Some of us may have heard the term ‘infinity’. It is a common term in mathematics, especially in the so-called calculus. Well, it is common to write infinity as , and it is used to describe a very big number. The problem is, how big is it?
Well, in my very opinion, and this is not commonly known by many students, infinity is not a number. It is just a concept. This way, we can’t perform ordinary operation in it. We can’t measure its magnitude. It’s beyond our usual quantities we usually encounter everyday: how much money we have, distance between our home to school; and even how much cells we have in our body.
We, human, live in environment which we can measure. When something we wish to quantify is not in our field of measurement, we tend to quantify them as either zero or infinity. We have ‘no interest’ in quantify them. Well, I like to rephrase infinity as something larger than everything we could possibly quantify. For example, think of a positive number. Not large enough? Double it. Then triple it. Then square it. No matter how hard you try to make that larger, infinity is something larger than it.
Of course, infinity is used in different ways in different fields on math. You won’t wish to know :p