The Nature of Infinity — and Beyond

An introduction to Georg Cantor and his transfinite paradise

Georg Cantor showed a markedly artistic streak as a child and was reportedly an outstanding violinist. His surname ‘Cantor’ in latin means ‘singer’ or ‘musician’. When he in 1867 — at the age of 22 — completed his doctoral thesis at the University of Berlin, he named it In re mathematica ars propendi pluris facienda est quam solvendi which in English reads “In mathematics, the art of asking questions is more valuable than solving problems”. Later renowned as a legendarily deep thinker, Cantor would grow up to be the man who dared both ask and answer one of the deepest and most fundamental questions of all:

How big is infinity?

Commonly thought unanswerable, Cantor in the 1870s, ‘80s and ‘90s introduced radical new ideas about the answer to this question which established set theory as a new branch of pure mathematics. This article hopes to introduce you to his most notable work, and its implications. Continue reading

Read the full essay in Cantor’s Paradise on Medium