Register to reply 
Physical impossibility! 
Share this thread: 
#1
Nov3003, 09:09 PM

P: 3,408

In an infinite physical universe, can we describe mathematically physical impossibility, or are such constraints (e. g., Heisenberg uncertainty principle, constant speed of light, energy and momentum conservation) for finite space only?



#2
Dec103, 06:19 AM

Math
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 39,682

Whether the universe is finite or infinite has nothing to do with
" Heisenberg uncertainty principle, constant speed of light, energy and momentum conservation", etc. 


#3
Dec103, 09:34 AM

Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 1,772




#5
Dec103, 12:23 PM

Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 10,427

Chaos theory is just a branch of determinism that deals with systems that are very sensitive to initial conditions. I see no connection between chaos theory and any sort of infiniteness.
 Warren 


#6
Dec103, 01:09 PM

Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 1,772

Chaos theory also is useful for developing models of complex, interacting particles. The choas part is due to the nonpredictable nature of outcomes due to the impossibility of measuring the initial conditions.
One of the neat things about chaos theory is fractals which are, specifically, images produced by very simple algorithms. Fractals have infinite complexity although they exist within a finite space. Chaos theory has been used to answer the old atronomy paradox (I forgot whose paradox this is). IT was thought that if the universe was infinate, and the distribution of stars was random, then there should be light coming from every point in space, and the night sky would be very bright. This paradox was solved already in several other explanations (light is absorbed by dark matter is the most obvious one). BUt it is false to assume that there is a random distribution of stars. Galaxies and clusters are formed according to specific rules, and this is why a number of repeating shapes keep appearing. Galactic formations are perfect examples of fractal images (but then again, so is nearly everything). My point is, by saying that there is infinite space, and infinite possibilities, it does not necessarily follow that there be an infinite set of rules and constants. THere could be an infinite number of universes, but there does not have to be an infinite number of universal laws. 


#7
Dec103, 01:18 PM

Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 10,427

The accepted solution to the paradox is that the universe is either not infinitely old, or not infinitely large. Modern cosmology assumes the universe is neither infinitely old, nor infinitely large.  Warren 


#8
Dec103, 07:52 PM

Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 1,772

Yeeow!
I have to concede that I did not do a good job at making my point, although I don’t concede the point. It is not such an important point anyway, nor is it my own, so rather than defend it further and have Chroot drill through everything I say, I’ll just let it flounder there like a trout full of holes. I must say, however, that it was in my general astronomy class in sophomore year (1984) where my professor brought up the subject of fractals in regards to galaxies and Olber’s paradox. I suppose if I had taken notes I could have done a better job recounting the explanation. 


#9
Dec103, 11:10 PM

P: 3,408

HallsofIvy



#10
Dec203, 06:00 AM

Math
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
Thanks
PF Gold
P: 39,682




Register to reply 
Related Discussions  
Probability or Impossibility in QM?  Quantum Physics  27  
Apparent impossibility of uniform magnetic field  Classical Physics  14  
The impossibility of certainty  General Discussion  11  
The impossibility of a begin of time  General Discussion  49 