You could say it's...
loopy.
Figure eight as double four,
Figure four as half of eight.
If you skate, you would be great
If you could make a figure eight.
That's a circle that turns 'round upon itself...
Place it on its side and it's a symbol meaning Infinity...
When a
big number just isn't
BIG enough , writers turn to the Infinite. Rarely do writers touch upon on its immeasurable nature,
sometimes even assigning it to something that's just really large, although that version is usually
Played for Laughs or is just the closest approximation they (or the characters) could find. The most horrendous use is when a writer implies something may be
More Than Infinite, which again
makes no sense when you factor in the fact that infinity is a limitless value instead of an actual number that you can add to
^{note }Although it should be noted that there are degrees of infinity; the number of points in a line is less infinite (has a smaller cardinality) than the number of curves that can be drawn on a plane, but more infinite than the number of integers; this still doesn't make most uses of "more infinite than infinite" make any kind of sense, though. Mathematicians have explained to think of infinite as a process, not a value, whatever that means. In addition to the cardinal numbers infinitys, which is about what can be put in a one to one matching with that, and the limit infinity, which is for when something increases without bound, there are also different infinities in the ordinal numbers, which deal with the order of a thing. In the ordinal numbers, each ordinal number is the set of all ordinal numbers less than it, so 5 is the set of 0 1 2 3 and 4. the first infinity in the ordinal numbers is the set of all nonnegative integers, and is represented as a lowercase omega. If you then take the set of all non negative integers, as well as omega, you get omega plus one, and so on. and then you can get to omega plus omega (omega times 2), and eventually omega times omega, (omega squared), and eventually omega to the omega. And you can still always add one. .
See all related
Number Tropes,
which can't possibly compare. You can however, compare a
Mouthful of Pi, which is Infinite in its own way as it goes on and on and..., well, you get the idea. And if you were wondering, that sideways 8 thing is called a Lemniscate.
If you were looking for the
Tabletop Game, you can find it
here. Also not to be confused with
the Korean boy band with the same name.
Examples
Anime and Manga
- In The Movie of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the final, almighty clash between the title mecha and the copycat villain is so powerful it absorbs the pocket universe around it, zooming out until the scene shows no more than two intertwined, struggling specks in a featureless void, which briefly become an infinity symbol before everything explodes back into epic mecha-anime action. What this is supposed to actually mean is anyone's guess.
- In Space Runaway Ideon, when the Solo crew reaches Earth, they use its most powerful computer to estimate Ide's power output. As they look at the screen, the number on it begins to rise exponentially before being replaced by a single symbol: infinity.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: An anime only villain summons a monster with infinite attack during the final rounds of the duel, that has an side effect that causes him to loose automatically should it be destroyed. The Pharaoh defeats him by summoning another monster with infinite attack that cannot be destroyed by battle.
- Obelisk the Tormentor has an effect that gives him infinite attack fir sacrificing the other two god cards.
Comic Books
Film
- Near the end of the Australian film The Bank, the main characters are watching a computer screen when a large and ominous-looking infinity sign pops up, at which point one of the characters remarks, "There is no bank." It's part of a computerised futures calculation program written by the protagonist as a means of revenge against the unscrupulous title bank that drove his father to suicide.
Literature
- The concept of The Infinite as an actual speed is played for all the absurdity it is worth by Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy with the Infinite Improbability Drive.
- In Necroscope Harry Keogh (and his heirs) gain access to the Moebius continuum (with its ability to time travel and teleport) by being able to calculate the infinite length of a moebius strip as a finite number.
Live-Action TV
- Infinity is used as a substitute for "really, really, fast" in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Threshold". In stark contrast to the Douglas Adams example above, it is played painfully straight prompting a near meltdown by SF Debris in his review who pointed out that "Infinite" speed is not something you can accelerate towards.
- Parodied in Look Around You's first episode "Maths".
Narrator: What's the largest number you can think of?
Girl: Um... a hundred thousand?
Man: Nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand.
Older man: A million.
Narrator: In actual fact, it's neither of these. The largest number is about 45 billion. Although mathematicians suspect there may be even larger numbers.
Tabletop Games
- At this point, Wizards of the Coast doesn't even bother with making numbers in Magic: The Gathering stay finite anymore. But the most annoying of these is Time Vault (which enters play "tapped", or off, does not "untap" or turn on at the start of your turn like normal, and lets you untap it by skipping a turn, so that you can tap it to take another turn) and Voltaic Key (which, for one mana and a tap, lets you untap any artifact). With this combo, you have infinite turns.
- And then there's the Mox Lotus, a card from Unhinged that can be tapped for infinity colorless mana.
Video Games
- DWN-∞ is the serial number of Zero of the Mega Man X series; it's implied that his creator sees Zero as having an unlimited potential.
Web Original
- TV Tropes itself does it: Infinity+1 Sword, Infinity–1 Sword, Infinity+1 Element, More Than Infinite. As Infinity is not a number (being, ya know, infinite), adding or substracting one means nothing, meaning that infinity +1 and infinity -1 are still infinity and thus the same thing.^{note }While infinity +1 and infinity -1 are the same in the cardinal numbers (the set of integers with one missing or with another element added has the same number of values: aleph null) In the ordinal numbers, while 1+infinity (called omega instead of infinity to distinguish from other infinities) is still omega, omega plus 1 is its own number (called omega plus 1). The surreal numbers have both omega + 1 and omega - 1 (though the latter might not behave quite how one expects). If someone makes a statement about infinity, it might be useful to make sure you know what infinity or what type of infinity they are talking about.