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Quantum Physics, anyone?
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the world's most perfect tapeworm!
Well, it is pathological.
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Sojobo



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bun bun:

To be honest, I was half expecting you to tell me that the pen didn't need an infinite amount of ink, since (infinite length)*(zero width) can equal pretty much whatever you want it to.


Usagi:

Very nice. Just plain fun to look at.
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bun bun
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:
bun bun:

To be honest, I was half expecting you to tell me that the pen didn't need an infinite amount of ink, since (infinite length)*(zero width) can equal pretty much whatever you want it to.

*smacks forehead*
d'oh.
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Fhqwhgads



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sad I have no idea how I managed to miss this thread.

I have a question: We (humans) seem to like to use the concept of Infinity as a mathematical construct. Can anybody show me an example of something in our universe that is actually *infinite*? As opposed to just really really really really really really really really really big? Or small, or what have you.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are an infinite number of points within a sphere.
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Jinx



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was going to add, "or on a line." Then I realized how much more elegant your answer is.

While there are an infinte number of points on a line, the line itself is infinite in length. Of course, there are also an infinte number of points on a line segment, but sphere's are just cooler for that.

Spheres also show how something finite can be boundless. The area of a sphere is finite, but has no bounds.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think he meant as in "an infinite amount of stuff" though.
Well, for starters it would be rather problematic to count all that stuff out and determine that it was, in fact, infinite in amount.
Secondly, the apparently finite nature of time, space, and energy would argue against an infinite amount of any "thing."
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Usagi Miyamoto



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

she
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Last edited by Usagi Miyamoto on Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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lily



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lemontree wrote:
I still believe our power of thought can affect the world around us though. Just like all the experiments that have been done with plants and positive and negative speech towards them.


hate to break it to you, but no, plants don't respond to speech -- positive or negative. at least, there has never been any serious research showing that they do. plenty of science fair projects have been done on the topic, though.

truth is, we're not as important or powerful as we like to think.
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thewaitersitsondown



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
There are an infinite number of points within a sphere.


But only because a "point" only exists in theory, and not in reality.

To my knowledge, there is nothing in this universe that is infinite. Infinity, like a point, is a theoretical construct. Even pi, which has an infinite number of decimal places, must have a perfect circle to be properly derived (when we calculate pi, it is with the assumption that the circle we are measuring is perfect, when in fact it never is), or infinite time if one uses Buffon's Needle.
It's arguable that many things in the universe are effectively infinite, which is to say they are far bigger than anything we could hope to encompass. From a practical perspective, infinity exists. From a theoretical one, however, there is in fact an infinitely large difference between "very big" and "infinite."
I think reconciling these two perspectives, somehow, would be a very good idea. I haven't figured out how yet, though.
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Michael



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thewaitersitsondown wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
There are an infinite number of points within a sphere.


But only because a "point" only exists in theory, and not in reality.

To my knowledge, there is nothing in this universe that is infinite. Infinity, like a point, is a theoretical construct. Even pi, which has an infinite number of decimal places, must have a perfect circle to be properly derived (when we calculate pi, it is with the assumption that the circle we are measuring is perfect, when in fact it never is), or infinite time if one uses Buffon's Needle.
It's arguable that many things in the universe are effectively infinite, which is to say they are far bigger than anything we could hope to encompass. From a practical perspective, infinity exists. From a theoretical one, however, there is in fact an infinitely large difference between "very big" and "infinite."
I think reconciling these two perspectives, somehow, would be a very good idea. I haven't figured out how yet, though.


you cheat Very Happy

First you say there's an infinite numer of points in a sphere theoretically and then you point out how the universe only has practical infinities in it, and no theorectical ones.
Shouldn't you look for practical infinities in the real (aka practical) world and theoretical ones in our theoretical representation?
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thewaitersitsondown



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well yes but I'm all about bridging worlds like that. It's sort of a hobby of mine Smile
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Fhqwhgads



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thewaitersitsondown wrote:
From a practical perspective, infinity exists.

See, that's what I'm bumping up against. Does it? Are there an infinity number of stars, or (better) an infinity number of atoms or electrons? Just because a number is too big for me to count doesn't make it infinite. This website that someone brought up on a different thread brings up infinity a number of times while discussing the higher dimensions, but even when you pull the infinities out of the concepts, the concepts still stand. Actually they make even more sense without them. At least to me.

Blargh. I have no idea why I'm hanging on this. Mommy says I have an addictive personality type. Rolling Eyes
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mantismag



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

human stupidity is infinite according to a quote widely attributed to einstein.
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thewaitersitsondown



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fhqwhgads wrote:
thewaitersitsondown wrote:
From a practical perspective, infinity exists.

See, that's what I'm bumping up against. Does it? Are there an infinity number of stars, or (better) an infinity number of atoms or electrons? Just because a number is too big for me to count doesn't make it infinite. This website that someone brought up on a different thread brings up infinity a number of times while discussing the higher dimensions, but even when you pull the infinities out of the concepts, the concepts still stand. Actually they make even more sense without them. At least to me.

Blargh. I have no idea why I'm hanging on this. Mommy says I have an addictive personality type. Rolling Eyes


No, you're right, that's what I was saying. There is no true infinity. Doesn't exist. There is only really really big, which to us would seem like infinity. For all practical purposes, "really freaking huge" and "infinity" are the same thing, but for any theoretical purpose they are impossibly different. You are looking at things from a theoretical perspective, which is normal, so the truest answer to your question is "No. There is no infinity"
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