Naked Science Forum
Non Life Sciences => Physics, Astronomy & Cosmology => Topic started by: thedoc on 13/07/2012 22:30:01

Ernest Kahn asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris,
I listen to 702 on Fridays.
My question is; is infinitely big inversely equal to infinitely small ? (in terms of the outer universe v the small particles )
Regards
Ernest Kahn
JHB, South Africa
What do you think?

The concept of infinitely anything is strictly only a mathematical concept and cannot relate to the observable physical world. Using it for physical situations creates all sorts of pointless paradoxes. Indefinitely large and negligibly small are probably the best terms to use in many cases.
Whilst I agree that reciprocal relationships (that is relationships where as one thing grows another gets smaller) are extremely important in physical science. Taking them to the mathematical limit does not in general add anything to an extreme non limiting case.
reciprocal relationships are a very interesting case of an equation, where the product of two parameters equals a constant