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Written by Moo on Wednesday, 4/24/2002


(C)opyright 4-24-2002 by Moo Cow Moo (Mike Christiansen)
All Rights Reserved

Any correlation between these written theories and any theories you have is purely coincidental.

All credit is given to theories by other people, with permission.

Hey, Moo here. I decided to write about infinity in this article.

Infinity. What is infinity? Infinity is "the assumed limit of a sequence, series, etc., that increases without bound." (1) To most people, infinity is the last number that exists. Ask any math teacher, and they'll tell you that there IS no last number. They just keep going, and going, and going.... Anyway. If the last number is infinity, and there is no last number, does infinity exist?

One of the most common ways to get infinity is dividing by zero. Yes, I know, all through math, you've been told it's a no-no. Well, you /can/ divide by zero. Here's one theory about dividing by zero : "look
at the sequence of numbers 1/(1/2), 1/(1/3), 1/(1/4), ... . Notice that the bottoms of the fractions are 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, ..., and that they're going to zero. So if there's a limit to this sequence, we would take that number and call it 1/0. So let's see if there is. Well, the sequence turns out to be 2, 3, 4, ..., and that goes to infinity. Since infinity isn't a real number, we don't assign any value to 1/0. We just say it's undefined." (2)

So we got the idea that we CAN divide by zero. but how do we get that it's infinity? Well, it all goes back to elementary school. Say you have 4 apples, and you wanna split it evenly between 2 people. Thats 4/2. Each person gets 2 apples. If we wanna give the apples to 1 person, each person (the only one) gets 4. Now, ignoring the apples and people (which limits us to integers), we can say 4/.5. That's 8. This continues, until the bottom reaches 0, then we stop. So we can say that x in k/y=x varies inversely with y. That can be illustrated here.

               y |\
                 | \
                 |  \
_________________|___\______ x

Allright. So we reach 0. What happens? Well, we want to divide 4 into 0 groups. That kind of presents a problem, cuz we HAVE to put the 4 items SOMEWHERE. That's why most mathmeticians call it undefined.

So we never reach infinity. We just keep going and going and going.... Well, if in k/y=x x varies inversely with y, then as x approaches infinity, y approaches 0. Well, we never reach infinity. Do we ever reach 0? Since we never do, does zero exist? Well, thats for next time. Cya and thanks for reading!


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   Finished 4-24-2002 10:30 PM EDT 409 words

article discussion

posted by santos on Thursday, 5/16/2002:

i would have to disagree with you moo. first, i think for most people, the concept of infinity conjures up the idea of that which is without end, not the "last number that exists." therefore, if your premise that "infinity" is the last number that exists is false, your conclusions, is also necessarily false. your logic may be correct, but your conclusion is false. secondly, the bottom number increasing will not eventually reach zero--another false premise. that is an assumption that you have made. third, you cannot reach infinity. it is a concept not an integer. it is not meant to be reached, but to be considered in relationship to a sequence of something.

posted by santos on Thursday, 5/16/2002:

(cont.) finally, just because we cannot cognitively reach or understand something, does not mean we must deny the plausibility of its existence. otherwise, interesting thoughts. j

posted by jethro on Saturday, 5/18/2002:

Dividing by zero does explain infinity. The reason no number is divisible by zero is because zero in it self isnt a number. how can you take nothing away from something

posted by jethro on Saturday, 5/18/2002:

damnit its not suppose to say does, its suppose to say doesnt

posted by *smartyr on Friday, 5/24/2002:

You all must read Isaac assimov's essay on infinity. I t goes on to this and much, much more. like take all numbers versus just evens. you would assume that there are more nubmers.half to be exact. But just like the regular numbers the evens never stop so there can never be more of one than the other. There are more IN PROPORTRION, but never actually can we say that there are more evens, odds, or more of any type of number. There is some real mind blowing shit in there. IT really boggles the mind

posted by Moo on Thursday, 6/6/2002:

well screw you too for proving my first article somewhat wrong... :-( just jokin, lol

Anyway, thanks for the comments!

posted by Xun on Wednesday, 6/19/2002:

What about the question of x^0?

can you raise something to the zero power and get one? or it is undefined?

posted by dhruv on Saturday, 7/13/2002:

here's another thought on infinity:
where number systems are concerned, think of all whole numbers (i.e. 0,1,2,3...) against all natural numbers (i.e. 1,2,3...).
The only difference is whole numbers include 0, whereas natural numbers start from 1.
Both systems, however, go on to infinity.
Yet it can be claimed that the number of whole numbers (mathematically 'n(W)') will always be greater than the number of natural numbers ('n(N)') because they have 0 also.
Yet both systems have infinite numbers.
So if n(W)= infinity
and n(N)= infinity
how can n(W) > n(N)?
does that extra '0' even count?

posted by dhruv on Saturday, 7/13/2002:

or is this a flaw in the concept of 'infinity' as an unreachable number?
if it is unreachable, it may be immaterial by mathematical standards (even concepts need grounding).
if it is immaterial then n(W) > n(N), but otherwise, {0,1,2,3...} has the same amount of numbers as {1,2,3...}.

Doesn't it?

posted by dhruv on Sunday, 7/14/2002:

sorry, i read my comments back today and they seem a little convoluted in their phraseology.
what i meant was,
n(N) = infinity

posted by dhruv on Sunday, 7/14/2002:

bcoz N={1,2,3...infinity}

n(W) = infinity
bcoz W={0,1,2,3...infinity}

so isn't n(W)=n(N)?
what about the extra 0?

relating this to infinity's unreachability is done above.

posted by Myles Handley on Friday, 12/6/2002:

posted by Myles Handley on Friday, 12/6/2002:

posted by Ryan Calderoni on Sunday, 1/19/2003:

infinity... seems like it would be an exsistence capable of limitless expansion, but, infinity is only in your head, because you can think of a number like 3 or 27, and you know that you can always count up, it's assumed that you can always add on, ONLY IN YOUR HEAD, everything real is finite, because no matter or energy is ever created or destroyed, it is just changed from one form to the other, which says to me that the amount of anything never changes, it can't grow, the limit is the fact that it can't expand beyond itself.

Just looking at it from a new angle.

posted by Ryan Calderoni on Sunday, 1/19/2003:

::ahem:: seems like just another math concept, bah, intelligence is the downfall of man.

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