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

From: Don Winterstein <>
Date: Thu Oct 02 2008 - 08:12:01 EDT

Dividing numbers can go on ad infinitum, because numbers are figments of our imagination. Dividing spacetime, according to accepted theory, has limits. Of course, if you conceptually isolate one of those smallest possible elements of spacetime, you can conceptually mark off subdivisions; but such subdivisions would have no relevance to any physical process.

In response to "Coope": My understanding is that physicists believe the 2nd Law holds everywhere in our expanding universe, but I guess it would not hold everywhere in a contracting universe, because ultimately that would be like having the air go spontaneously back into the balloon--in obvious violation of the 2nd Law.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Dehler, Bernie<>
  Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 10:09 PM
  Subject: RE: [asa] Thermodynamics & Eternal Universe - A Question

  -----Original Message-----
  From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. []
  Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 8:41 PM
  To: Dehler, Bernie
  Subject: Re: [asa] Thermodynamics & Eternal Universe - A Question

  On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 17:00:15 -0700 "Dehler, Bernie"
  <<>> writes:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. []
> Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 4:17 PM
> To: Dehler, Bernie
> Cc:<>
> Subject: Re: [asa] Thermodynamics & Eternal Universe - A Question
> On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 11:58:49 -0700 "Dehler, Bernie"
> <<>> 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

  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)
  Sorry to say that did not clearly answer my attempt at a clarifying question- I still don't know your answer. Does dividing a length by two go on for infinity or stop at the planck length? There's only two choices, or feel free to add another.


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Received on Thu Oct 2 07:14:28 2008

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