another half ...

In reality, an electron is the smallest form of matter in existence and cannot be broken down further.

However, given that there is a LIMIT as to how small matter can get, there is no limit as to how MUCH matter exists. Therefore, the theory of infinity is plausible.

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