Infinity

 

Infinity: 1. ( noun ) Unlimited extent of space, quantity, or time (eternity) 2. Boundlessness
Infinite: 1. ( adj. ) Being without limits of any kind 2.Endless, vast, inexhaustable, never-ending

 

"To see the World in a grain of sand,
And Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour ..."

Poem excerpt by William Blake

 

 

The word infinity comes from the Latin term infinitas or "unboundedness."

 

 

 

ANALEMMA: Plot of the Sun's Position in the Sky at Noon during an Entire Year

 

 

Origin of the Infinity Symbol

John Wallis (1616-1703) was one of the most famous English mathematicians of his day.

The symbol for infinity is first found in print in his 1655 book, The Arithmetica Infinitorum.

The Romans commonly used the infinity symbol for a thousand, just as today the word "myriad" is used for any large number, although in Greek it meant ten thousand.

( Some say that the infinity symbol might have been derived from the lowercase omega symbol. )

 

The History of the Infinity Symbol

 

Infinity Symbol

This symbol was first given its current mathematical meaning in
"Arithmetica Infinitorum" by the British mathematician John Wallis (1616-1703).

The symbol for infinity, first chosen by John Wallis in 1655, stands for a concept which has given mathematicians problems since the time of the ancient Greeks.

A case in point is that of Zeno of Elea (in southern Italy) who, in the 5th century BC, proposed four paradoxes which addressed whether magnitudes (lengths or numbers) are infinitely divisible or made up of a large number of small indivisible parts.

 

Lemniscate of Bernoulli

The infinity sign devised in 1655 by mathemetician John Wallis, was named lemniscus (Latin "ribbon") by mathemetician Bernoulli about forty years later.

The symbol itself is properly called a lemniscus, a latin noun which means
"pendant ribbon" and was first used in 1694 by Jacob Bernoulli (1654-1705)
to describe a planar curve now called the Lemniscate of Bernoulli.

The mathematical symbol for infinity is called the lemniscate.

 

Mayan Ouroboros

The infinity-snake, the ouroboros symbol (also, uroboros or uroborus) is a
serpent or a dragon biting its own tail (ourobÛroV means "tail swallower").


The symbol appeared in Egypt as early as 1600 BC, and independently in
Mesoamerica (Mayan Civilization).

It has been associated with the
entire Zodiac and the eternity of time.

The infinity-snake is the symbol of the perpetual, cyclic renewal of life.

The mythical dragon is said to be a derivative of the infinity-snake.

Draco the Dragon

 

 

See "Zeno's Arrow" paradox:

Zeno's Paradox

Click here for:

More Paradoxes

 

 

The lemniscate is patterned after the device known as a mobius strip (named after
the nineteenth century mathemetician August Ferdinand Mobius).

A mobius strip is a strip
of paper which is twisted and attached at the ends, forming an 'endless' two-
dimensional surface.

Click here: Make a Mobius Strip

Click here: Make a Mobius Loop Video

 

The religious aspect of the infinity symbol predates its mathematical origins.

Similar symbols have been found in Tibetan and Egyptian rock carvings and elsewhere depicted in the shape of a lemniscate, although a plain CIRCLE is
more common. The circle symbolizes infinity in Zen Buddhism,

as seen in the Yin-Yang symbol.

 

Below: Ouroboros

Below: August Ferdinand Mobius and the Mobius Loop (with M.C. Escher's Ants)

 

 

Master of the Art of Illusion

M.C. Escher

Click here to learn more about: The Art of M.C. Escher / M.C. Escher

Click here for: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

 

 

Above: Mobius Loop Bracelet

Mobius-inspired Sculpture...

The Mobius Loop as Art...

More Mobius...

Mobius Loop Lego...

 

 

Check out the following credit links:

Infinity1 * Infinity2 * Infinity3 * Infinity4 * Wildflower

 

Mobius-inspired Furniture and Play Structures...

 

 

Buzz Lightyear

Click here: Toy Story

Click here: To infinity and beyond

Click here: NASA Buzz Lightyear Games

 

 

Below: Buzz and Buzz

July 20, 1969 (Historic Moon Walk)

Click here: Apollo 11 Astronaut: Edwin Eugene "Buzz" Aldrin

Above: Neil, Michael, Buzz, and the Moon

What is the shape of pie? A CIRCLE of course!

Pi represents the circle. Circles represent infinity.

( Pi = 3.141592653589793238462643383 and on and on infinitely... )

Click here: Kaiter's Pi Page / What Pi Sounds Like

 

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch,

you must first invent the universe."

- Carl Sagan

 

 

 

Big Numbers and the Mega Penny Project:

Click here: The Penny Project / One Million Pennies / One Billion Pennies

Click here: How much is a Million / How much is a Billion / One Trillion

Click here: Googol / Googolplex / Googol / Googolplex

Google Search Engine: A "Googol" bits of information available.

______________________________________________________

To get a better sense of what one billion really is...

A billion seconds ago, it was the bicentennial year of 1976.

(31.7 years ago)

A billion minutes ago, the ancient Roman Empire was thriving.

(1,900 yrs. ago)

A billion hours ago, our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

(114,000 yrs. ago)

A billion days ago, Australopithecus, an ape-like creature related to an ancestor of modern humans, roamed the African savannas.

(2.7 million years ago)

A billion months ago, dinosaurs walked the earth during the late Cretaceous.

(82 million years ago)

A billion years ago, the first multicellular organisms appeared on Earth.

 

FYI: The universe is currently thought to be about 13.7 billion years old.

 

 

 

~ Infinity Photo Gallery ~

 

 

Draco the Dragon

 

 

The Wheel of Eternal Life

 

 

The Eternal Life Force

 

The Ouroboros Serpent as Symbol

 

 

Yin Yang: Infinite Opposites

 

Eternal Cycles

 

 

 

The Zodiac Cycle

 

 

 

"As above, so below."

 

 

Ouroboros