Outer Space/Inner Space (formerly known as Infinite bigness/infinite smallness)

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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
"It has nothing to do with science, right?" Right.

Infinity is a mathematical abstraction. It is 1/0. It has nothing whatsoever to do with reality.

In maths, it has certain uses. In reality, it is totally meaningless. It might be defined as "something too big to understand/imagine". In other words, useless.

Science is the critical study of reality. Beyond that is philosophy, beyond that is stupidity. Some people do not know where to draw the lines.

Cat :)
 
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'Evolution' was "something too big to understand/imagine. In other words useless". Some creatures would not have allowed their fellow creatures to leave the primordial mudhole for a world too big to understand/imagine (anything "beyond" the confines of the mudhole was "stupidity") . In other words, useless (stupid). Some people, at the time, would not have allowed their fellow pre-modern humans to leave the cave, nor even the trees, for a world too big to understand/imagine. In other words useless (stupid). The "infinite", the "beyond", the boundaryless, was what evolved us enough to leave... and grow in spatial-mindedness. Some of course got left behind, get left behind always, like those people who would draw lines (boundaries), finite lines, way short of infinity (boundarylessness). Implosively short of infinity.

Those who evolve in any kind of exodus (those who expand, stretch out, into new frontiers of all kinds) -- thus throughout history the unlimitedly stupid according to some (those "some" who are doomed to be left behind always) -- are in fact those who "do not know where to draw the lines".

It would be impossible to think boundarylessly if the Universe isn't boundaryless. It would be impossible to think infinitely if the Universe isn't infinite. It wouldn't, it couldn't, even exist if it isn't infinite. And those who think so infinitesimally-finitely prove by their own very existence its existence.
 
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Infinity simply is.
Not to much point in giving to much thought about infinity because it has no start or end.
If you could travel infinitely fast in infinity what happens?
I, at least, have an answer. Your measurement of the speed of light aboard your ship would be 186,000 miles per second from every direction into your ship. Hmmm, no infinity. Your clocks would be clocking time no different than when you started out from your home base. You'd notice not the slightest difference in physics either inside or outside your ship, including looking out into the universe observable to you. But where in the infinite Universe (U) would you be? When in the infinite Universe (U) would you be? What, or which, of an infinity of universes (u) -- or plane (hyper-plane) of universe -- would yours be? Lost in space and time you would be.

You'd have lost all relativity to your home base, even to your home universe (a complete breakdown of relativity). You'd know from personal experience now the real, the true, meaning of "uncertainty" in the "principle of uncertainty".

But the one thing you would not know, would never know, is having attained "travel infinitely fast in infinity". Why? Because infinity is non-relative, is non-local, is background rather than foreground, and last but not least, is not finite!
 
Try visiting Youtube and watching some of the clips showing and explaining Mandelbrot sets, "A picture paints a thousand words!"
Ther is a much more comprehensive discussion about infinity in this thread;
 
I, at least, have an answer. Your measurement of the speed of light aboard your ship would be 186,000 miles per second from every direction into your ship. Hmmm, no infinity. Your clocks would be clocking time no different than when you started out from your home base. You'd notice not the slightest difference in physics either inside or outside your ship, including looking out into the universe observable to you. But where in the infinite Universe (U) would you be? When in the infinite Universe (U) would you be? What, or which, of an infinity of universes (u) -- or plane (hyper-plane) of universe -- would yours be? Lost in space and time you would be.

You'd have lost all relativity to your home base, even to your home universe (a complete breakdown of relativity). You'd know from personal experience now the real, the true, meaning of "uncertainty" in the "principle of uncertainty".

But the one thing you would not know, would never know, is having attained "travel infinitely fast in infinity". Why? Because infinity is non-relative, is non-local, is background rather than foreground, and last but not least, is not finite!
Interesting answer :)
Light perspective is forever taking no time showing that time isn't really a thing.
So i guess light would travel to infinity with a perspective of no time.

Gravity might be the only candidate for real instant travel or travel through nothing that isn't really travel.

My guess gravity goes nowhere instantly and sees the universe as no space.
Goes on forever just like that and takes no time.

For sure some sort of physics crazy if you could :)
Or everything just vanishes and you go nowhere instantly fast.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
If you come back to the original post, the questioner concludes:

"Who in the heck came up with this stuff? Is it real? Because if it is, it would be a very profound human discovery. However, something tells me that this stuff is strictly some form of artistic license on the nature of infinity. It has nothing to do with science, right?"

Please correct me if I am in error, but my understanding is that he is referring to something like a tiny submarine containing tiny people travelling around inside a human body.

Cat :)
 
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Interesting answer :)
Light perspective is forever taking no time showing that time isn't really a thing.
So i guess light would travel to infinity with a perspective of no time.

Gravity might be the only candidate for real instant travel or travel through nothing that isn't really travel.

My guess gravity goes nowhere instantly and sees the universe as no space.
Goes on forever just like that and takes no time.

For sure some sort of physics crazy if you could :)
Or everything just vanishes and you go nowhere instantly fast.
Sounds like gravity might be infinitely ubiquitous…
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
I am not very happy to see this thread reappear as OP was commenting on science fiction. However, it did contain a lot about "infinity" (pardon my bad language), so I would like to make a comment which I hope will aid understanding.

There is a lot to be learned about the speed of light (in vacuo). On the one hand, it has a specific numerical value. There are higher specific numerical values, but these are not applicable to light. In this respect, the speed of light cannot be said to be infinite.

On the other hand, the speed of light does appear, in some respects, as if it were infinite. Two beams of light approaching one another do not have the velocity 2c, as with, say, two cars approaching one another, each travelling at 60 mph., having relative velocity 2 x 60 = 120 mph (miles per hour).

This compares with 2 x infinity = infinity. I hope these ideas may help reflections on infinity.

Cat :)
 
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I am not very happy to see this thread reappear as OP was commenting on science fiction. However, it did contain a lot about "infinity" (pardon my bad language), so I would like to make a comment which I hope will aid understanding.


Cat :)
I think a discussion on zero, another mathematical construct, would be more in line with the OP's question than "infinity". For my two cents, the real universe doesn't allow nothingness or infinity. Mathematically speaking , N/0=infinity then N=0 × infinity. If 1, or any other number, is subsisted for N in the first form, N can become any positive number in the second form.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
I think the zero and infinity issues are closely related, for example, by the equations: N/0 = ∞ and N/ = 0, although, strictly, I suppose they are not actually equations, since ∞ is not a number.

This is where we get into trouble, with such expressions as:

+ 1 = ∞. Again, this is inadmissible, since ∞ is not a number.
Or, as you mention 0 x ∞.

I was pointing out an interesting property of light, in that it has a fixed numerical value (for its speed) which is not infinite, yet behaves in an apparently infinite manner when you get c = 2c. Again, this is not really an equation, is it?

Cat :)
 
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Feb 7, 2022
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I think people have a very hard time understanding something that is endless/limitless.

We tend to think of things based on our experiences, which are limited, of course. But, there really is no reason to say that a limitless universe cannot be real.

The best "evidence" that the universe is not limitless is that we can observe it has changed with time. For instance, supernovas produce more heavy atomic nuclei, so the composition of the universe that we observe must be changing. But, we have no way of knowing for sure if it can change back in some cyclic fashion, either in its entirety or in parts that are undergoing opposite phase changes at different locations. We just can't see enough of the universe to know what it is all doing, right "now" or in the past. Yes, we have theories, but they are built on a biased perception from our evolution as observers and problem solvers based on extremely limited experiences in an extremely limited environment.

As pointed out in previous posts, mathematics uses "infinity" as another word for "undefined". It is not something that can be manipulated by algebra to solve for a value. But, that is just mathematics - it is not proof that something real, like the universe, cannot be infinite.

As for infinitesimal, that is even worse to ponder. But, we do believe in black holes. What is the matter that goes into a black hole like in there, inside the event horizon that we cannot see into? Is it some super-dense, finite ball of matter with a finite radius? Or, is it a singularity - infinitely small - like some people postulate the beginning of the universe was at the "big bang"? Perhaps the matter was converted completely to energy? Can a finite amount of energy be compressed into an infinitely small space. Nobody knows, and there are a lot of competing theories. We are not even sure what happens to space, itself, under those conditions.

Can space become infinitely large - as in the expanding universe expanding forever, for an infinite amount of time? Can it become infinitely small, such as postulated at the big bang? Would an observer inside the "infinitely small" universe or black hole core perceive it as small, or would it look like what we are seeing now? Our equations for physical processes become "undefined" at such points in our calculations, so we say "infinite" and "infinitesimal" and "singularity". Which roughly translate to "we don't understand that well enough to make quantitative statements about it."
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Then just substitute beyond our understanding and have done with it.

Alternatively, admit that ∞ is just a useful mathematical fiction, but one which does not have any corresponding substance in reality.

Cat :)
 
Feb 7, 2022
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Then just substitute beyond our understanding and have done with it.

Alternatively, admit that ∞ is just a useful mathematical fiction, but one which does not have any corresponding substance in reality.

Cat :)
It is the "have done with it" that I disagree with. Finding and resolving conundrums in our understanding of things is how we learn more. So, "If you don't understand it, stop thinking about it," is a stagnation philosophy.

Similarly, mathematical methods do not define reality. At best, they can describe reality. Developing and then proving new mathematical theories to quantitatively describe previously unquantifiable phenomena is what we call progress/learning.

One of the conundrums we have in our current cosmology is the lack of an answer to how energy and matter can have a finite "beginning" when we have a "law of physics" that matter and energy can interchange, but the sum of the 2 cannot change in a "closed" system. So, is the universe not a closed system? Or, can matter or energy be created without any input(s) whatsoever? An "infinite" system cannot be "closed", because it has no determinable boundary.

There are many such conundrums to ponder and perhaps learn from. What about time? is it infinite, or will it end? If it will end, how did it start? Without time, can there still be "causation"? (Some theories attempt to say "yes".)

Finding things that we cannot currently explain is an opportunity to learn. Believing unproven assumptions is a waste of those opportunities. Rejecting the realness of an infinite or infinitesimal is only an assumption. If believing that assumption blinds a theorist to alternative explanations, then that can hinder learning. Keeping an open mind to alternatives is the best way to proceed. But, you have to also test alternatives to see if they can be disproven without making unprovable assumptions.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
After decades of consideration, I am happy with this:

∞ is just a useful mathematical fiction, and one which does not have any corresponding substance in reality.

Beyond that one can write books about speculation, assumption, and imagination.

EOS as far as I am concerned.

Cat :)
 
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. . .
∞ is just a useful mathematical fiction, and one which does not have any corresponding substance in reality.

Beyond that one can write books about speculation, assumption, and imagination.

EOS as far as I am concerned.

Cat :)
My point is that your opinion that ∞ in math "has not corresponding reality" is not proof that something we consider to be real, such a space and time, cannot be infinite.

Because you consider your opinion to be the "end of the story", for yourself, at least, it seems useless to continue discussing this with you.

However, there are others in this discussion. The OP asked if there is an 'infinitely small" as well as an infinitely large. True, his question seems to have been prompted by a imaginistic portrayal on TV of zooming in on a human eye and ending up, past the imaginary images of atoms, with a picture of a galaxy.

But, his question was deeper, asking if there is a limit on how small things can be. There are people actually working on those concepts, looking for granularity in both time and space. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle does tend to suggest that there is some sort of granularity, but, so far, at least, all researchers have been able to do is to put upper limits on the size of any granules. There is no existing proof that I know of that puts a lower limit on how small things can be in any dimension, x,y,z or t.

So, it seems that any thoughts about whether infinitesimal and infinite have any reality is all "speculation". Both "yes" and "no" are speculative answers. We don't know - but there are people actively trying to find out.
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
"My point is that your opinion that ∞ in math "has not corresponding reality" is not proof that something we consider to be real, such a space and time, cannot be infinite." My emphasis.

This is just part of the "books about speculation, assumption, and imagination"

When (if) it is properly investigated, on a scientific basis, and something substantive is found (if ever) then it warrants scientific follow up. Then it might be taken seriously.

Until then it is unwarranted speculation.

Cat :)


P.S. Very appropriate 'handle' by the way ;)
 
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This is getting rather silly, "Cat". You are speculating that nothing can be infinite, but you don't consider your own speculation to be "unwarranted". In your opinion, it is only "unwarranted" speculation to disagree with you, but not unwarranted to agree with your speculation. That is called confirmation bias. It is a rather common human trait.

But, it hinders progress. You are certainly welcome to hold your own opinions, but, if you want to convince others that your opinions are correct, you will need to provide more than disrespect for competing opinions.

My position has been clear (despite my sarcastic moniker): I do not see any factual basis for saying that nothing can be infinite, nor do I see any conclusive basis that anything must be infinite. It is simply an unanswered question that some people are still willing to investigate with all the scientific tools that can be mustered. I certainly don't fault them for trying. Many are far more capable than you or I.

But, this conversation between you and me has become repetitious, so I do not see any value in continuing to repeat myself. Others reading this thread can understand our differing positions clearly enough to see the important points, and make their own conclusions. So, my work is done, here.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
I am very clear about one thing

"∞ is just a useful mathematical fiction, and one which does not have any corresponding substance in reality"

Saves me from wasting time bogged down in nonsense (imho).

Cat :)
 

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