Bright spark one: “Infinity is the biggest number in the world, that’s easy!” Bright spark two: “Well I’ve got a bigger number for you – infinity plus one!” Bright spark one again: “I’ve got a number to beat yours – infinity plus one, times a million!” The definition of infinity in mathematics states that no matter how big a number is, you can always add 1 to it, and it becomes larger. By continually doing this, a number can always get larger – forever, or “infinitely”. Nevertheless, large numbers have an intellectual fascination and are of mathematical interest, and giving them names is one of the ways in which people try to conceptualize and understand them. In the 17th century, with the introduction of the infinity symbol and the infinitesimal calculus, mathematicians … It is often denoted by the infinity symbol ∞. One of the earliest examples of this is The Sand Reckoner, in which Archimedes gave a system for naming large numbers. What is the largest number ever used? The largest number ever used in a mathematical proof is Graham’s number. It is currently listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest number. Because numbers are infinite, and any number can be made larger by simply adding to it, the largest number in the world is defined as the largest number that has a name. Since the time of the ancient Greeks, the philosophical nature of infinity was the subject of many discussions among philosophers. Infinity represents something that is boundless or endless, or else something that is larger than any real or natural number. The largest named number in the world is a googolplexian.

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