# What does infinity mean in mathematics?

##### 1 Answer

See explanation...

#### Explanation:

Various concepts of infinity appear in different places in mathematics in different ways.

One of the basic axioms of standard set theory is that there is an infinite set. In some formulations of set theory you would use the set of natural numbers

Once you start talking about "the set of Natural numbers", you are effectively talking about "completed infinities". Once you start to entertain that idea, then you may find more than you expected.

An infinite sequence of elements from a set

#a_1, a_2, a_3,...#

For example, the formula:

#a_n = 3 - 1/n#

defines a mapping from

#2, 5/2, 8/3, 11/4, 14/5, 17/6,...#

The terms of this monotonically increasing sequence are all numbers between

Is it possible to enumerate all of the numbers between (say)

The answer is a fairly definitive "No".

A mathematician called Georg Cantor showed that if you had such a sequence of numbers then you could always construct a number that was not in the list.

This implies that there are infinities larger than the number of Natural numbers.

This subject is much larger than you might think.