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Can infinities exist in nature?


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I’m always skeptical of hypotheses that use infinities  like Many Worlds Interpretation and an infinitely big universe, in part for this reason.

 

I wonder if the ideas about the universe being infinitely big are a holdover from the days before the Big Bang was universally accepted. For whatever reason, people couldn’t let go of the idea of an infinitely big universe even as the Big Bang became the consensus, so they came up with the idea that the universe is infinitely big but still expanding. (Which honestly seems like a contradiction in terms to me.)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Orange6
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1 hour ago, Orange6 said:

I wonder if the ideas about the universe being infinitely big are a holdover from the days before the Big Bang was universally accepted.

No, a flat manifold without boundary is simply one of the topologies that naturally arise from the mathematics of the Lambda-CDM model, when certain observational parameters take on specific values. It’s just one among several possible options.

1 hour ago, zapatos said:

Why are you skeptical of an infinite universe? If it were not infinitely big what would the end of it look like?

It can be closed on itself - so there can be a largest possible separation between two suitably chosen points, without there being any kind of boundary. Much like (to pick a lower-dimensional analogy) a spherical surface. A manifold being finite in extent does not imply the presence of a boundary.

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3 hours ago, Orange6 said:

I’m always skeptical of hypotheses that use infinities  like Many Worlds Interpretation and an infinitely big universe, in part for this reason.

 

I wonder if the ideas about the universe being infinitely big are a holdover from the days before the Big Bang was universally accepted. For whatever reason, people couldn’t let go of the idea of an infinitely big universe even as the Big Bang became the consensus, so they came up with the idea that the universe is infinitely big but still expanding. (Which honestly seems like a contradiction in terms to me.)

The big Bang created Our Universe, which is part of the Multiverse or proto-Universe. And the Multiverse is truly infinite.

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  • 1 month later...

I hope this isn't another topic left abandoned by the OP.   Started 8 December with this question - Can infinites exist in nature?

What if the answer is yes BUT only if you consider mathematical objects that may not have any meaning in the real world.

Classic Example:  Send an object at a fixed speed from a start line to a finish line.  Count the number of times the distance to the finish line can be halved.   For example, at the beginning the distance was d.   A bit later the distance to the finish line was d/2.   Then it would become d/4,   later it would become d/8... etc.    You might say it was halved infinitely many times and eventually the distance to the finish line was  0.

Was that something that happened an infinite number of times?  Also, did it happen in only a finite amount of time, that being the total distance  d divided by the constant speed s?  Generally we (human beings with some liking for science and maths) say yes to those questions.  An infinite sequence of events can happen in a finite amount of time.  There are bucket-fulls of other examples you can consider.  However, the event or thing that happened is usually dependant on some mathematical construction - the halving of the distance in the first example I gave.   

   If you decided that space wasn't the continuous thing we thought it was but instead it was discrete or quantised then halving the distance isn't something you could always do.  Let's say that the planck length may be the smallest little chunk of distance that you can have in the real world.  Then you could only half the distace when there were an even number of planck lengths to start with.  You have to approximate the division by 2 otherwise.  There was a large BUT FINITE number of planck lengths from the start line to the finish line, so there was only a finite number of spatial configurations (approximate halvings of the distance) that could have occurred.

   There are a number of scientists working on the idea that space (and time) is discrete not continuous and if this seems valid and useful then the things you mentioned - Many Worlds theory (Quantum Mecahnics) and the Big bang (Cosmology and GR) are going to get a good re-think and re-formulation anyway.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As in themselves , constituents of Being are NOT generally understood to be multiplicities. This allows us to see a single image of myriad differing "beings" prior to all diversity or differentiation. If we deny that there are such infinite entities , then we are ipso facto denying the existence of things themselves. The purely physicalystic approach dictates us to think of infinity only in terms of infinities. The primary concern here should be how the univocity of infinities could be phrased. This , in the first glance , may appear quite irrelevant. I am duty-bound to point out that there is no circularity assumed in this way of perceiving  Infinity.

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On 12/8/2020 at 7:30 PM, SergUpstart said:

The big Bang created Our Universe, which is part of the Multiverse or proto-Universe. And the Multiverse is truly infinite.

 

On 12/8/2020 at 3:29 PM, Orange6 said:

I’m always skeptical of hypotheses that use infinities  like Many Worlds Interpretation and an infinitely big universe, in part for this reason.

 

I wonder if the ideas about the universe being infinitely big are a holdover from the days before the Big Bang was universally accepted. For whatever reason, people couldn’t let go of the idea of an infinitely big universe even as the Big Bang became the consensus, so they came up with the idea that the universe is infinitely big but still expanding. (Which honestly seems like a contradiction in terms to me.)

We are as yet unaware whether the universe is finite or infinite, or whether multiverses exist or not. We are only able to speculate.

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11 hours ago, beecee said:

We are as yet unaware whether the universe is finite or infinite, or whether multiverses exist or not. We are only able to speculate.

The universe is finite. This follows from the law of conservation of energy (once the stars must burn all the hydrogen), as well as from the second law of thermodynamics. And then, either our universe is part of something larger (the multiverse), or we must accept the existence of God. Which point of view is closer to you personally?

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1 hour ago, SergUpstart said:

(once the stars must burn all the hydrogen)

#That is an unsound circular argument.

The universe is only finite if there is an 'all' to the hydrogen.    Note this condition is necessary but not sufficient.

So you can't say the universe is finite because there is a finite amount of hydrogen.

 

But also consider this since you wish to quote thermodynamics:

Take the numbers 1,2 and 3 ?

Do you consider that each of these numbers contain different information ?

But the sequence 1,2,3... is infinite so do you consider that there is a finite (ie limited) amount of information in the universe and so must be unable to contain any number larger than some integer ?

Edited by studiot
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3 hours ago, SergUpstart said:

The universe is finite. This follows from the law of conservation of energy (once the stars must burn all the hydrogen), as well as from the second law of thermodynamics. And then, either our universe is part of something larger (the multiverse), or we must accept the existence of God. Which point of view is closer to you personally?

That you are wrong. 

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15 hours ago, Prof Reza Sanaye said:

As in themselves , constituents of Being are NOT generally understood to be multiplicities. This allows us to see a single image of myriad differing "beings" prior to all diversity or differentiation. If we deny that there are such infinite entities , then we are ipso facto denying the existence of things themselves. The purely physicalystic approach dictates us to think of infinity only in terms of infinities. The primary concern here should be how the univocity of infinities could be phrased. This , in the first glance , may appear quite irrelevant. I am duty-bound to point out that there is no circularity assumed in this way of perceiving  Infinity.

Except what you're saying is, it's infinite because it's infinite (I'm duty bound to point that out). 😉

Seems to me that infinite is just another way to say "I don't know".

I think a more interesting question would be, can a paradox exist in nature?

4 hours ago, SergUpstart said:

The universe is finite. This follows from the law of conservation of energy (once the stars must burn all the hydrogen), as well as from the second law of thermodynamics. And then, either our universe is part of something larger (the multiverse), or we must accept the existence of God. Which point of view is closer to you personally?

Then the answer to my question is yes, but only in people.

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22 hours ago, SergUpstart said:

The universe is finite. This follows from the law of conservation of energy

There is no global law of energy conservation in curved spacetimes (of which FLRW is an example), so this is a non-sequitur. Energy-momentum is conserved only locally.

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