Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer Limits of Mathematics – Eugenia Cheng

Review From User :

Maths As Art Form

If you find it hard to tell your reals from your naturals or can't remember why infinitely repeating decimals aren't irrational, then this may be the book for you. A charming sortie into the poetry of mathematics, a guided tour of what they didn't teach you in school: how numbers work and what it means to say that there are an infinite number of them. Cheng knows how to make a narrative with a beginning, middle and end, and with just the right touch of humour. Beyond Infinity is an enlightening, understandable, readable introduction to the abstract art of mathematics. You may or may not want to practice that art after reading it, but you will certainly have an appreciation for the excitement and beauty of mathematics that you didn't have before.

Category: Science

Imagine something small enough to fit in your head but too large to fit in the world – or even the universe. What would you call it? And what would it be? How about…infinity?
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In Beyond Infinity, musician, chef, and mathematician Eugenia Cheng answers this question by taking listeners on a startling journey from math at its most elemental to its loftiest abstractions. Beginning with the classic thought experiment of Hilbert’s hotel – the place where you can (almost) always find a room, if you don’t mind being moved from room to room over the course of the night – she explores the wild and woolly world of the infinitely large and the infinitely small. Along the way she considers weighty questions like why some numbers are uncountable or why infinity plus one is not the same as one plus infinity. She finds insight in some unlikely examples: planning a dinner party for seven billion people using a chessboard, making a chicken-sandwich sandwich, and creating infinite cookies from a finite ball of dough all tell you more about math than you could have imagined.

An irresistible book on the universe’s biggest possible topic, Beyond Infinity will beguile and bewitch you and show all of us how one little symbol – ∞ – can hold the biggest idea of all.

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