This question is probably so easy that I'm making it too complicated but here it is:(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

"THOMPSON'S LAMP: Consider a lamp, with a switch. Hit the switch once, it turns it on. Hit it again, it turns it off. Let us imagine there is a being with supernatural powers who likes to play with this lamp as follows. First, he turns it on. At the end of one minute, he turns it off. At the end of half a minute, he turns it on again. At the end of a quarter of a minute, he turns it off. In one eighth of a minute, he turns it on again. And so on, hitting the switch each time after waiting exactly one-half the time he waited before hitting it the last time. Applying the above discussion, it is easy to see that all these infinitely many time intervals add up to exactly two minutes."

"QUESTION: At the end of two minutes, is the lamp on, or off?"

Conceptually, without mathematical background, I would say ON since it was ON when it began. But why? Why not? Mathematically?

"ANOTHER QUESTION: Here the lamp started out being off. Would it have made any difference if it had started out being on?"

Again, conceptually, I would say yes, it would be ON if it started ON. But what's the answer? Mathematically?

Thanks.

David

**Physics Forums - The Fusion of Science and Community**

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Zeno's Paradox of Motion:Thompson's Lamp Scenario

Loading...

Similar Threads for Zeno's Paradox Motion | Date |
---|---|

Is Zeno's paradox valid | Jun 5, 2015 |

Is there an answer to Zeno's paradox of Achilles and the tortoise ? | Jul 8, 2012 |

Does calculus fully solve Zeno's Paradoxes | Jun 10, 2012 |

Debunking Zeno's Paradox with Galileo's Speed | Jun 7, 2007 |

An effort to solve Zeno's motion Paradoxes | Dec 17, 2003 |

**Physics Forums - The Fusion of Science and Community**