Qui non trovi bufale!


What's the infinite symbol origin?

mobius strip rendered2

The infinite symbol look like number 8 turned horizontally. What's the origin? The fascinating concept of infinite extension, no limits spaces and time, have it's mathematic definition and use. One of the possible origins of the use of this particular symbol is the moebius strip by the name of its inventor. The symbol is obtained by folding a strip of rectangular paper. The trick is to make the opposite vertices of short sides coincide. Everybody can build a moebius strip. It's simple. Cut a rectangle of paper with the long side at least five times the short one, then fold the strip by rotating one of the short sides by 180 degrees. By overlapping the two short sides now, a single-face surface is obtained.


All the usual surfaces have two sides. If we imagine the surfaces without thickness, to go from one face to the other it would be necessary to pierce the surface.

If you pass a finger on this surface it will travel endlessly, so much so that it inspired the famous artist Escher who represented ants that walk endlessly on this surface.mobius strip

The use of this symbol probably derives from this endless walkability. Infinity comes from the Latin and is a word composed of << in >> and << finitus >> where the prefix << in >> has a value of privation (or negation) and << finitus >> indicates something limited (literally confined ). The surface itself is finished, while a possible path made on the surface itself does not end. The genesis of the symbol is possibly different, but this fascinating interpretation of the same remains.


What is infinity? Infinity is a philosophical and mathematical concept that has not been easy to define and understand. The reason is simple: we are used to dealing with the physical world that surrounds us, made up of objects that are sometimes enormous, but always endowed with limits. Yet it is not difficult to imagine an infinite set and the example provides us with the set of natural numbers, that is, those that the human being has first conceived, derived from the innate need to count things. The set of natural numbers consists of the numbers 1,2,3, .... that we all use since we are small to count the objects. Is there a number beyond which there are no others? The answer is naturally not. In fact, if we think of the largest number that our mind can imagine and we indicate it with a letter, for example "n", the number n + 1 is certainly bigger. There is no last number. The set of natural numbers is the simplest example of infinity. Modern mathematics has taught us that there are different types of infinity. There are infinite "infinitely many" of others. The set of real numbers (those with decimals in practice) is a kind of larger infinity (it is said to have the power of the continuous) ... etc ... but on this we could talk endlessly :-)