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Secrets of Infinity: 150 Answers to an Enigma
Secrets of Infinity: 150 Answers to an Enigma Secrets of Infinity: 150 Answers to an Enigma Secrets of Infinity: 150 Answers to an Enigma

* Book Type:


Publisher: Firefly Books

Author Statement: Antonio Lamúa, editor
Audience: Trade
Specs: full color throughout, index
Pages: 320
Trim Size: 7 1/2" X 8 1/2" X 1 1/16"
Language code 1: eng
Publication Date: 20130802
Copyright Year: 2013
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Secrets of Infinity: 150 Answers to an Enigma

Secrets of Infinity examines infinity as it has been studied since antiquity, beginning with the classical figures from Greece and Rome. In an entertaining and practical way, readers will discover that infinity is not limited to the mathematical concept as represented by the symbol nor its metaphysical concept as the indefinable concept of eternity, but in fact, it resides in a variety of disciplines, a multitude of contexts and has a far-reaching influence on human existence.

Secrets of Infinity organizes the 150 articles into six subject areas:

  • Science: e.g., Henrietta Lacks -- Her death in 1951 from uterine cancer at the age 31 did not end her existence. Her doctor took a tissue sample from the tumor and developed the first continuous culture of human cells and thus the first immortal cell line in history, known as HeLa.
  • Mathematics: e.g., Googol -- Edward Kasner (1878-1955) devised the googol to show how huge infinity is through a number so large that it is unimaginable but still not even close to infinity.
  • Technology: e.g., TA-65 -- Recently, researchers at Sierra Sciences discovered the TA-65, which could be the chromosomal catalyst to stopping, slowing or even reversing the aging process, bringing us closer to the myth of eternal youth.
  • Art: e.g., The Endless Stairs of the Vatican -- Little did the Vatican Museums know in 1932, when the stairs were built, that this formation could represent life itself, with the discovery of the DNA double helix chain in 1953.
  • Philosophy: e.g., René Descartes, the Infinite and God -- According to Descartes, the idea of infinity has been imposed by a nature that is higher than human, and can only come from this nature being infinite, so he interprets that the existence of infinity confirms the existence of God.
  • Symbology: e.g., The Labyrinth -- A labyrinth is a route made up of streets and crossroads with an ingenious and complex structure whose design variations are endless, especially in the case of the rhizome labyrinth, which has infinite ramifications.

Engaging and free of jargon, Secrets of Infinity helps to demystify the elusive infinity and bring it closer to modern concepts and understanding. Thinking readers and students will find enjoyment and insight on its pages.

Bio:

Antonio Lamua has a background in science and is a regular contributor to international magazines. He is also the author of The Secrets of Science.

Preface:

INTRODUCTION

The concept of infinity is a highly complex enigma, and its meaning has been considered by many disparate approaches. Thus the best method to elucidate the topic for the general reader is to explore infinity as it is studied by particular fields, including science, mathematics, technology, art, philosophy and symbology.

One useful starting point, one we find at the heart of any discussion of infinity, is the notion that what is infinite is never-ending, although beyond that starting point the arguments and ideas diverge in seemingly endless ways.

In antiquity, the idea of infiinity was studied by classical philosophers from Greece and Rome, such as Zeno of Elea, Parmenides, Archimedes and Pythagoras. Aristotle was the primary figure who, around 350 BC, established a school of thought regarding infinity that would be further articulated by succeeding scholars.

One of Aristotle's greatest contributions to the study of infinity was the idea that "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." In more recent times, mathematician Georg Cantor used set theory to further explore this concept, now known as Cantor's Theorem.

Yet no single theorem or thinker has proven capable of forming a "complete" vision of infinity. Analysis of multiple approaches from varied sources is necessary to begin to capture its true scope.

This book offers 150 different angles from which to consider the unresolved enigma that is infinity. And though the discussion remains unresolved, this exploration is sure to be illuminating.

TOC:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

SCIENCE

    COMPONENTS OF LIFE ON EARTH MAY HAVE ARRIVED HERE FROM THE INFINITE
    EINSTEIN AND PARALLEL UNIVERSES
    THE NEUROPLASTICITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN
    PASCAL'S TRIANGLE
    THE OSCILLATING UNIVERSE AND THE BIG BOUNCE
    RAYLEIGH-JEANS ULTRAVIOLET CATASTROPHE
    CORNU SPIRAL
    THE MOST REMOTE AND DEEPEST IMAGE OF THE UNIVERSE
    OLBERS' PARADOX
    THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE
    WILLIAM PEPPERELL MONTAGUE AND ETHER
    THE PARADOX OF THE UNSTOPPABLE FORCE
    THE VACUUM FLUCTUATION
    THE OLDEST ORGANISM IN THE BIOSPHERE
    FOUCAULT'S PENDULUM
    THE RING THAT CROSSES THE MILKY WAY
    THE IMMORTAL JELLYFISH
    DARK MATTER, INFINITE PROPULSION
    APEIROPHOBIA
    THE DIRAC SEA
    THE INFINITE UNIVERSE OF ISAAC NEWTON
    THE SPACE-TIME DIMENSION
    THE INFINITE COOPERATION
    THE CHAOS THEORY
    PLANCK UNITS
    WHITE HOLES
    HALLEY'S COMET
    ZERO-POINT ENERGY
    THE SUPERFLUIDITY OF HELIUM
    THE QUANTUM VACUUM
    DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID, AN INFINITE HELIX
    BLACK HOLES
    STRING THEORY
    THE INFINITE MICROBIOTA
    THE ULTRACENTRIFUGE
    DIVISIBILITY OF THE ATOM
    QUANTUM TUNNELING
    RUTHERFORD-BOHR ATOMIC MODEL
    MENDEL'S LAWS
    DARK MATTER
    CHARLES DARWIN AND EVOLUTION
    THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS
    WAVES
    THE INDESTRUCTIBILITY OF MATTER
    THE CARBON CYCLE
    THE GAIA HYPOTHESIS
    THE TARDIGRADE
    COLORS

MATHEMATICS

    LEIBNIZ'S INFINITESIMAL CALCULUS
    MENGER'S SPONGE
    NUMBER e
    THE FOUR COLOR THEOREM AND INFINITE COUNTRIES
    THE INFINITE MONKEY THEOREM
    GEORG CANTOR AND THE THEORY OF SETS
    THE GOLDEN NUMBER
    THE MÖBIUS STRIP
    THE ARCHIMEDEAN SPIRAL
    THE DÜRER SPIRAL
    THE LOGARITHMIC SPIRAL
    THE FIBONACCI SEQUENCE
    MANDELBROT FRACTALS
    THE PARADOX OF THE GRAND HOTEL
    TORRICELLI'S TRUMPET
    PEDRO NUNES AND THE LOXODROME
    AVOGADRO'S NUMBER
    THE GOSPER CURVE
    THE LEMNISCATE
    DIVISION BY ZERO
    THE THEORY OF PROBABILITY
    LEGO, INFINITE INTERCONNECTABILITY
    THE GOOGOL AND GOOGOLPLEX
    EUCLID'S THEOREM
    THE MERSENNE PRIMES
    SQUARING THE CIRCLE
    THE UNPUBLISHED THEOREM BY PIERRE DE FERMAT
    L'HOPITAL'S RULE-DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS
    FERMAT'S SPIRAL
    MARKOV CHAINS
    THE POINCARÉ HYPERBOLIC PLANE
    THE LEVIATHAN NUMBER
    LAKES OF WADA
    A LEGEND ABOUT CHESS
    GÖDEL'S INCOMPLETENESS THEOREMS
    KOCH SNOWFLAKE

TECHNOLOGY

    STORAGE OF SOLAR ENERGY
    FUEL FROM PHOTOSYNTHESIS
    THE ATMOS CLOCK
    TA-65, LIVING INFINITELY
    INFINITE LOOP PROGRAMMING
    THE INKLESS METAL PEN
    THE BULB THAT NEVER GOES OUT
    THE ITER NUCLEAR FUSION REACTOR
    WIND ENERGY
    THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER
    SOLAR ROADWAYS
    RUBIK'S CUBE
    NANOTECHNOLOGY
    QR CODES
    USB MEMORY WITH INFINITE CAPACITY
    ATOMIC PRECISION
    TISSUE ENGINEERING
    ISAAC ASIMOV AND THE GROUP MIND
    GRAPHENE
    THE SOUND BARRIER

ART

    THE INFINITE WORKS OF M.C. ESCHER
    THE ENDLESS STAIRS OF THE VATICAN
    WAGNER'S INFINITE MELODY
    ANDREA POZZO AND THE INFINITE
    EDGAR ALLAN POE'S EUREKA
    THE METRONOME
    EDVARD MUNCH'S INFINITE SCREAM
    THE DROSTE EFFECT
    LEOPARDI'S INFINITE
    CARDINAL POINTS AND THE INFINITE DIRECTIONS
    PARALLELS AND PROJECTIVE GEOMETRY
    THE PAINTER OF NUMBERS
    THE INFINITY OF JORGE LUIS BORGES
    NICCOLÒ PAGANINI AND PERPETUUM MOBILE
    SOLOMON'S KNOT
    YAYOI KUSAMA AND HER INFINITY NETS

PHILOSOPHY

    ANAXIMANDER AND THE INFINITE COSMOLOGY
    COPERNICUS AND THE HELIOCENTRIC VIEW
    GIORDANO BRUNO AND THE INFINITE
    KANT AND THE ANTINOMY OF INFINITY
    THE HEGELIAN DIALECTIC AND THE INFINITE
    PASCAL AND THE TWO INFINITES
    RENÉ DESCARTES, THE INFINITE AND GOD
    ZENO OF ELEA AND THE INFINITE PARADOX
    EPICURUS, THE VOID AND THE INFINITE
    SPINOZA AND THE THEORY OF THE INFINITE MODES
    ARISTOTELIAN PHYSICS OF INFINITY
    VOLTAIRE AND INFINITY
    INTUITIONISM
    THE TAO
    SCHOPENHAUER AND WILL
    THE ETERNAL RETURN

SYMBOLOGY

    THE TIBETAN BUDDHIST ENDLESS KNOT
    MANDALAS
    THE LABYRINTH
    AZTEC SUN STONE
    OUROBOROS
    THE BORROMEAN RINGS
    THE EGYPTIAN HIEROGLYPHIC EYE OF HORUS
    THE CELTIC TRISQUEL
    ISLAM AND THE INFINITE
    HEH, THE GOD OF ETERNITY
    LIMBO
    KARMA: HE WHO SOWS, REAPS
    THE PHOENIX
    THE FOUNTAIN OF ETERNAL YOUTH

PHOTO CREDITS
INDEX

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