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Therammo

If the universe is infinite does that mean there is an infinite number of "me"s?

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I think that's the one I watched Rob. very mind-bending!

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I wonder why in an expanding Universe time is explained in linear form. If the Universe is expanding does that not mean time is expanding in the same way, therefore the Universe is expanding at the same rate as time?  If this is the case, does it not mean that the future (and all atoms) have not been created yet and and for want of a better analogy 'the future is a big black nothingness in front of us and in all directions?

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that is clearly what I was getting at. I was in no way inferring any link to all the mes, just a coincidental evolutionary path, resulting in the same post an infinite number of times on an infinite number of SGLs. this as I understand it is the very definition of infinity and a reason why it's unlikely that the universe is in fact universally big (or is it?).

Will we ever know ?

The whole thing is just mind boggling.

Avtar

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 If you have an infinite amount of space, then wouldn't there absolutely HAVE to be another universe out there (perhaps an infinite number of them?)

Why would there be? it could be nothing more than "empty" space.

then that would mean that EVENTUALLY there would be another milky way galaxy, and everything that has happened here in 'our' galaxy, would happen the exact same in that galaxy.

An infinite universe does not equal and infinite amount of matter. so, no, there's no reason to assume that there are an infinite number of you.

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I read in a book once about a playing card analogy:

Lets say you have three playing cards, Jack, Queen and a King. These can be ordered JQK, JKQ, QJK, QKJ, KQJ, KJQ.

If we assume our visible universe makes up for one order, lets say JQK, assuming there are an infinite number of visible universe sections, then in theory the pattern must repeat at some point down the line in another visible universe section.

Of course atom configuration (that make up you or I) is a whole lot more complicated than just three cards, but in theory if it is infinite, the pattern should repeat at some point.   

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I wonder why in an expanding Universe time is explained in linear form. If the Universe is expanding does that not mean time is expanding in the same way, therefore the Universe is expanding at the same rate as time? If this is the case, does it not mean that the future (and all atoms) have not been created yet and and for want of a better analogy 'the future is a big black nothingness in front of us and in all directions?

Somehow I find your last statement a little depressing ;-)

My understanding was that all matter and energy in the universe were created at the Big Bang, rather than actively being created now. Matter and energy can be converted into each other but not created? Am I right?

I sort of get the idea of an infinite universe, but do not see why this has to mean infinite numbers of parallel universes.

I find it just as easy to believe that all the stars and galaxies are mere particles in the next level of structure upwards. In the same way that we seem to be able to drill down to smaller and smaller particles, perhaps the same thing happens on a larger scale? Maybe I need another cup of tea before I wake up properly ;-)

Stu

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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This discussion fails to address a fundamental question: which infinity are we talking about? There are several (starting with ℵ0 (aleph-0)). People like to think that the number of possible states of a system (like e.g. a human being) are discrete (i.e. we can count them). Because we know the number of atoms in our body is finite, there must be a finite number of possible states. If this is true, an infinite universe must contain an infinite number of copies.

Note however that the quantum states of a system are only neatly discrete in isolation. In practice, other entities perturb the quantum states. If not, hydrogen lines would be infinitely thin (and everybody knows examples of people who, when nearby, cause your blood pressure to increase ;)). It is also why molecules have emission bands, rather than lines. Because there are forces acting essentially at infinite distances, very many systems interact. This means that the states of each atom in a person should be expressed in terms of real numbers. This means the number of possible states is infinite. 

Now comes the bit about "which infinity?": Even in an infinite universe there may be more possible configurations than numbers of atoms in the universe. My intuition would be that the number of possible configurations has a higher cardinality than the number of atoms in an infinite universe which I would guess(!) is ℵ0, because I think they should be countable. It is known that the cardinality of the set of real numbers is larger than that, thus the number of configurations (expressed as sets or vectors of real numbers) is larger than the number of atoms. If this is true, no exact (or even close) copies of a system such as planet earth with all its inhabitants and history can be expected. 

I lean towards this latter theory

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Somehow I find your last statement a little depressing ;-)

My understanding was that all matter and energy in the universe were created at the Big Bang, rather than actively being created now. Matter and energy can be converted into each other but not created? Am I right?

I sort of get the idea of an infinite universe, but do not see why this has to mean infinite numbers of parallel universes.

I find it just as easy to believe that all the stars and galaxies are mere particles in the next level of structure upwards. In the same way that we seem to be able to drill down to smaller and smaller particles, perhaps the same thing happens on a larger scale? Maybe I need another cup of tea before I wake up properly ;-)

Stu

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Was Dark Matter and Dark Energy created at the Big Bang or did it already exist ?

Avtar

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Was Dark Matter and Dark Energy created at the Big Bang or did it already exist ?

Avtar

I didn't think anything 'existed' before the Big Bang, or at least it was all concentrated into one singularity???? At and beyond my humble limits here :-)

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Like Stu, once the detailed discussion starts I begin to edge ever closer to the cliff of uncertainty.

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People talk about the big bang as though it is fact - it's only a theory ;) As matter can neither be created nor destroyed, where did it come from? If there was a big bang, how did it occur out of nothingness? For now, 'don't know' is the most sensible answer.

It is possible there are an infinite number of universes, quantum theory allows for this. Just how we would determine their existence is another matter.

To confirm the existence of a different universe, we would require some kind of bridge to connect us to it. The issue with that is you would probably connect to all of the alternate universes at the same time. Not really such a good idea.

Maybe that's what the 'big bang' is, a sudden outpouring of matter from one universe to another.

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People talk about the big bang as though it is fact - it's only a theory ;) As matter can neither be created nor destroyed, where did it come from? If there was a big bang, how did it occur out of nothingness? For now, 'don't know' is the most sensible answer.

It is possible there are an infinite number of universes, quantum theory allows for this. Just how we would determine their existence is another matter.

To confirm the existence of a different universe, we would require some kind of bridge to connect us to it. The issue with that is you would probably connect to all of the alternate universes at the same time. Not really such a good idea.

Maybe that's what the 'big bang' is, a sudden outpouring of matter from one universe to another.

Could The Big Bang be a Black Hole going into reverse as it were ?

Avtar

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If the Universe were infinite then the sky would be bright at night. Google "Olbers paradox".

But would there then not be an infinite number of "invisible" black holes.

Just a thought.

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But would there then not be an infinite number of "invisible" black holes.

Just a thought.

Or would these black holes act as lenses for anything bright behind them?

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Matter is routinely created and destroyed. It seems only to be an alternative expression of energy. Nuclear reactions transform matter into energy. Particles, which we call matter, spontaneously appear in what we used to call the vacuum and still do, with qualification. (The qualification being that that there is no zero-energy state and so particles can and do appear spontaneously, just as they also annihilate each other and vanish.)

We may not like this idea but why should nature concern itself with what we happen to find reasonable? Quatum theory is not reasonable!

Regarding multiple self conundrums, here's one. If on odd days you can only remember what happens on odd days, and on even ones you can only remember what happens on even ones, a) how many people are you and b ) how do you know this is not the case?

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice

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The biggest problem with infinity is its not a human relatable concept, yes we can ponder and postulate but our existance is bound within limits and boundrys, we are physically / mentaly wired that way, it is what we are, trying to grasp infinity is probably impossible for us to really understand.

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Ahhh, infinity...

That reminds me of the time we turned up at the hotel with an infinite number of rooms.

"Sorry, we're full" said the receptionist.

"That's ok" I said. "Just ask everyone to move to the room number one up from theirs. I'll have room 1" 

Sorry, :)

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I think it would be quite obvious when you wake up in a different place to where you remember going to sleep and all your stuff has been moved around.

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Infinity is a peculiar word and one I'm not convinced should exist! Mathematicians seem happy with it but what about the rest of us?

It seems to have too many meanings. Essentially I don't think it should be applied to reality. What it really seems to be about is our relationship with reality. When a number is vast but unknown we describe it as infinite. When a number is so big that it wouldn't matter to us if it got any bigger, then we call it infinite. In a nutshell, I think 'not finite' really just means 'not known.' Whether anything in nature is literally infinite is not known either but I'd have thought that modern physics argued against it. There is the Planck time and the Planck length, for instance, beneath which time and distance cease to be meaningful. There is a minilmum energy state as well. There is no vacuum. The speed of light is finite and seems to represent a maximum meaningful speed. Maybe infinity does not exist and is not knowable for that very reason.

Out of my depth!!!

Olly

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It is theoretically possible for a singularity to have infinite density, not something that is going to be tested anytime soon though.

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Infinity is a peculiar word and one I'm not convinced should exist! Mathematicians seem happy with it but what about the rest of us?

It seems to have too many meanings. Essentially I don't think it should be applied to reality. What it really seems to be about is our relationship with reality. When a number is vast but unknown we describe it as infinite. When a number is so big that it wouldn't matter to us if it got any bigger, then we call it infinite. In a nutshell, I think 'not finite' really just means 'not known.' Whether anything in nature is literally infinite is not known either but I'd have thought that modern physics argued against it. There is the Planck time and the Planck length, for instance, beneath which time and distance cease to be meaningful. There is a minilmum energy state as well. There is no vacuum. The speed of light is finite and seems to represent a maximum meaningful speed. Maybe infinity does not exist and is not knowable for that very reason.

Out of my depth!!!

Olly

If mathematicians are happy [overjoyed] with the the ''concept of infinity" then perhaps we should be too. After all, mathematicians are on the whole a pretty skeptical bunch. To avoid most confusing aspects of "infinity" I remember to myself: Infinity is NAN (not a number).

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It is theoretically possible for a singularity to have infinite density, not something that is going to be tested anytime soon though.

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 Hmmm . . . curious. Surely for a singularity to have infinite density it would have to consume infinite everything?  Which is a logical impossibility (possibly?) or a paradox.

>ohh . . . brain hurts slightly<

edit:

Just made the mistake of looking up 'infinity' on wiki-p. I was comfortable with the concept before; now my brain actually hurts and I may need to lie down.

Or mix a stiff vodka and tonic. One or the other. (probably the latter  :evil6: )

Edited by Myopicus

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It was my understanding that in mathematics infinities are a kind of checkmate, "does not compute" or "abort, retry, fail". 

Infinities are a conceptual construct which maths can't handle.

They just break it!

As for singularities. Well, if a point has zero size it takes only a vanishingly small mass to get an infinite density.

It's not the mass that's inconceivable, it's the space it's being crammed into! Divide by zero and all that!

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The universe can be finite but unbounded, like the surface of a sphere. 

Olber's paradox can be resolved by an expanding universe redshifting visible light down to invisible wavelengths.

Olly

But as the visible light gets redshifted into infrared, ultraviolet light gets redshifted into visible light, which is why redshift does not resolve Olber's paradox.

Then again, if the universe was infinitely old, and consisted of a finite-but-boundaryless 3D space (meaning if you keep going in one direction you would eventually come back to where you started from) we would be able to see every celestial object twice in the sky, once on each side of the world. For example the Andromeda Galaxy, we would see the photons that come directly at us on one side of the earth, and on the other side the ones that travelled away from us but have completed a complete "lap" around the universe (maybe looking very different than the Andromeda on the other side, since these photons have been travelling for a much longer time).

As far as we can tell, this doesnt happen, therefore the universe is not infinitely old and the photons going around the other way haven't reached us yet.

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It was my understanding that in mathematics infinities are a kind of checkmate, "does not compute" or "abort, retry, fail". 

Infinities are a conceptual construct which maths can't handle.

They just break it!

As for singularities. Well, if a point has zero size it takes only a vanishingly small mass to get an infinite density.

It's not the mass that's inconceivable, it's the space it's being crammed into! Divide by zero and all that!

h   e   a   d      h   u   r   t   s                    .                .                .

edit:  okay, I get the 'checkmate' resolution; but I'm curious as to the correlation with a hypothetically infinite singularity amongst a >perhaps generic< infinite universe, and the logical conclusion thereof. I recognise that this immediately enters into expansionist/solid state/cyclic universe ('universe' as in all there is) arguments. 

But, I can't believe that there is an infinite amount of stuff, ever expanding into an unending space. Even if there is nothing other than what exists and could be expanded into, surely it cannot stretch forever and will come back to a 'all that there is has a gravity, thereby must reconnect to an uber-singularity' eventually? And then there might be a very big bang.  Again?

Edited by Myopicus

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