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Does Infinity Really Exist?


PaulaJedi
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These are somewhat random thoughts from my head, not scientific theories or proofs. I am being more philosophical here. That being said:

 

Infinity is defined as "the quality of having no limits or end". At first, I began thinking that infinity cannot exist. There is death, planets are swallowed by black holes (hush Einstein), friendships fail, cars die, money runs out and then I realized, ironically, there are an "infinite" number of ways to "end". That pretty much has thrown my theory out the window, or has it?

 

Perhaps there really are a limited number of things to end. There are limits everywhere. There are limits in Calculus. There are boundaries in friendships. There are stop signs. Limits exist psychologically and physically in every aspect of our lives.

 

Who is to say that infinity really exists? Some people believe in ghosts, so if we ever find absolute, concrete evidence of an after life, that would be score 1 for the existence of infinity. Do we have any other proof of infinity other than in math? Does math really PROVE infinity exists, or is the concept of infinity simply used as a tool? CAN we find proof of infinity unless we can, indeed, live forever?

 

If our universe had a beginning, who is to say it won't have an end? Correct me if I'm wrong, and I could be (these are just random thoughts), but the "existence" (not expansion!) of our universe behaves like a ray:

 

O------------------------------>

 

Solid point (the beginning), expanding outward towards....infinity..??? This, we don't really know!!!

 

Let's hear your polite arguments. Do you have proof infinity exists?

 

 

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You may be trying to use the precept of infinity within the concept of eternity.

 

Infinity is real.

 

Infinity is the precept used in science, math, and physics pertaining to things that can not be counted or measured. It does have a beginning. It does not have a "reachable" end.

 

The reciprocal of 3: 1/3 produces an infinite answer of 0.33333...

 

The calculation is not infinite. It stops when you do, but if you decide to check it just one more time, it will still produce another 3, infinitely.

 

Everything in the physical universe had a beginning so it will also have an end. Birth ends in death, Suns collapse, planets form and break apart, etc.

 

Eternity is the concept of something without beginning or end. It is temporal in nature, as in timeless. Therefore nothing in the "physical" universe can ever be eternal.

 

 

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Infinity is defined as "the quality of having no limits or end".

Perhaps there really are a limited number of things to end.

There's your problem in understanding your question. You defined infinity as a quality and then you tried to understand it by stating that it is a quantity. A quality is not a quantity.

 

Infinities can be either bounded or unbounded. As an example, the circumference of a circle is a bounded infinity. You can travel the circumference forever and never come to "the end" yet there is a very definite limit to the magnitude of the circumference. Similarly, you can perform chain multiplications of certain types, add each result to the original number, do it an infinite number of times and the result will be a very finite and predictable number, i.e. a converging series. Left-right converging series are a central concept of differential calculus. Calculations that are "impossible" in arithmetic are entirely possible in calculus because you can use infinite series converging calculations.

 

In other circumstances infinities of math don't forever exist in physics. Carbon-15 has a half-life of ~2.5 seconds (2.44 sec). Straight math says that you can produce an infinite chain of 50% decays every 2.5 seconds and you'll always have half of the previous amount of carbon-15 left over. Mathematically, that's true. Physically, not true. Eventually you will have one atom of carbon-15 left and when it decays to nitrogen-15 it's over...no more carbon.

 

In physics it is understood that a math result of infinity is generally not a good thing and is to be avoided unless the observed physics supports the infinity result. It's generally termed as having an equation "blow up" if the result is infinity. This is one of the reasons why General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are hard to combine into a single unified theory when gravity is inserted at the quantum level. Gravity, obviously, isn't infinitely strong. But the equations of standard QM cause the gravitational force to blow up to infinity.

 

The bottom line is that infinity really isn't much of a philosophical issue, is well defined in both math and physics and under most circumstances is not a problem.

 

 

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Good one -- but the repeating decimals only exist if something is calculating it. If that "thing" (brain, calcuator) stops, it is no longer infinite. :)

Lol. Does a tree that fall in the middle of the forest really fell if no one was there to watch it as it went down?

 

Everything is being calculated all the time, everywhere. The laws of physics are occurring and as they do, the math is being applied. Not by humans, but by the very nature of the laws itself. The calculation to make a strong base for a building to be erected, didn't stop to "calculate itself" when the engineer delivered his blue prints. As of now, the walls around you are being held by those initial calculations.

 

 

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Lol. Does a tree that fall in the middle of the forest really fell if no one was there to watch it as it went down?

Everything is being calculated all the time, everywhere. The laws of physics are occurring and as they do, the math is being applied. Not by humans, but by the very nature of the laws itself. The calculation to make a strong base for a building to be erected, didn't stop to "calculate itself" when the engineer delivered his blue prints. As of now, the walls around you are being held by those initial calculations.

But math is just a concept. It isn't a physical reality. Infinity isn't, either.

 

 

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I'm not sure if it's "just a concept". The way I see, math is a methodology humans found to demonstrate how things around us work. I understand concept as being more like a an idea, which may or may not be true.

 

If you mean "not a physical reality" as in "I'm not able to weigh a piece of math and carry it with me" then you're right.

 

 

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Someone pointed out to me that I was confusing eternity and infinity. If the circle is destroyed, it is no longer a circle so infinity won't be an issue. :)

You've given yourself an infinite task. I don't believe you can eliminate all circles from our universe. Just suppose that the circle is a basic building block for everything in the universe. Then it would require you to destroy the universe. What I'm saying is, the circle can't be destroyed.

 

 

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Of course the infinity exists. Here is the algorithm:

1. Make the time travel to the past possible.

 

2. Wait until the end of time.

 

3. Use time travel to go at the beginning of time.

 

4. Go to step 2.

Your proffer of #2 and #3 are proofs that infinity does not exist. How can you wait until the end of time and travel to the beginning of time if the magnitude of the set "all of time" is infinite? If you can observe both the beginning and the end the magnitude of the set is finite by definition.

 

 

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Someone pointed out to me that I was confusing eternity and infinity. If the circle is destroyed, it is no longer a circle so infinity won't be an issue. :)

Destroy what circle and how? A circle is 6.28 radians; it's not a physical object. Just travel at an unchanging distance from a fixed point for 6.28 rads (360 degrees) and you've traveled a circle. It's a bound infinity: no matter how long you travel you never come to "the end" of the circle (infinity) but you also never travel anywhere other than along the closed circumference of the circle (bound or boundary).

 

 

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  • 6 years later...

Forgot about this thread.  Thank-you Gamer for bringing this back to the light.  🙂      Seems that there is a issue with the definition of "infinity" verses " eternal".  I figure that "infinity" refers to a physical definition , and "eternity" refers to a measure of time.   

in the YouTube video linked , an astronaut is running on a ring around a planet.  First thing is setting of parameters of the scenario.  That the astronaut is indeed running a'top a 'ring' that is circular in shape.  That the astronaut will be running along the top of the ring forever.   

IF the astronaut had a starting point, then from his perspective, is the ring really infinite, if asked how many times he has passed a starting point? 
IF the astronaut is doomed to run a'top the ring forever, he is running on it 'not' infinitely, but, eternally. 

 

 Run AstroMan Run

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  • 2 weeks later...
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