# Re: [asa] Thermodynamics & Eternal Universe - A Question

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Wed Oct 01 2008 - 23:41:15 EDT

On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 17:00:15 -0700 "Dehler, Bernie"
<bernie.dehler@intel.com> writes:
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. [mailto:dfsiemensjr@juno.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 4:17 PM
> To: Dehler, Bernie
> Cc: asa@calvin.edu
> Subject: Re: [asa] Thermodynamics & Eternal Universe - A Question
>
>
> On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 11:58:49 -0700 "Dehler, Bernie"
> <bernie.dehler@intel.com> writes:
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> ...........
>
> Dave- let me ask you a clarifying question. Can you take a
> measurement of 1 second and divide it in half until infinity, or do
> you stop at a point called planck time where time can no longer be
> divided? Same with starting with 1 inch- can you divide that by 2
> until infinity, or do you hit a limit when you hit the smallest
> possible length called planck length, which can't be divided
> anymore?
>
> ...Bernie
>
>
In answer to your question, I have a problem going beyond the 0.1 second
of my mechanical stopwatch. However, scientists with the proper apparatus
are now at the attosecond, I believe. At least they are producing some
mighty short pulses. This is still a long way from 10^-43. I have no idea
how far they can go with measurement, but there is a theoretical limit in
current physical theory. I do not know if this is the ultimate theory, or
if some future model will change this. However, whichever detectable
interval may be picked, it is possible to label the intervals
sequentially, for there are enough ordinal numbers to do the job. Recall
that it is impossible in principle to reach the last number by counting.
Also, within the "observable" sequence, the assignment of numerals is
arbitrary.

As to length, I suspect that the smallest layer is an atom thick. The
only unsupported film that thin seems to be that of carbon--I forget the
name given to what is equivalent to a single layer of graphite. But that
is a long way from the Planck length, which applies to certain
theoretical relationships. But, if one can distinguish the lengths, one
can label them sequentially. It doesn't matter the size, in principle,
though there is going to be a grave problem in practice.

I contend that my claim that, if the intervals can be numbered, we can
distinguish a previous and successive interval, always holds. This
principle holds even if I begin: imagine that we can divide the second
into 10^100 equal divisions, and we number a sequence of them from 1-50.
The one numbered 24 (or 24th) must immediately precede the one numbered
25. "It's impossible to subdivide second that fine" is no counter to
imagination. Of course, if someone says that the divisions must be
labeled modulo-12, there aren't any 24 and 25.
Dave (ASA)
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Received on Wed Oct 1 23:45:16 2008

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