What are singularities?

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Offline Joe L. Ogan

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What are singularities?
« on: 25/01/2010 22:23:58 »
What are singularities?  How many of them have happened?  Is this something that just happens in space?  Thanks for comments.  Joe L. Ogan 

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Offline JP

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What are singularities?
« Reply #1 on: 25/01/2010 23:30:44 »
Physics uses mathematical models to describe how the universe works.  A singularity is a point in a model where something becomes undefined.  In many instances, something becomes infinite.  In many cases, physically interesting things happen at the singularity.

One kind of singularity that receives a lot of attention is a black hole, where the density of matter becomes infinite according to the current models.  (This doesn't mean that it physically becomes infinite, just that our models break down there.) 

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Offline Soul Surfer

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What are singularities?
« Reply #2 on: 26/01/2010 19:12:18 »
Singularities are a mathematical concept and exist all over the place.  Electronics calls them "poles".  They usually occur where a value in the denominator of a reciprocal function goes to zero meaning that the value of the function goes to infinity at one precise point.  The fact that this happens does not usually cause any problems with the physics because real things have finite sizes and the result is in effect smoothed out.
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