“To infinity and beyond” is a familiar catchphrase, but what is infinity? Is it a real thing? And what’s the opposite of infinity? How can something be infinitesimally small?
Mathematician Dr. Sophie Calabretto is the expert on this ride. She explains:
“Infinity is this concept we use to describe something that doesn’t have a bound… we think of the natural numbers, which are just the counting numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. It’s something bigger than that. So it’s not actually a number, but it’s something a number can tend towards. Nothing ever reaches infinity, it can just get closer to infinity.”
An applied mathematician and fluid mechanist in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Macquarie University in Australia, Dr. Calabretto then explains infinity’s opposite, which is different in reality than it is mathematically. And she shares one more very important concept:
“Everyone’s great with numbers. They just don’t realize they’re good with numbers yet. Or no one’s talked with them about numbers in a way that makes sense to them.”
Watch more unique math videos on TKSST:
• The Sphere-Packing Problem
• How to equally share a cake between three people
• How high can you count on your fingers?
• The Story of Zero – Getting Something from Nothing
• Charles and Ray Eames’ Powers of Ten (1977)
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