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Largest and smallest structures

  1. Nov 10, 2009 #1
    Will we ever be able to find the smallest or the largest structures of the universe or is that not possible in the way infinitesimals and the number line never end.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2009 #2
    Depends what you consider a 'structure'... gas clouds can be super massive for example.

    As for clumped matter, you can't put too much matter in one place without it collapsing into a black hole under it's own gravity. And the smallest structures are those of atoms, or possibly the elementary particles themselves depending on how far you want to take it.

    Of course it's hard to know you found the 'largest' or 'smallest' of something, because you never know if your gonna find something smaller/larger.
  4. Nov 10, 2009 #3


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    Science Advisor

    It is important to understand that physics and mathematics are two completely different subjects. The concepts of infinitesimals and infinity in mathematics says nothing about the physical world. In math the concept of continuum is well defined, but whether or not space or time can be viewed strictly by a continuum model is an open question.
  5. Nov 10, 2009 #4


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    Gold Member

    I submit that the universe itself is the largest structure, but I don't know if that fits your definition.
  6. Nov 10, 2009 #5
    What is large and what is consider small? If you zoom all the way out nothing is large and everything is small. Thats kinda like determining what is right and what is wrong. :), but who knows, we claim that we did find suns so large that our sun is the size of an earth to that sun. lol
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