The Infinite Book
A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless
Everything you might want to know about infinity - in history and all the way to today's cutting-edge science.
Infinity is surely the strangest idea that humans have everthought.Where did it come from and what is it telling us about ourUniverse?Can there actually be infinities? Or is infinity just a labelforsomething that is never reached, no matter how long you go oncounting?Are infinities like numbers, with some bigger than others, andoneinfinity at the top, bigger than all the rest? Can you do aninfinitenumber of things in a finite amount of time? Is the universeinfinite?Is it infinitely old and will it continue to exist forever? Ismatterinfinitely divisible into ever-smaller pieces? But infinity isalso theplace where things happen that don't. All manner of strangeparadoxesand fantasies characterise an infinite universe. If ourUniverse isinfinite then an infinite number of exact copies of you areat thisvery moment reading an identical sentence on an identicalplanetsomewhere else in the Universe. So what is it like to live inaUniverse where nothing is original, where you can live forever,whereanything that can be done, is done, over and over again? These aresomeof the deep questions that the idea of the infinite pushes us toask.Throughout history, the infinite has been a dangerous idea. Manyhavelost their lives, their careers, or their freedom for talking aboutit.The Infinite Book will take you on a tour of these dangerousquestionsand the strange answers that scientists, mathematicians,philosophers,and theologians have come up with to deal with its threatsto oursanity.
Praise for The Infinite Book
Praise for The Book of Nothing: 'Barrow explains nothing withgreat clarity, a lovely lightness of touch and enormous erudition. Hehas written an eligible bachelor of a book - witty, suave, rich andimmensely learned.' Spectator
Praise for Theories of Everything: 'An exhilarating journey thatcuts across a vast terrain of conceptuall and marks: from physics tometaphysics, mathematics to philosophy, and from mythology totheology.' New Scientist
Praise for Impossibility:'For as good an account as you're going to get of where science stops,read this book.' Nature