I recently spent five days at the Arctic Set Theory Workshop, in the town of Kilpisjärvi, at the northernmost tip of Finland. There were vast, monochromatic landscapes, endlessly protracted sunrises and sunsets, ephemeral glimpses of the Northern Lights. There was remoteness, and there was good company. It was an ideal place to think about the mathematics of infinity.

arctic-1


In my simplistic, idealized mental image of the European political map, Norway, Sweden, and Finland are three parallel line segments situated above the main bulk of Europe. The place where these three countries meet, then (or, perhaps, where the infinite rays extending the countries meet), should be a point at infinity.

scandinavia-1

This “point at infinity” actually exists on Earth. (And it’s not the North Pole!)

scandinavia_infinity-1

And we went there:

arctic_6 - 7.jpg
Finland (author for scale)
arctic_6-5
Norway
arctic_6 - 6.jpg
Sweden
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One thought on “Infinity at the End of the World

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