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Many awkward questions on these pages are caused by the rigorous application of mathematical concepts of infinity to physical situations.

What do you think of larger and lesser infinities.Now, that's a strange subject

Quote from: Soul Surfer on 10/02/2010 20:25:39 Many awkward questions on these pages are caused by the rigorous application of mathematical concepts of infinity to physical situations.I know I've seen these before, but I can't recall one at the moment. Can you give an example?

Quote from: JP on 11/02/2010 10:29:06Quote from: Soul Surfer on 10/02/2010 20:25:39 Many awkward questions on these pages are caused by the rigorous application of mathematical concepts of infinity to physical situations.I know I've seen these before, but I can't recall one at the moment. Can you give an example?The most common that comes to mind is describing The Universe as 'infinite', when 'open' or 'unbounded' may be better descriptions.

One a related topic, you will have noticed that the word "exponential" is increasingly abused in the media and by politicians, to mean anything that increases faster than linear.On the smarter programmes (Radio 4) we're now beginning to hear the word "geometrical" in the context of growth or expansion - meaning exactly what exponential used to mean. []

Quote from: LeeE on 12/02/2010 01:18:19Quote from: JP on 11/02/2010 10:29:06Quote from: Soul Surfer on 10/02/2010 20:25:39 Many awkward questions on these pages are caused by the rigorous application of mathematical concepts of infinity to physical situations.I know I've seen these before, but I can't recall one at the moment. Can you give an example?The most common that comes to mind is describing The Universe as 'infinite', when 'open' or 'unbounded' may be better descriptions.The problem is that something can be finite, but unbounded. The two terms have different meanings.From our point of view the Earth's surface is unbounded - you can set off in any direction and keep going. You never hit a boundary. But the Earth is also finite.

I think Geezer is on to something there."Defies quantification"How about Defqua?Or does that sound to military?"Well Sir, we spotted this defqua trying to take over our limited resources, so we attacked with our larger Defqua. But, alas, it refused to surrender insisting that is was just as much a defqua as the one taking over."