# How to Comprehend Infinity

## Defeating the ‘Final Boss’ of Abstract Thinking

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We constantly use the word infinity in both our conversational language and to describe scientific concepts. However, infinity as a physical concept is impossible to visualize. One example is the statement ‘the Universe is infinite’. It’s a fine statement to make, but no human being can visualize an infinite universe. You can articulate that the universe is infinite, but you cannot appreciate what that actually means in terms of physical appearance.

I can actually prove this, under the assumption that our lives are finite. Here’s my proof. Imagine that you are visualizing the universe. You start at a point in your visualization and you move forward. One of two things happen. Either you stop visualizing and make a comment like ‘and so on forever’. Thereby you have made your visualization finite. Or you never stop moving forward in your visualization until you die, and then you have stopped and your visualization is finite.

So, in order to understand and work with infinite quantity, we need to think about it abstractly. We need to develop a way of understanding infinity that does not require diagrams or visuals. Luckily, that is what mathematicians are very, very good at.

## How do mathematicians think about infinity?

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Pure and Applied Mathematician. LinkedIn Top Voice in Tech. Expert and Author in Data Science and Statistics. Find me on LinkedIn, Twitter or keithmcnulty.org