Infinity Symbol in Math and History

In math, the infinity symbol is used and treated just like it is a number, but this number isn’t a specific one. It only represents the concept of endlessness. In metaphysics, this symbol is associated with stability and harmony. In Chinese philosophy, the symbol ∞ is linked to good luck and success. Actually, every person has a kind of own imagination about the concept of infinity: for some people it means freedom, for others it means life, love, or such.

The concept of infinity in sciences is quite interesting. It can be both obvious and not really clear. For example, it is supposed that there is an infinite number of odd and even numbers, but at the same time only a half of the known numbers is odd, and only a half is even ones. Some scientists are totally convinced that the universe is infinite, but at the same time some believe that it is actually not.

Infinity can also be linked to a concept of growing without limits. Thus, infinity can be associated with motion as well. This can be used both in physics and in mathematics as well, when we are dealing with the concepts of limits or x → ∞ Finally, when dealing with a variety of series, infinity can also be linked to endless repetition. There are many infinite sums and products used in mathematics, like telescoping series, Leibnitz series, geometric series, etc.

Historically, the works of Aristotle, Archimedes, and Zeno of Elea are among the most significant ones related to infinity and numerous paradoxes linked to it. According to Aristotle, “If everything that exists has a place, place too will have a place, and so on ad infinitum”. Zeno was a philosopher who was interested in uniting the concept of mathematical infinity and philosophy. According to him, the concept of infinity is connected with duality, uncertainty, and even motion.

He came up with one of the most interesting paradoxes connecting infinity and limits. Zeno was talking about a wheel with a mouse running inside of it. We can clearly see the size and dimensions of the wheel; we can measure and record those. But the mouse running in the wheel has a feeling that it will never end. Thus, the mouse can believe that the wheel is infinite.

Other paradoxes involving infinity related ideas include Koch’s snowflake linked to finite area with infinite border. Some paradoxes are quite old like the ones of Achilles and the Tortoise, or the one linking infinity and probability. But there are some relatively modern paradoxes like the one of infinite rod or rectilinear paradox.

There are a few ways to display the infinity symbol using HTML codes. Probably, the easiest way is to use the menu Insert, select the option Symbol and then find the Infinity Sign among the symbols offered by the computer. You can also copy paste the infinity symbol from this very website or any other one directly to your document or any other place you need. Finally, it is possible to use the infinity code in your document. See some examples below: