Infinity and the Mind

The Science and Philosophy of the Infinite

Author: Rudy Rucker

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400849047

Category: Mathematics

Page: 368

View: 2017

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In Infinity and the Mind, Rudy Rucker leads an excursion to that stretch of the universe he calls the "Mindscape," where he explores infinity in all its forms: potential and actual, mathematical and physical, theological and mundane. Rucker acquaints us with Gödel's rotating universe, in which it is theoretically possible to travel into the past, and explains an interpretation of quantum mechanics in which billions of parallel worlds are produced every microsecond. It is in the realm of infinity, he maintains, that mathematics, science, and logic merge with the fantastic. By closely examining the paradoxes that arise from this merging, we can learn a great deal about the human mind, its powers, and its limitations. Using cartoons, puzzles, and quotations to enliven his text, Rucker guides us through such topics as the paradoxes of set theory, the possibilities of physical infinities, and the results of Gödel's incompleteness theorems. His personal encounters with Gödel the mathematician and philosopher provide a rare glimpse at genius and reveal what very few mathematicians have dared to admit: the transcendent implications of Platonic realism.

Mind Tools

The Five Levels of Mathematical Reality

Author: Rudy Rucker

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486492281

Category: Mathematics

Page: 328

View: 454

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Originally published: Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987.

Infinity and the Brain

A Unified Theory of Mind, Matter and God

Author: Glenn Dudley

Publisher: Paragon House

ISBN: N.A

Category: Religion

Page: 384

View: 1056

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Infinity and the Brain offers a unique and logical solution to the mind-body problem. The book proposes that the relationship between mind and body is understandable only to the measure that we and our brains are unceasingly dependent upon the immanence of God. Part I explains why this is true based on how all physical structure tends to dissipate, thus moving toward its own nonexistence-a process that links the stability of all organized matter, including the brain, to the infinitude of God. The book explains why, were it not for the expectable wholeness of an image and a concomitant restraint of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, matter itself would be impossible. Part II theorizes that we have necessarily been made "in the image" of God if we are to explain the brain's homuncular design, a design by which the release of structurally-bound energy-in the incipient absence of an image-parallels an accelerating movement toward infinitude. The only requirement is that the universe must be fundamentally God-centered and personal-so personal that perception is literally equivalent to the efficiency by which an organism expects and habituates to its own finitude as contrasted with the infinitude of God.

Infinity and Me

Author: Kate Hosford

Publisher: Carolrhoda Books

ISBN: 1467737917

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 32

View: 2408

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When I looked up, I shivered. How many stars were in the sky? A million? A billion? Maybe the number was as big as infinity. I started to feel very, very small. How could I even think about something as big as infinity? Uma can't help feeling small when she peers up at the night sky. She begins to wonder about infinity. Is infinity a number that grows forever? Is it an endless racetrack? Could infinity be in an ice cream cone? Uma soon finds that the ways to think about this big idea may just be . . . infinite.

Satan, Cantor, And Infinity And Other Mind-bogglin

Author: Raymond M. Smullyan

Publisher: Knopf

ISBN: 0307819825

Category: Games & Activities

Page: 270

View: 1541

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More than two hundred new and challenging logic puzzles—the simplest brainteaser to the most complex paradoxes in contemporary mathematical thinking—from our topmost puzzlemaster (“the most entertaining logician who ever lived,” Martin Gardner has called him). Our guide to the puzzles is the Sorcerer, who resides on the Island of Knights and Knaves, where knights always tell the truth and knaves always lie, and he introduces us to the amazing magic—logic—that enables to discover which inhabitants are which. Then, in a picaresque adventure in logic, he takes us to the planet Og, to the Island of Partial Silence, and to a land where metallic robots wearing strings of capital letters are noisily duplicating and dismantling themselves and others. The reader’s job is to figure out how it all works. Finally, we accompany the Sorcerer on an alluring tour of Infinity which includes George Cantor’s amazing mathematical insights. The tour (and the book) ends with Satan devising a diabolical puzzle for one of Cantor’s prize students—who outwits him! In sum: a devilish magician’s cornucopia of puzzles—a delight for every age and level of ability.

Master of Space and Time

Author: Rudy Rucker

Publisher: Running Press

ISBN: 0762441380

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 1401

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The real world is unbearable to madcap inventor Harry Gerber, so he uses his genius to twist the laws of science and create his own tailor-made universe. Master of Space and Time combines high physics and high jinks, blurring the line between science and magic. From a voyage to a mirror-image world where sluglike parasites make slaves of humanity, to trees and bushes that grow fries and pork chops, to a rain of fish, author Rudy Rucker—two-time winner of the Philip K. Dick Award—takes readers on the ultimate joyride. But once the gluons at the core of Harry's creation run out ... disaster looms for Harry and his friends.

Naming Infinity

A True Story of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity

Author: Loren Graham,Jean-Michel Kantor

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674032934

Category: History

Page: 239

View: 1677

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Looks at the competition between French and Russian mathematicians over the nature of infinity during the twentieth century.

A Brief History of Infinity

The Quest to Think the Unthinkable

Author: Brian Clegg

Publisher: Robinson

ISBN: 1472107640

Category: Mathematics

Page: 160

View: 8086

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'Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.' Douglas Adams, Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy We human beings have trouble with infinity - yet infinity is a surprisingly human subject. Philosophers and mathematicians have gone mad contemplating its nature and complexity - yet it is a concept routinely used by schoolchildren. Exploring the infinite is a journey into paradox. Here is a quantity that turns arithmetic on its head, making it feasible that 1 = 0. Here is a concept that enables us to cram as many extra guests as we like into an already full hotel. Most bizarrely of all, it is quite easy to show that there must be something bigger than infinity - when it surely should be the biggest thing that could possibly be. Brian Clegg takes us on a fascinating tour of that borderland between the extremely large and the ultimate that takes us from Archimedes, counting the grains of sand that would fill the universe, to the latest theories on the physical reality of the infinite. Full of unexpected delights, whether St Augustine contemplating the nature of creation, Newton and Leibniz battling over ownership of calculus, or Cantor struggling to publicise his vision of the transfinite, infinity's fascination is in the way it brings together the everyday and the extraordinary, prosaic daily life and the esoteric. Whether your interest in infinity is mathematical, philosophical, spiritual or just plain curious, this accessible book offers a stimulating and entertaining read.

Infinite Processes

Background to Analysis

Author: A. Gardiner

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1461256542

Category: Mathematics

Page: 306

View: 6622

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What shall we say of this metamorphosis in passing from finite to infinite? Galileo, Two New Sciences As its title suggests, this book was conceived as a prologue to the study of "Why the calculus works"--otherwise known as analysis. It is in fact a critical reexamination of the infinite processes arising in elementary math ematics: Part II reexamines rational and irrational numbers, and their representation as infinite decimals; Part III examines our ideas of length, area, and volume; and Part IV examines the evolution of the modern function-concept. The book may be used in a number of ways: firstly, as a genuine pro logue to analysis; secondly, as a supplementary text within an analysis course, providing a source of elementary motivation, background and ex amples; thirdly, as a kind of postscript to elementary analysis-as in a senior undergraduate course designed to reinforce students' understanding of elementary analysis and of elementary mathematics by considering the mathematical and historical connections between them. But the contents of the book should be of interest to a much wider audience than this including teachers, teachers in training, students in their last year at school, and others interested in mathematics.

The Beginning of Infinity

Explanations that Transform The World

Author: David Deutsch

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141969695

Category: Science

Page: 496

View: 6090

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A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe. They have unlimited scope and power to cause change, and the quest to improve them is the basic regulating principle not only of science but of all successful human endeavor. This stream of ever improving explanations has infinite reach, according to Deutsch: we are subject only to the laws of physics, and they impose no upper boundary to what we can eventually understand, control, and achieve. In his previous book, The Fabric of Reality, Deutsch describe the four deepest strands of existing knowledge-the theories of evolution, quantum physics, knowledge, and computation-arguing jointly they reveal a unified fabric of reality. In this new book, he applies that worldview to a wide range of issues and unsolved problems, from creativity and free will to the origin and future of the human species. Filled with startling new conclusions about human choice, optimism, scientific explanation, and the evolution of culture, The Beginning of Infinity is a groundbreaking book that will become a classic of its kind.

In Search of Infinity

Author: N.Ya. Vilenkin

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1461208378

Category: Mathematics

Page: 146

View: 6820

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The concept of infinity is one of the most important, and at the same time, one of the most mysterious concepts of science. Already in antiquity many philosophers and mathematicians pondered over its contradictory nature. In mathematics, the contradictions connected with infinity intensified after the creation, at the end of the 19th century, of the theory of infinite sets and the subsequent discovery, soon after, of paradoxes in this theory. At the time, many scientists ignored the paradoxes and used set theory extensively in their work, while others subjected set-theoretic methods in mathematics to harsh criticism. The debate intensified when a group of French mathematicians, who wrote under the pseudonym of Nicolas Bourbaki, tried to erect the whole edifice of mathematics on the single notion of a set. Some mathematicians greeted this attempt enthusiastically while others regarded it as an unnecessary formalization, an attempt to tear mathematics away from life-giving practical applications that sustain it. These differences notwithstanding, Bourbaki has had a significant influence on the evolution of mathematics in the twentieth century. In this book we try to tell the reader how the idea of the infinite arose and developed in physics and in mathematics, how the theory of infinite sets was constructed, what paradoxes it has led to, what significant efforts have been made to eliminate the resulting contradictions, and what routes scientists are trying to find that would provide a way out of the many difficulties.

Beyond Infinity

An expedition to the outer limits of the mathematical universe

Author: Eugenia Cheng

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1782830812

Category: Mathematics

Page: 204

View: 7428

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE Even small children know there are infinitely many whole numbers - start counting and you'll never reach the end. But there are also infinitely many decimal numbers between zero and one. Are these two types of infinity the same? Are they larger or smaller than each other? Can we even talk about 'larger' and 'smaller' when we talk about infinity? In Beyond Infinity, international maths sensation Eugenia Cheng reveals the inner workings of infinity. What happens when a new guest arrives at your infinite hotel - but you already have an infinite number of guests? How does infinity give Zeno's tortoise the edge in a paradoxical foot-race with Achilles? And can we really make an infinite number of cookies from a finite amount of cookie dough? Wielding an armoury of inventive, intuitive metaphor, Cheng draws beginners and enthusiasts alike into the heart of this mysterious, powerful concept to reveal fundamental truths about mathematics, all the way from the infinitely large down to the infinitely small.

The Mystery of the Aleph

Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and the Search for Infinity

Author: Amir D. Aczel

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 0743422996

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 6560

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Journeys into the work of Georg Cantor, a Russian-born German mathematician, who developed set theory and the concept of infinite numbers, but was condemned by his peers and spent many years in an asylum.

The Foundations of Mathematics

Author: Ian Stewart,David Orme Tall

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780198531654

Category: Fiction

Page: 263

View: 8597

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"There are many textbooks available for a so-called transition course from calculus to abstract mathematics. I have taught this course several times and always find it problematic. The Foundations of Mathematics (Stewart and Tall) is a horse of a different color. The writing is excellent and there is actually some useful mathematics. I definitely like this book."--The Bulletin of Mathematics Books

Achilles In the Quantum Universe

The Definitive History Of Infinity

Author: Richard Morris

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1627797505

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 2297

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Centuries ago, when the ancient philosopher Zeno proposedhis famous paradox involving Achilles and the Tortoise, he struck at the heart of one of science's most enduring and intractable problems: How do we define the infinite? From then on, our greatest natural philosophers, logicians, mathematicians, and scientists, from Aristotle to Stephen Hawking, have been stymied-and driven-by infinity. Acclaimed Science writer Richard Morris guides us on a fascinating, literate and entertaining tour of the efforts made throughout history to make sense of the mind-bending concept of the infinite. In tracing this quest, Morris shows us how each new encounter with infinity drove the advancement of physics and mathematics. Along the way, we encounter such luminaries as Galileo and Newton, Tycho Brahe and Giordano Bruno, and the giants of modern physics: Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Feynmann, Hawking, and numerous others. Beginning with simple logical puzzles and progressing to the latest cosmological theories, Morris shows how these same infinity problems helped spawn such groundbreaking scientific developments as relativity and quantum mechanics. Though in many ways, the infinite is just as baffling today as it was in antiquity, contemporary scientists are probing ever deeper into the nature of our universe and catching fleeting glimpses of the infinite in ways the ancients could never have imagined. Ultimately, we see that hidden within the theoretical possibility of an infinite number of universes may lie the answers to some of humankind's most fundamental questions: Why is there something rather than nothing? Why are we here?

Spectrums

Our Mind-boggling Universe from Infinitesimal to Infinity

Author: David Blatner

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408832453

Category: Science

Page: 192

View: 2395

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The universe is a mind-boggling place, full of things seemingly too big and too small to understand. How can we visualise the minuscule world of the atom and the vastness of our galaxy? How can we grasp a billionth of a second and a billion years? Or the freezing point of Helium and the heat generated by the blast of an atomic bomb? David Blatner's solution is to put these and many other 'inconceivable' items on six spectrums – numbers, size, light, sound, heat and time – that put them into a human perspective. Full of facts, illustrations and anecdotes, Spectrums proves that we really can make sense of our extraordinary universe. Visit spectrums.com for amazing interactive charts, videos and more

Geometry, Relativity and the Fourth Dimension

Author: Rudolf Rucker

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486140334

Category: Science

Page: 160

View: 2895

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Exposition of fourth dimension, concepts of relativity as Flatland characters continue adventures. Topics include curved space time as a higher dimension, special relativity, and shape of space-time. Includes 141 illustrations.

Jim and the Flims

Author: Rudy Rucker

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781940948096

Category:

Page: 284

View: 4715

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A wild romp that recasts the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in the 21st century surf-punk/slacker world of Santa Cruz and-the afterworld. Jim braves this world of "flims," hoping to bring his wife back from the dead.

The Mathematical Experience, Study Edition

Author: Philip Davis,Reuben Hersh,Elena Anne Marchisotto

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 0817682953

Category: Mathematics

Page: 500

View: 3292

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Winner of the 1983 National Book Award! "...a perfectly marvelous book about the Queen of Sciences, from which one will get a real feeling for what mathematicians do and who they are. The exposition is clear and full of wit and humor..." - The New Yorker (1983 National Book Award edition) Mathematics has been a human activity for thousands of years. Yet only a few people from the vast population of users are professional mathematicians, who create, teach, foster, and apply it in a variety of situations. The authors of this book believe that it should be possible for these professional mathematicians to explain to non-professionals what they do, what they say they are doing, and why the world should support them at it. They also believe that mathematics should be taught to non-mathematics majors in such a way as to instill an appreciation of the power and beauty of mathematics. Many people from around the world have told the authors that they have done precisely that with the first edition and they have encouraged publication of this revised edition complete with exercises for helping students to demonstrate their understanding. This edition of the book should find a new generation of general readers and students who would like to know what mathematics is all about. It will prove invaluable as a course text for a general mathematics appreciation course, one in which the student can combine an appreciation for the esthetics with some satisfying and revealing applications. The text is ideal for 1) a GE course for Liberal Arts students 2) a Capstone course for perspective teachers 3) a writing course for mathematics teachers. A wealth of customizable online course materials for the book can be obtained from Elena Anne Marchisotto ([email protected]) upon request.

Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity

Author: David Foster Wallace

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393241998

Category: Mathematics

Page: 384

View: 2660

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"A gripping guide to the modern taming of the infinite."—The New York Times. With a new introduction by Neal Stephenson. Is infinity a valid mathematical property or a meaningless abstraction? David Foster Wallace brings his intellectual ambition and characteristic bravura style to the story of how mathematicians have struggled to understand the infinite, from the ancient Greeks to the nineteenth-century mathematical genius Georg Cantor's counterintuitive discovery that there was more than one kind of infinity. Smart, challenging, and thoroughly rewarding, Wallace's tour de force brings immediate and high-profile recognition to the bizarre and fascinating world of higher mathematics.