From the number of cells in our bodies to the size of the universe, big numbers have more to do with the 'real world' than you might suspect.
We all know that numbers go on forever, that you could spend your life counting and never reach the end of the line, so there can't be such a thing as a 'biggest number'. Or can there?
To find out, David Darling and Agnijo Banerjee embark on an epic quest, beginning with cells in the body, stars in the universe, and the time required for all black holes to evaporate.
Then things get serious.
Enter the strange, largely unexplored realm between the finite and the infinite, and float through a universe where the rules we cling to no longer apply. Encounter the highest number computable, infinite kinds of infinity and consider whether one infinity can be greater than another. At every turn, a cast of wild and wonderful characters threaten the status quo with their ideas, and each time the numbers get larger. Will they ever stop?
, Agnijo Banerjee
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Publication Date: 05 July 2022
Introduction 1 Of Sand and Stars 2 At the Limits of Reality 3 Maths Unbound 4 Up, Up and Away 5 G Whizz 6 Conway's Chains 7 Ackermann and the Power of Recursion 8 Figure This - If You Can 9 Infinite Matters 10 Growing Fast 11 Does Not Compute! 12 The Strange World of the Googologist 13 Bridge to Beyond 14 The Biggest Number of All Acknowledgements Bibliography Useful websites and webpages References
David Darling is a science writer, astronomer and tutor. He is the author of nearly fifty books, including the bestselling Equations of Eternity. He lives in Dundee, Scotland. Agnijo Banerjee is one of the world's most outstanding young mathematicians and a former student of Darling's. He was born in Kolkata, India, but has spent most of his life in Scotland. He is now continuing his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge. They are the authors of the Weird Maths trilogy.
Reviews for The Biggest Number in the World: A Journey to the Edge of Mathematics
'The brilliant combination of an accomplished science writer and a young mathematical prodigy has resulted in page after page that oozes enthusiasm, clarity and intrigue.' -- Bobby Seagull, on <i>Weirder Maths</i>