Synopses & Reviews
An examination of Infinity in history and science with excursions into literature, philosophy and religion, written by one of the most successful writers of popular science.
Infinity is surely the strangest idea that humans have ever thought. Where did it come from and what is it telling us about our Universe? Can there actually be infinities? Or is infinity just a label for something that is never reached, no matter how long you go on counting? Can you do an infinite number of things in a finite amount of time? Is the universe infinite?
But infinity is also the place where things happen that dont. All manner of strange paradoxes and fantasies characterize an infinite universe. So what is it like to live in a Universe where nothing is original, where you can live forever, where anything that can be done, is done, over and over again?
These are some of the deep questions that the idea of the Infinite pushes us to ask. Throughout history, the Infinite has been a dangerous idea. Many have lost their lives, their careers, or their freedom for talking about it. The Infinite Book will take you on a tour of these dangerous questions and the strange answers that scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, and theologians have come up with to deal with its threats to our sanity.
Barrow takes readers on a grand tour of the history and meaning of infinity, from the paradox of Zeno's arrow to string theory to the simple idea of the infinity of integers to complex notions of infinity in the physical world.
About the Author
John Barrow is Research Professor of Mathematical Sciences in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of several bestselling books including: Theories of Everything, Impossibility, and The Book of Nothing.