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Is there a true singularity in nature?

  1. Oct 12, 2006 #1
    I am well aware that a number of physical models contain or predict
    singularities. My question is: Is there any experimental evidence that
    any singularity actually exists or are they all artifacts of the
    models?

    Lest someone jump right in with the singularity at the center of a
    black hole, let me say that, although the various solutions of
    Einstein's Equation have provided much useful guidance in
    understanding the structure of the universe, as far as I know, the
    center of a star or BH is outside of the range (or is it domain) of
    applicability of the various solutions because they presume a non-zero
    stress-energy tensor. In point of fact, we do not know what is in
    there, we just know about the effects at and/or outside of the event
    horizon.

    It is my belief that there are no singularities in nature. I am
    looking for evidence that I am wrong.

    Note that renormalization in QED 'takes care of' the singularities,
    i.e. they are not really there, just in an incomplete model. I suspect
    that a comprehensive theory of quantum gravity may exhibit similar
    behavior. Meanwhile, our ingenuity in constructing mathematical models
    is less ingenious than Reality itself.

    For your kind consideration,

    George D. Freeman IV, aka

    the softrat
    Sometimes I get so tired of the taste of my own toes.
    mailto:softrat@pobox.com
    --
    "Some students drink at the fountain of knowledge, some students
    just gargle!" -- Navjot Singh Siddu
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2010 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    There are true singularities. Wave dislocations are zeroes with indeterminate phase:

    http://www.phy.bris.ac.uk/people/berry_mv/the_papers/Berry034.pdf

    And caustics, which are infinite in intensity:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caustic_(optics)

    Those are the only two I know of.
     
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