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About Zeno

Zeno was born in the Italian city of Elea ca. 490 BC. Our main source of information about his life comes from the dialogue written by Plato called Parmenides.

Zeno's paradoxes are mostly about why motion is impossible. Some of these paradoxes had profound influence on the development of mathematics, and they continue to puzzle, influence and inspire people to the current day.

One of his paradoxes is the well-known story of Achilles and the Tortoise, in which the ancient Greek warrior Achilles had to race a tortoise. Achilles was a speedy runner, indeed he could run many times faster than the tortoise, so he let the tortoise start the race ahead of him. Who will win the race? According to Zeno it is the tortoise! How is that possible? Well, by the time Achilles has reached the point where the tortoise started, the tortoise has moved on. When Achilles covers that tiny distance, the cunning tortoise will again be a little way ahead of him, and this happens every time Achilles reaches the point where the tortoise was before...