## Infinity

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Dean
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Infinity 2012-02-13 18:29:41

Recently I've been thinking a fair bit about the concept of infinity. Mainly because of what I'm being taught on one of my courses, but the more I think about it, the closer my head comes to exploding.

I always just assumed infinity was, well, infinite. Something that never ends, which is a bit of a mind fuck in its own right if you stop for a few minutes and just think about it. Things got even more confusing when I was told that there isn't just one infinity, but several. Some infinities are larger than others. In fact, some infinities make other infinities seem tiny in comparison.

Think about numbers. You know that natural numbers (0, 1, 2, 3...) are infinite, but then if you stop and think about the rational numbers (0.0001, 0.0002, 0.0003...) you realise there's an infinite amount of them between each pair of natural numbers. Thus, the set of rational numbers is infinitely times larger than the set of natural numbers, which itself is infinite, right?

Anyway, I just find this interesting in a slightly nerdy way. I thought I'd try and get you guys to let your brains ponder for a minute or two.

Questions:
- Does it makes sense to you that some infinities are larger than other infinities?
- What other naturally occurring things make your head come close to exploding when you think about them?

Also, discuss infinity and stuff.

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chubzilla100
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Response to Infinity 2012-02-13 18:41:40

At 6 minutes ago, Dean wrote: Questions:
- Does it makes sense to you that some infinities are larger than other infinities?
- What other naturally occurring things make your head come close to exploding when you think about them?

Also, discuss infinity and stuff.

Oh god, my head has melted onto the floor. Infinity is crazy. There's a finite amount of sand on the beaches, but more sand then stars, which is far too many to count, and it's not even close to infinite. That hurts me inside, that we cant count close to how much infinity is, but it's just something we have to deal with.

Although I'd never thought about the inbetweens of number, and how theres as many between each number then there is infinity. Or infinity -1, because that last 1 makes it a whole number again. Or something, I'm confused right now .

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saltovergray
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Response to Infinity 2012-02-13 18:47:16

I have a fear of the concept of infinity and the like.

All of it causes panic attacks, so I try not to think about it.

FairSquare
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Response to Infinity 2012-02-13 19:05:41

My brain just exploded into an infinite amount of pieces

Kwing
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Response to Infinity 2012-02-13 19:21:13

At 47 minutes ago, Dean wrote: - Has your head exploded yet?

Not even close.

- Does it makes sense to you that some infinities are larger than other infinities?

Infinity is and always will be equal to infinity, and infinity can only be understood when put into a context which is finite, such as a range. For instance, I can say that between the numbers 1 and 5 you have 5 natural numbers and an infinite amount of decimal numbers... But taken out of the concept of between X number and Y number, that makes no sense. You can't compare two infinite numbers, or even one.

- What other naturally occurring things make your head come close to exploding when you think about them?

Nothing. My mental capacity is either above average, or everybody else's is below average. Or maybe you just think everyone else's mental capacity is below average.

Long enough to post this, not much longer. So about a minute and a half.

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a21
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Response to Infinity 2012-02-13 20:30:43

At 1 hour ago, Dean wrote:
- Does it makes sense to you that some infinities are larger than other infinities?

At the beginning, it would seem rational number infinities are larger than naturals, but if they both go on for ever, how is one larger than the other?