Part 2 What is the number BEFORE "Infinity"?

I have a VERY inquisitive 7 year old... as I just posted what is the number before infinity...

I just explained to him the answers I got and now he is wondering when do you stop counting the numbers and just say "infinity"

In a nut shell I guess he is asking what is the largest recorded number?

Is there an answer to that? BTW I just love how interested he is in math! =)


Eh... I think everyone misunderstood my question... I think ultimately I'm just going to write down a number with a whiole lot of 0's and say that is the biggest number.

Update 2:

and Megan it is rude to put answers like that on someone elses question. If you have a "secret" share it with everyone else. =)

Update 3:

I appreciate all of your answers. =) I was able to sit down with him and explain (in 7 year old terms) all of this and he seemed to really understand what I was saying. I say in 7 year old terms because we all have to remember he is 7 and in the 1st grade not in his mid 20's taking an advanced mathmatics course in college.

16 Answers

  • Philo
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    infinity is a word whose Latin roots mean "no end." in a sense, infinity is not a number, hence there is no number before it. it is not the last number; there is no last number.

    {and once you include the negative numbers on the number line, there's no first number either, and so Aristotle's definition of God as the Unmoved Mover or First Cause falls apart, along with most of the Christian theology based on it}

    on the other hand there are different KINDS of infinity. A century ago a German, Georg Kantor, worked out the math of the transfinite numbers. Mid 20th Century mathematician Lillian Lieber put out a very interesting book on all that, called Infinity, illustrated by her husband in a way that would fascinate kids.

    a few decades back a mathematician was working with very large numbers, wanted a name for 10^100, a 1 followed by 100 zeros, asked his infant child what to call it, and the kid said "google." So a google is a 1 followed by 100 zeros, and the very powerful web search engine gets its name from this.

    Feed his curiosity. We need all the mathematicians we can get.

    More at:

  • 1 decade ago

    The number before infinity is a googolplex. It is a 1 with a hundred 0's at the end it is the largest number named besides infinty.

    Hope this helps.

    A googolplex is the number 10googol, which can also be written as the number 1 followed by a googol of zeros (i.e. 10100 zeros).

    1 googolplex

    = 10googol

    = 10(10100)

    = 1.e+1000

  • 1 decade ago

    "Eh... I think everyone misunderstood my question... I think ultimately I'm just going to write down a number with a whiole lot of 0's and say that is the biggest number."

    So then what happens when he decides to add 1 to that? He sounds like a highly intelligent boy, he should be able to grasp the concept of infinity if you explain it correctly.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    hugely difficult to answer such a far reaching question as this in a few words if not the beatles who well my vote would go to Bob Dylan, who in second place well how about Bruce Springsteen, the quintessential song of the american dream gone wrong in Born in the USA. However having given this question some thought my vote for No 2 goes to the person whom i consider to be the best singer song writer of the twentieth century who has never changed his principles and for me is the sound of the baby boomer generation and that is Paul Simon. It seems that some of the people suggested like the Rolling Stones Queen Led Zeppelin all quality it must be admitted are confusing style with substance.

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    The problem with this question is that you ask about rock bands. Most of the artists in your list didnt/dont play rock. The Beatles did some pop rock stuff but couldnt be called a rock band. Queen were when they first came on the scene - I saw them on their first national tour supporting Mott the Hoople!! But after the first album they just went pop - at least in terms of their recordings. The Stones are close - but still more pop than rock for my taste. I think there are just two serious contenders: Led Zeppelin (whom I saw twice in 1975) and Jimi Hendrix who sadly died before I could see him!! My vote goes to Led Zep as the best rock band of all time and Jimi second, but as the greatest individual axeman. Other candidates: Deep Purple, Free/Paul Rodgers, Cream/Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, the Who, Lynyrd Skynyrd. All of these guys (no girls sadly although Janis Joplin was a great and Catatonia terrific) had an element of the blues in their rock, which added a genuine emotion that modern bands cant seem to emulate with their more manufactured sounds. But best rock band in the world now? No doubt in my mind: the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the only ones to rival the old heroes ( and no, U2 arent quite up there for me).

  • Irv S
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If you ask for "the number before infinity" than you don't understand

    the concepts of 'number' and 'infinity'.

    Once a student understands number, we generally introduce the

    concept of infinity by saying

    "Think of the biggest number you can imagine.

    Then add one. - Keep doing it.

    There's always another number, no limit to them, .....

    That's the concept of infinity.

    To hint to your "inquisitive 7 Yr. old" that a 'biggest number' exists

    is to do him a dis-service.

    If he's ready to ask the question, he's ready to be introduced to

    that elementary glimpse of 'infinity' above.

    Watch his eyes,... you'll see the lights go on.

  • LeAnne
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    There is no "before infinity" - the term expresses a concept that goes on forever with no end point.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It looks like we have a number of budding mathematicians with no concept of infinity!

    Infinity is NOT a number. To wit, ∞+∞ is NOT 2x∞ , ∞-∞ is NOT zero (it is undefined) and so on and so forth.

    ∞ does NOT have the properties that numbers have (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, raising to a power etc.), hence it is NOT a number.

    ..And there is no biggest number!

  • 1 decade ago

    The largest number with mathematical use is called Graham's number. This number is said to be larger than a googol, or even a googol raised to a googol raised to a googol and so on. It is larger than all of the ways to arrange of all the atoms in the entire universe.

  • 5 years ago

    There is none. Because negative infinity and positive infinity both never end.

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