purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (mathematics)
As you do, I remarked in passing to my in-laws that infinity plus one was not the same as one plus infinity. This gem of wisdom was duly repeated by my niece and nephew to their mathematics teacher who retorted that I was wrong and, moreover, there was no such thing as infinity. I was therefore requested, in turn, to provide a one page explanation* which could be shown to said mathematics teacher.

Now, it must be said, I don't like to undermine the fine teachers of mathematics who, I suspect, have a hard enough job as it is performing their task without random aunts interfering. On the other hand, a challenge has been laid down.

First of All, Wittgenstien )

So, physically speaking, the mathematics teacher is correct. There is no such thing as infinity. However I bet he's going to teach his class about imaginary numbers at some point and they don't exist either.

Secondly, Transfinite Mathematics )

footnotes )

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/34109.html.
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (mathematics)
As you do, I remarked in passing to my in-laws that infinity plus one was not the same as one plus infinity. This gem of wisdom was duly repeated by my niece and nephew to their mathematics teacher who retorted that I was wrong and, moreover, there was no such thing as infinity. I was therefore requested, in turn, to provide a one page explanation* which could be shown to said mathematics teacher.

Now, it must be said, I don't like to undermine the fine teachers of mathematics who, I suspect, have a hard enough job as it is performing their task without random aunts interfering. On the other hand, a challenge has been laid down.

First of All, Wittgenstien )

So, physically speaking, the mathematics teacher is correct. There is no such thing as infinity. However I bet he's going to teach his class about imaginary numbers at some point and they don't exist either.

Secondly, Transfinite Mathematics )

footnotes )

MP40

Jul. 6th, 2009 12:28 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
40 Years ago Oxford decided to offer a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy. This weekend past there were celebrations.

Talks, The Somerville Maths and Philosophers and an amusing anecdote about Hilbert under the cut )

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