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08/14/2015

What Does Infinity Mean and How Do You Use It?

Infinity is endless, but it is hard to grasp just what "endless" means. It is not a destination that you never reach, because there is no destination. It cannot grow, it cannot be measured, and it is a concept completely outside our realm of existence. Even our entire universe has an end, so infinity is beyond everything we know.

Examples of Infinity

Every number we know is finite, though many numbers have infinite properties. For example, 1/3 is finite, but when we write it in decimal form, it becomes 0.333333.... with the threes repeating infinitely. We call this "0.3 repeating." There is no end to the 3s, so they go on infinitely. There are infinite numbers in between each number. Even between 0.9 and 1, there are infinite numbers. There is 0.91, 0.92, 0.911, 0.921, and on and on. Similarly, even the shortest line segment has an infinite number of points.

Large Numbers

We can imagine, or at least create very large numbers. A Googol, from which the company Google derives its name, is a 1 followed by 100 zeroes. We can go even bigger. A Googolplex is a 1 followed by a Googol zeroes. The number is so large, there is not enough matter in the universe to write down all the zeroes. To compensate for this shortcoming, mathematics uses scientific notation to write very large numbers.  is a Googol, 10 to the power of 100. A Googolplex is , 10 to the power of (10 to the power of 100). No matter how big we make the number, we will eventually get there, so they are not even close to infinity.

For Tutoring in Herndon, VA

If your child is struggling with math concepts, check out the academic programs available at The Tutoring Center in Herndon. We offer one-to-one tutoring help in math, writing, reading, and test preparation. Call 703-459-9945 and ask for a free diagnostic assessment.

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