# Decimal fractions and the numer 1

1. Dec 29, 2003

### timejim

Decimal fractions and the number 1

I have wondered about this question. I know it may seem simplistic but maybe someone can explain to me how it occurs. Also, maybe there is a relationship between Mathematics and the concept of TIME.
At the very beginning of TIME, before you get to the first second of existence, you had the start of the first second, for example, lets start at 0.00000001> second. Now, since this number could go on and on indefinitely, how would you ever get to the very first second of TIME? Or, is there some law of mathematics that would jump to the 1 second count because TIME requires that the number stop going to infinitum and proceed to the first (1) second? I have always wondered about this.

Last edited: Dec 29, 2003
2. Dec 29, 2003

### mathman

To me, the passage of time and representation of numbers are two completely different things. In other words time goes on irrespective of how one writes numbers, and number representations do not effect the passage of time. What is the problem?

3. Dec 30, 2003

### MathematicalPhysicist

your concept seems to have similarity to zeno paradoxes of motion and time.

4. Dec 31, 2003

### markgriffith

numbers, fractions, time

Seems to me that the idea of a start to time is quite paradoxical enough on its own without having to worry about how the first instant or time unit "gets started".

I suppose those loopy-string people are hoping the idea of a start to time is just going to drop out of the equations somehow [very good luck to them, might work] but even if they do, the idea of before-time is a bit mind-boggling from our apparently time-bound perspective, isn't it?

5. Dec 31, 2003

Staff Emeritus
Actually what everyone is hoping for is that whichever theory finally works, it will eliminate the singularity at t=0. It will probably also eliminate the continuum on which the Zeno type argument is made. If spacetime points are just "excitations" of some kind from some yet-to-be-discovered underlying stratum, then a convergent point set will be the least of our conceptual worries.

6. Jan 1, 2004

### markgriffith

continuum, singularity

I think we agree roughly, only you understand the issue in rather more detail than I do.

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7. Jan 2, 2004

### wasteofo2

Many believe that time is quantitative, and that the shortest amount of time possible is approx 1^-43 second, aka planck time.

8. Jan 4, 2004

### markgriffith

decimal fractions, time etc

Slight digression, but no-one here has been following the effect of decimalisation of price quoting on American stock exchanges the last couple of years by any chance?

My hunch at the time, and the industry consensus now, was that the increased number of quotable fractions would actually cost customers more not less.

Anyone following that odd example of numbering affecting the underlying reality?

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9. Jan 12, 2004

### pallidin

The number 1 collapsing into zero quantity cannot be considered infinite because the end result(zero) is being premptively defined and thus has limits with respect to "1"

10. Jan 15, 2004

### Sariaht

Re: Decimal fractions and the number 1

The universe did not begin to exist, it was.