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, Eugenia 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.
Eugenia Cheng is Honorary Fellow in Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield and Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was educated at the University of Cambridge and did post-doctoral work at the Universities of Cambridge, Chicago and Nice. Since 2007 her YouTube lectures and videos have been viewed over a million times. A concert pianist, she also speaks French, English and Cantonese, and her mission in life is to rid the world of maths phobia. She is the author of How to Bake Pi.
“Beyond Infinity is witty, charming, and crystal clear. Eugenia Cheng’s enthusiasm and carefully chosen metaphors and analogies carry us effortlessly through the mathematical landscape of the infinite. A brilliant book!” – Ian Stewart, author of Calculating the Cosmos.
Praise for How to Bake Pi
“It would be wonderful if this book attracted a new audience to the field. And there’s no better ambassador (or dinner-party host, I’d wager) than Eugenia Cheng.” – Alex Bellos, New York Times.
“A concert pianist, mathematician, polyglot and now YouTube star, Cheng has carved out quite a niche for herself demystifying maths through cake. It’s a Beautiful-Mind-meets-Scott-Pilgrim kind of mission, and Cheng brings to it an ebullient enthusiasm that’s infectious.” – the Guardian.