Full details

  • Hardcover
  • $27.00 / $35.00 CAN
  • ISBN 13: 9780465094813

"Ms. Cheng's chatty tone keeps things fresh. She has a knack for folksy analogies, and at different points in the book she illuminates different properties of infinity by discussing Legos, the iPod Shuffle, snorkeling, Battenberg cakes and Winnie-the-Pooh... she does a great service by showing us non-mathematician schlubs how real mathematical creativity works."

--Wall Street Journal

"Our minds cannot truly grasp the concept of infinity, but Eugenia Chang takes us on a wild journey to help us in our search for it. It's a small, unassuming symbol, but it holds a giant idea. Cheng helps us understand the basics of infinity and then takes us on a ride to see its most lofty applications. From the practical to the entirely theoretical, this is a book to watch for."
--Paste Magazine

"The idea of infinity is one of the most perplexing things in mathematics, and the most fun. Eugenia Cheng's Beyond Infinity is a spirited and friendly guide--appealingly down to earth about math that's extremely far out."
--Jordan Ellenberg, author of How Not to Be Wrong and professor of mathematics at University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Beyond Infinity is witty, charming, and crystal clear. Eugenia Cheng's enthusiasm and carefully chosen metaphors and analogies carry us effortlessly through the mathematical landscape of the infinite. A brilliant book!"
--Ian Stewart, author of Calculating the Cosmos


"[Cheng] conveys the spirit of inventiveness and creativity in math... Refreshing is the word that keeps coming to mind."
--Steven Strogatz, as quoted in the New York Times

"Dr. Cheng...has a knack for brushing aside conventions and edicts, like so many pie crumbs from a cutting board."

--Natalie Angier, New York Times

"[Eugenia Cheng's] tone is clear, clever and friendly. Even at her most whimsical she is rigorous and insightful... [She is] a lucid and nimble expositor."
--Alex Bellos, New York Times Book Review

Beyond Infinity

An Expedition to the Outer Limits of Mathematics

By (author) Eugenia Cheng

The hilarious and charming Eugenia Cheng leads us in search of what's bigger than infinity, and smaller than its opposite

Imagine something small enough to fit in your head but too large to fit in the world-or even the universe. What would you call it? And what would it be? How about...infinity?

In Beyond Infinity, musician, chef, and mathematician Eugenia Cheng answers this question by taking readers on a startling journey from math at its most elemental to its loftiest abstractions. Beginning with the classic thought experiment of Hilbert's hotel-the place where you can (almost) always find a room, if you don't mind being moved from room to room over the course of the night-she explores the wild and woolly world of the infinitely large and the infinitely small. Along the way she considers weighty questions like why some numbers are uncountable or why infinity plus one is not the same as one plus infinity. She finds insight in some unlikely examples: planning a dinner party for 7 billion people using a chessboard, making a chicken-sandwich sandwich, and creating infinite cookies from a finite ball of dough all tell you more about math than you could have imagined.

An irresistible book on the universe's biggest possible topic, Beyond Infinity will beguile and bewitch you, and show all of us how one little symbol can hold the biggest idea of all.

Eugenia Cheng is an honorary fellow in pure mathematics at the University of Sheffield and the scientist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

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Hachette Book Group