Should infinity be finite based on our finite universe?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by BestFriend, Sep 24, 2010.

Sep 22, 2010
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Well, although infinity is very very large, it still resides in a finite universe.

If for example we are to give a name to each zero that we add next to 1, there will come a time when we will run out of words. If we are to write these zeroes down, there will hypothetically come a time when there will be no more space in the universe to write it without erasing the previous entries and losing significance. And even though that number is very very large, it would still be finite and bounded in our reality. Therefore, should infinity be substituted by a extremely large finite number in our calculations? Like Planck's length perhaps? Even calculations involving infinity limits are solved by substituting ever increasing large number. So why don't we just substitute Planck's length so that 1.616252(81)×10−35 would have some significance.

I mean, we do round-off or up numbers. Why can't we put a 'hypothetical boundary or limit' in infinity in order to simplify calculations and actually have a number to use.

2. Kermit2 AAC Fanatic!

Feb 5, 2010
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This neglects constants that are infinite in length. The number ∏ for example. It has infinite length if written out, or calculated. Do you propose to limit that length, even though it would then NOT reflect the true "reality" of the number itself?

3. Georacer Moderator

Nov 25, 2009
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One of the best characteristics of the human mind is that it can create and process thoughts and ideas that don't reside in its immediate environment of even his visible world. This enables man to break boundaries set by his surroundings and achieve cognition hypothecaly unavailable to him.

Infinite is suposed to be unexpressable and π's accurate register is supposed to be unattainable. This way we can access notions invisible to our senses. If that didn't happen, then many scientific and philosophical breakthroughs would be corrupted.

4. Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
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All of this assumes certain values are true constants, which may not be so. I posted a link in this thread that questions that assumption.

Vacuum Energy

I liked Carl Sagan's explanation, the concept of numerous. While something may not be infinite it can be so numerous it is still beyond comprehension. That is where we're at.

5. beenthere Retired Moderator

Apr 20, 2004
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Infinity is a mathematical concept. The universe is a physical entity. The difference is somewhat greater than apples and oranges.

6. PackratKing Well-Known Member

Jul 13, 2008
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You are missing the semantics boat here.......infinite, means exactly that.

There just plain ain't no end to the universe........get used to it.

If, as some in the scientific community insist, the universe is "expanding", kindly enlighten me as to what it is expanding into...........

Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
7. Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
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That is another concept the human mind has trouble with, true nothingness. We fit our observations to reality, but reality is under no obligation to be comprehensible.

One of Carl Sagan's concepts was numerous. It is possible the universe is so large, so huge on the number scale, that we will never be able to comprehend it. It is the next thing to infinity. Sagan was an atheist, but he had a truely fantastic idea how god might communicate with really advance civilizations in his book Contact. When proof must be provided for a civilization it is there.

It is like a photon being timeless, another concept we have trouble with. I think of it has having an ever present now, from beginning to end of it's travel no time exists for it, even if it is the life of the universe. Again, an oversimplification of what is routine for the universe.

A black hole has a infinite depth, but that is our effort to comprehend it. It is not like we can perform the experiment and verify it.

To me the universe is like a giant puzzle box, with lots and lots of puzzles we get to solve as we advance. The last guy alive will probably still have unanswered questions about the universe. I think it is kinda neat myself.

I tend to think the idea of multiple realities it true myself. A truly numerous puzzle box.

8. djsfantasi AAC Fanatic!

Apr 11, 2010
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There are actually many infinities. Aleph-null (aka aleph 0) is an infinite set; Aleph-1 is also an infinite set, LARGER THAN Aleph-null.

Think about that - two infinite numbers and one is larger than the other... Search on the web for "aleph 0"

9. maxpower097 Well-Known Member

Feb 20, 2009
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Is universe finite? I knows its still expanding and is theorized it will shrink back down but thats just a theory.

Sep 22, 2010
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I share the belief that the universe is expanding, but at a given single instance frame in time - the universe is finite.

11. beenthere Retired Moderator

Apr 20, 2004
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Bafflegab statement. What might a "single instance frame in time" be? Why might it confer some special status to the universe?

The real difference is that infinity is a concept - a quantity so great it can never be enumerated. The universe is a finite structure in which each and every particle may be enumerated. That, again is the difference between reality (universe) and concept (infinity).

Aug 6, 2010
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but isnt a single instance of time an other way of saying an infinitely small period of time?
and is infinity a purely mathematical concept? for instance what is the smallest size at which something can exist?
infinity can get infinitely smaller as well as bigger so in a finite size universe there is plenty of room for infinities!

13. Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
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So far every thing in our universe seems to be quantum. Almost by definition this means they have a measurement.

14. beenthere Retired Moderator

Apr 20, 2004
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Remember that infinity is a concept. One generally finds infinitely small intervals inconvenient to enumerate. Between any two measurements of time, say T1 and T2, there are an infinite number of intervals. Between any two of those intervals are also to be found another infinite number of intervals.

The smallest interval of time that is useful is Planck time - http://www.physlink.com/Education/A...aa80389c8-BCF2E207-15C5-EE01-B9C37E63E0B9610E