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Infinitely minute

  1. mim

    mim 3

    This has been playing on and on in my head, If you take a single cell on say my finger and you say the world outside the cell wall is infinite. Is it also the case that the world inside the cell wall infinitely small.
    mim
     
  2. jcsd
  3. mathman

    mathman 6,493
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Is this a physics question or a philosophy question?
     
  4. mim

    mim 3

    physics,
     
  5. Danger

    Danger 9,879
    Gold Member

    I'm not sure about this, but my understanding is that the singularity of a black hole is considered to be a mathematical point. I've seen that defined as "infinitely small", but it's a difficult concept to envision. Maybe some of the astrophysics dudes can help out on that.
     
  6. Office_Shredder

    Office_Shredder 4,499
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The space outside the room I'm in is infinite (let's assume it is for the discussion) but that doesn't mean that the room I'm sitting in is infinitely small
     
  7. mim

    mim 3

    Why not. It seems to me that it may just be our perception of the world is so fixed by what we see that we don't really think about what is beyond what we can see. If the worlds strongest microscrope could be increased 1000 times or what ever, I think we would continue to see some kind of independent systems, that form parts of bigger systems. I feel that perhaps what will be discovered in the future will not be all about the bigger systems in our world. Sorry if this is begining to sound more like a philosophical thread. I am more interested in gaining an understanding using physics if possable.
     
  8. Office_Shredder

    Office_Shredder 4,499
    Staff Emeritus
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    Why not? Why would one say it's infinitely small? It has measurable volume.
     
  9. These types of questions can be difficult to differentiate between physics and philosophy. That is, in a certain sense, they are "thought experiments" without current potential for validation.
    This creates a problem, as we all know that many significant advances in physics began with "thought experiments", whereas otheres went nowhere.
    Hard call.
     
  10. Danger

    Danger 9,879
    Gold Member

    I rather suspect that Mim is thinking along the line fictionally expressed in "The Incredible Shrinking Man", wherein atoms turned out to be miniature stellar systems, which in turn were composed of smaller "atoms" that were also even more minute solar systems, ad infinitum. Current knowledge of atomic structure and subatomic particles eliminates that possibility.
    (It's still a damned entertaining story, though.)
     
  11. Mentallic

    Mentallic 3,695
    Homework Helper

    Your skin cells don't have cell walls :tongue:

    If we consider both cases where we assume outside the room or cell is infinite, while inside is either infinitely small or finite, both cases hold. Even if the room is finite you can still have infinite space outside, so making the assumption that the room inside must be infinitely small is wrong.
     
  12. CRGreathouse

    CRGreathouse 3,682
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I would call the space inside coinfinite.
     
  13. Perhaps he is an Ent. You never know on the internet.
     
  14. lisab

    Staff: Mentor

    You're thinking of the enternet.
     
  15. Ah! and obviously, the not infinitely minute ants are busy with the anternet.
     
  16. Danger

    Danger 9,879
    Gold Member

    Bloody 'ell... I've fallen into a nest of lunatics. :bugeye:
     
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