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Luciano Anastassiou

Friars School

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Is the universe finite or infinte.

The two scenarios in the debate:

The universe is infinte because numbers are infinite, and something that is finite cannot contain something that is infinite.
E.G a chocolate bar cannot contain infinite cocoa.

The universe is finite, it as a beginning and end, and there is no such thing as infinite numbers because the biggest number would be the amount of the smallest quanta contained in the universe.
E.G the amount of the smallest particle in the universe = the biggest number

These two are currently merged and I believe in modern day science they contradict each other.

Feel free to add more points to the discussion

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  • J Ali

    • +2
    Aug 2 2011: As long as the universe is fully material....then matter is finite...because an infinite thing cannot be divided...while matter can..just think of matter..then make it two...and then make those two 4...so the universe is finite...also the universe expands and anything that expands is finite..numbers are also finite....think of the highest number anyone has ever thought of...then add one to it...anything which more can be added to is not infinite. Matter is finite.. The Universe is matter.
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      Aug 2 2011: Very good points here, I believe so as well, but the real thing is, if you conitnued to add 1 to that biggest number and someone continued it for u when u died, it would go on for infinity, so the it gets confusing because you might think that the universe is then infinite cuz of the chocolate bar example I gave, something finite cannot contain something infinite. Hard to think of haha
      • Aug 18 2011: An infinite number is an human construct, it exists in oir mind. So we can conceptuallise somerhing that does not neccesarily exists.On the other hand certain quantum equations show infinity. For instance the singularity as in black holes.And m-theory shows an infinite number of universes.
        also matter and energy are interchangable, divert all matter into energy and how do you propose to devide a wave function? you could go at it indefinently, infinitely.

        also see:
        http://sci.tech-archive.net/Archive/sci.physics.relativity/2007-10/msg00797.html
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      Aug 2 2011: You make a logic mistake when you assume that something that is infinite not can be divided. Think of the numbers 1, 2, 3, etc. Even if we continued counting as Luciano proposes, we would never in any amount of time however long run out of numbers (we may have to invent not yet existing names as the numbers get bigger and bigger though). There are infinitely many numbers, but still 7 is a single number. The infinite can thus be divided.

      Also, the expansion you reffer to is the fact that the distance between galaxies does expand, and the visible part of the universe expands. Once again imagine an infinite line of number, an infinite measuring rod that has the numbers 1, 2, 3, etc. written an inch apart. Now if you come back a week later and see that each number is spaced two inches apart you would conclude that the measuring rod is indeed expanding, yet it is infinite. It's therefore not a contradiction that the universe would be infinite, but still expanding.
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        Aug 2 2011: Good explanation, it would be like the scale expanding, but not actually expanding, so like lets say 1 2 and 3 are each a meter apart, and by expanding the actual defining length of a meter, you are stretching the numbers apart, expanding them, but they are still each a meter apart,. The only thing that changed was the defining length of a meter. This reminds me of the thought that there is no way to tell if everyone perceives time the same. For example I may experience 3 seconds as you would experience 1 second, but to the both of us it would still be defined as 1 second.

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