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And Now for Something Completely Different: “Infinity is bigger than you think.”

From Numberphile aka Mathematics explained so clearly you actually think you understand it.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • toastsniffer September 21, 2020, 11:26 AM

    Ah noes lots uh numbrs.

    R u shaykin in ur bootz yit?

  • mary September 21, 2020, 11:38 AM

    Will there be a test? My brain hurts.

  • John Venlet September 21, 2020, 11:50 AM

    Dr. Grimes reminds me of my trigonometry teacher in 11th grade, Ms. Baugh, who asked the class one time, in all seriousness, after our grumbling about the amount of trig homework she assigned, “Don’t you just do math problems for fun?” The answer was a resounding “No.” Me thinks Dr. Grimes would’ve answered “Yes.”

    Infinity is evidently quite large.

  • Jewel September 21, 2020, 12:29 PM

    I was innumerate until I was a senior in high school. I was sent to the dumb jock class to learn basic math. By the end of my last year, I not only loved math, but wanted more. Our teacher was the football coach. Our team sucked on the field, and so did the band in the stands, but the man could explain math. Later, much later, I discovered Khan Academy and Bach. Bach is pure math.
    Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUHQ2ybTejU

    Now, even later in my life, I have discovered the fun of mental math, via Audible, with a series of lectures on calculation from left to right, and this is what we started teaching the boy in the homeschool.

  • Chris September 22, 2020, 6:40 AM

    Mental math is awesome. Our boys learned it in the German school system. Then we came back to the States and “show your work” math classes. The teachers wouldn’t accept mental math answers, with no work shown. I asked the boys to demonstrate what they were doing. It blew me away.

  • Rob Muir September 22, 2020, 9:05 AM

    This is a great video. It reminds me of a conversation that Richard Feynman reportedly had with a young Henry Bethe. RF told HB that there were twice as many numbers as numbers. HB said that there were not and RF said name a number. HB did and RF just doubled that. That went on for a bit until HB realized that there was no largest number. RF said that is the concept of infinity. The exchange is recreated in the film Infinity with Matthew Broderick.

    In grad school, I took a class on Real Analysis from a Brit who reminds me of this guy. I think that we already understood those two types of infinity, and then he introduced us to the Cantor set which has some really strange properties. He showed us how this set is uncountably infinite, nowhere dense, and topologically closed. That was completely counterintuitive. After that class, I really got interested in fractal geometries which offer much the same kind of properties.

    I wasn’t and am not that interested in pure math, so engineering is more my thing. When things go uncountable in hardware or software, you generally end up melting down.