High School Math

MISSION STATEMENT: To encourage and promote a greater use of the internet and computer technology in the math classroom. For educators, students, parents and homeschoolers.

Saturday, January 29, 2005



Infinity is from a Latin word which literally means that which is unlimited or unbounded. Originally it was applied to things that were unmeasureably large. It has come to mean the largest number imaginable. The origin of the theory of limits has also led to the need for a word that expressed the idea of things growing smaller and smaller without bound.

The symbol we now use for infinity, was first used by John Wallis (1616-1703) in 1655. Why he used it seems lost to history. The Late Romans used a symbol like two hooked together zeros, 00, for the number 1000. Or perhaps, it is a variant of the lowercase symbol for Omega, the last letter in the Greek alphabet, to symbolize the "final number" in a sense.

There was a young fellow from Trinity
Who took the square root of infinity
But the number of digits,
Gave him the fidgets;
He dropped Math and took up Divinity.
-- George Gamow

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