The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless

Front Cover
Jonathan Cape, 2005 - Infinite - 328 pages
2 Reviews
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? Ot is infinity just a label for something that is never reached, no matter how long you go on counting? Are infinities like numbers, with some bigger than others, and one infinity at the top, bigger than all the rest? Can you do an infinite number of things in a finite amount of time? Is the universe infinite? Is the matter infinitely divisible into ever-smaller pieces? But infinity is also the place where things happen that don't. All manner of strange paradoxes and fantacies characterise an infinite universe. If our Universe is infinite then an infinite number of exact copies of you are at this very moment reading an identical sentence on an identical planet somewhere else in the 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 dark 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.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

The infinite book: a short guide to the boundless, timeless, endless

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Barrow, a mathematician and prolific popular science author (e.g., The Anthropic Cosmological Principle ), here surveys the intriguing topic of infinity. He approaches the subject from the viewpoints ... Read full review

Review: The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless

User Review  - Trever - Goodreads

Really like the book, great history and anthology of infinity. I could have done without all of the philosophy and astronomy, I was looking for more of a mathematical book. Great book in all. Read full review

Contents

Infinity Almost and Actual Fictitious and Factual
23
Welcome to the Hotel Infinity
41
Infinity Is Not a Big Number
51
Copyright

9 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2005)

John D. Barrow is a scientist who writes accessibly about astrophysics and cosmology for both the general reader and the expert. Born in 1952, in London, England, Barrow earned a B.S. degree with first-class honors from the University of Durham in 1974. Three years later he received his doctorate from Magdalen College, Oxford. He was a junior research lecturer in astrophysics at Oxford University from 1977 to 1980 and became a lecturer in astronomy at the University of Sussex in Brighton in 1981. With coauthor Joseph Silk, Barrow published The Left Hand of Creation: The Origin and Evolution of the Expanding Universe in 1983. The book, which explains particle physics and its application to the creation and evolution of the universe, quickly won praise for its lucid style. Barrow delved further into this topic in 1994 with The Origin of the Universe. In this work he explored such questions as the possibility of extra dimensions to space, the beginning of time, and how human existence is part and parcel of the origin and composition of the universe. Barrow's other books include Pi and the Sky; Theories of Everything; and The World Within the World. He has also contributed many articles to such professional journals as New Scientist, Scientific American, and Nature.

Bibliographic information