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spacecowboy342

Is the univere infinite?

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spacecowboy342

Is the universe infinite? Are infinities even possible in nature? If the universe is infinite and there are a finite number of ways atoms could arrange themselves in a volume of space equal to the observable universe then it would seem there must be an infinite number of such volumes in the universe with every possible combination of atoms repeating endlessly meaning there must be infinite copies of us somewhere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtMwAUaftSU

Edited by spacecowboy342
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taniwha

I thought that infinity was only mathematical theory. If you counted for long enough wouldnt you eventually end back at zero? :unsure2:

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spacecowboy342

I thought that infinity was only mathematical theory. If you counted for long enough wouldnt you eventually end back at zero? :unsure2:

That's one idea. But it makes you wonder where the start over point would be. It would seem no matter how far you count, you could always add one. As far as it only being a mathematical construct, I kind of tend to this view, but I wonder if that is just bias as my finite mind can't get a grasp on the actual existence of infinity. And if the universe is finite what would the edge look like? And what would be on the other side of the edge? I tend to think of the universe as some unimaginably large finite space with the edge expanding away so fast you could never reach it, but sometimes I think that's just my way of avoiding the question. Some have thought of the universe as curving back on itself so if you traveled far enough, you would end up back where you started but space seems to have been shown both experimentally and mathematically to be flat which, to me at least, would indicate infinity in space.

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taniwha

How can the universe be flat? At the very least it must be cubed.

Infinite time gives rise to infinite possibility? Well infinite impossibility slots right in if that is the case.

Monkeys writing Shakespeare is impossibility defined.

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Gold Star

There is nothing infinite that is composed of finite parts. Infinity, like zero, is simply a convenient mathematical idea, never observable naturally. Scientists will be leaving behind infinity as applied to the universe, and such concepts as zero rest mass and universal constants when their instruments have become much more precise and capable of measuring to dozens of significant digits. Our supposed universal constants are only relative to existing conditions and circumstances. The universe is much too dynamic for these types of static, medieval notions. Relativity reigns supreme, not infinity. There is more to be discovered by scientists then they have discovered up till now about reality.

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spacecowboy342

How can the universe be flat? At the very least it must be cubed.

Infinite time gives rise to infinite possibility? Well infinite impossibility slots right in if that is the case.

Monkeys writing Shakespeare is impossibility defined.

Flat, meaning 0 curvature.
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spacecowboy342

There is nothing infinite that is composed of finite parts. Infinity, like zero, is simply a convenient mathematical idea, never observable naturally. Scientists will be leaving behind infinity as applied to the universe, and such concepts as zero rest mass and universal constants when their instruments have become much more precise and capable of measuring to dozens of significant digits. Our supposed universal constants are only relative to existing conditions and circumstances. The universe is much too dynamic for these types of static, medieval notions. Relativity reigns supreme, not infinity. There is more to be discovered by scientists then they have discovered up till now about reality.

No doubt there is much more to be learned by science but I don't think the possibility of infinity can be ruled out. As for 0, if something can be a measurable quantity then it would seem nothing is just the absence of a measurable quantity. 0 rest mass, I think, just shows a particle does not interact with the Higgs field. There is clearly a difference between particles like photons which can travel at c and paritcles with rest mass that can't. If the universe is finite, what happens if you go to the edge and stick your arm through?

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