Is very finite number of ways that matter can be arranged?

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Tailspin, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. Tailspin Registered Member

    Messages:
    78
    Thank you for your response. I know I might have been annoying but it’s only because creativity means so much to me. It brought me joy and gave my life purpose. This theory threatened to take that away from me.

    Just to be clear, why do you say there is nothing anyone can say that will answer your question to your satisfaction? Is it because the theory has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt or because no-one can prove or disprove it? I know humbleteleskop tried to prove it but frankly all he offered was logic and logic is not proof.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,136
    If you have a finite space and can only divide it up into units no larger than a Planck length then it's a mathematical certainty that you have a finite number of material arrangements. It's like an enormous Rubiks Cube.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Tailspin Registered Member

    Messages:
    78
    What is a Planck? Are you saying this has definitely been proven? Is this widely accepted? Is there any debate over weather this is true or not?

    P.S I just looked it up on wikipedia, it does not describe it as the smallest possible length.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,809
    The reason I say that no one will answer it to your satisfaction is because on some level you want to worry about this. So any answer that could result in your not worrying will be dismissed. The truth is that it this problem makes absolutely no difference one way or the other to your life. It is something that you are worrying about just for the sake of worring. I am sure it does not seem that way to you but it seems pretty clear to me. I mean the earth is going to be consumed by the sun in a few billion years so do not sweat the art issue it will all be vaproized anyway. Feel better now? I don't mean to make light of this actually because I know that this is a real problem for you, I just don't think you are going to find any answers here, the only place you will find answers are through good counseling.

    Good luck, and work hard.
     
  8. Tailspin Registered Member

    Messages:
    78
    Why is it every time I start talking about this theory everyone else stops talking about it?

    It is possible that I have some deep subconscious need to worry that I am unaware of that that doesn't mean this theory isn't a concern for me.
    And I really hate it when people tell me that it doesn't matter because, to me at least, it matters immensely and no amount of counselling will ever change my view on that. When people say that it doesn't matter I get incredibly angry and frustrated with them, I have exhausted myself trying to explain it to them, it boggles my mind how they can even ask that and it immediately says to me that this person can't help me.

    That part about the Sun doesn't make any difference to me. Because I have no doubt that long before then, humanity will have advanced enough to either evacuate the entire planet or find some other solution, preserving all the art. And just to be clear, the part that bothers me about this theory is not just that all possibilities will one day be exhausted its the fact that they can be exhausted. The idea that everything that can exist or happen has been written into the universe already. As a human being it makes me feel trapped, that every action I have ever taken nor will ever take is just part of some cosmic pre-programming. And as an artist it makes me feel like I, nor anyone else, will never truly create anything. All we do is just go through the list of things that are predetermined.

    Through my sessions with my therapist we have talked extensively about this but there is no amount of therapy that will ever get me to accept this theory. And maybe there is some other reason I have latched on to this but in order for me to move on I need something that will tell me this theory is not, or at least may not, be true.
    My therapist keeps telling me that no one can be 100% certain of anything and that many theories have been debunked and disproven over the ages and there's no reason I shouldn't think this theory will be one of them. But it seems to me that those who believe in it have science and logic and renowned scientists to support it. All I have is hope and wishful thinking.

    The whole reason I came here was to find something solid to base my disbelief on.
    I will continue to see my therapist but it would really, really help if somebody could give me some piece of scientific evidence to suggest that possibilities are infinite no matter finite space or how much time passes.
     
  9. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,809
    Because it is boring and it is also obvious that this is just something that you are obsessing about. I personally am more concerned about the amount of food I should be feeding my cat than this 'issue'

    You have been given information, but again it is obvious you do not want answers you want to talk about your obsession. You will never know the answer to 100% certainty. Regardless of the answer there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

    I wish to god my biggest worry was, "will mankind run out of new ideas in a billion years".

    I am very bored with this and so I will no longer be participating, however I do know that this is causing you real stress and I hope that you are able to work through this and have a happy life.

    Good luck and work hard.

    PS You said,"Through my sessions with my therapist we have talked extensively about this but there is no amount of therapy that will ever get me to accept this theory". That is not the point of the therapy, the point of the therapy is to help you stop obsessing about the question not to answer it!
     
  10. Tailspin Registered Member

    Messages:
    78
    I'm sorry.

    You say I've been given information, I don't comprehend mutch of what has been said here. has anyone siad that this theory is not true? Because plenty of people seem to have said that it is. I want to know if it's true or not. I don't just reject every answer, it's just that no-one has given me a solid scientific reason for thinking that it's untrue.
     
  11. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    "What makes people think that there is a finite number of ways that matter can be arranged in any finite space?
    Is there room for doubt in this theory?"

    This idea is for people who think along the lines of Stephen Wolfram. The many errors in his 20 year tome "A New Kind of Science", like the beginning of this thread, totally neglect E = mc^2, and that's just for starters. Matter is equivalent to energy; moreover, it cannot even exist without the operation of the Higgs mechanism, which derives of the energy of the vacuum. Energy does not have a finite number of states. Any arguments about this universe being comparable to finite automata are so much nonsense. The argument, if there is one, is entirely contained in your manifestly finite minds.
     
  12. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,136
    There is theory which suggests nothing can be meaningfully shorter than a Planck length.

    This whole exercise is so silly anyway. Limiting material arrangements to a finite number, rather than a infinite one, makes no difference whatsoever. The number of possibilities involved are practically without bound, even if they are theoretically finite. The numbers we're discussing are so big that we cannot come close to comprehending them (e.g. on the order of hundreds of zeroes+++). YOUR ART IS SAFE, OP, SO STOP WORRYING.
     
  13. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,287
    I think there are a finite amount of infinite things. If you have an eternity you have infinite time. Eternity gives infinity.
     
  14. Tailspin Registered Member

    Messages:
    78
    As I've said before, it doesn't make any difference to me how large the finite number is so long as it is finite. It makes me feel that I, nor any other artist, has ever created or will ever truly create anything. It is the universe has created the possibilities for everything and anything,we are just stumbling across them. And I would appreciate it if you didn't call this silly because it's life-and-death to me. Just the other day, my father was angrily saying how ridiculous I was being.

    I started this thread because I hoped I would hear someone say something like…
    "This theory is a load of rubbish that is not generally accepted by the scientific community and here is a detailed list of the various scientific proofs that disproves this theory completely…”

    And now you danshawen seem to be saying that. I didn't comprehend it all and to be honest, I have no idea what E = mc^2 is apart from one of the most iconic phrases in science but I managed to pick up on some of it. Thank you.
     
  15. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    I would think that idea (of there being an infinite variety of art) would be something of an encouragement to an artist. As an art enthusiast, I'd be bummed by the idea that I could ever see every painting, hear every piece of music, or anything else.

    Can you explain approximately what part of what I wrote is causing despair?
     
  16. Tailspin Registered Member

    Messages:
    78
    None of it, thought it was just what I've been needing to hear. Sorry if you got the idea that something you wrote is causing despair because it's not.
    Do you think you could exlpain you original post in more detail?
     
  17. Beaconator Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    426
    If you took a mole of each 114 elements and placed them in the same box you would have 114 moles in a confined space. Yet within that space there would be infinite possibilities of arrangements due to change. they could all transform into hydrogen which would increase the space allowing for higher degrees of variable arrangements.
     
  18. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,890
    No, they could not.
     
  19. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,287
    Tell me how infinity is calculated.
     
  20. Tailspin Registered Member

    Messages:
    78
    Trick question.
     
  21. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    None of it, thought it was just what I've been needing to hear. Sorry if you got the idea that something you wrote is causing despair because it's not.
    Do you think you could exlpain you original post in more detail?

    Although I read your original question some time back, I hadn't really thought about it in quite that way before. Quantum theory posits that energy packets called quanta are everywhere in scales on the order of atomic structure. They are, but now it's becoming apparent exactly why that is, and once again I'm astounded by how the Higgs mechanism seems to have something to say about every aspect of science, including quantum theory. Without matter (particularly electrons) to quantize photons, they can literally be ANY energy value. That's a fact. Some other kinds of energy related to atomic structure is also quantized, but the quantization actually manifests in part due to the Higgs mechanism. I don't know why I hadn't thought about it before.

    Given a single oil painting on canvas, say the Mona Lisa, there would literally be an infinitude of photon energies, just in the visible range of our eyes, mind you, simply to illuminate the art. If that is not enough, there is likewise an infinitude of directions in a hemisphere surrounding the front of the painting from which to illuminate it, each with a different emphasis on the shadow of the original brush strokes. Not enough possibilities yet? Try X-rays, Gamma rays, UV A,B,C. Are we up to an infinitude of infinitudes yet?

    More to the point, I'm now beginning to wonder if the reason the universe is set up in this manner is to satisfy the aesthetics of a mind with not only a greater capacity than ours, but also with a predisposition to boredom if there were fewer variations. Atomic structure itself evidently is something of an amazing piece of sculpture, for the reasons Peter Higgs and I have suggested.
     
  22. Tailspin Registered Member

    Messages:
    78
    Just to be clear, are you saying that there is a possibility that there is an infinite number of way that matter can be arranged in a finite space? Becuase it sounds like you are just talking about illumination.
     
  23. danshawen Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    Every atom of matter in everything in the universe where there are atoms (nebula, planets, stars, a cup of coffee, you, me) exists from moment to moment only because the electrons, up quarks in protons, down quarks in neutrons, virtual mesons that are part of the strong force, W and Z bosons that are part of the electroweak force, all of these, are gifted the property we call inertial mass by the Higgs mechanism. The force that nails bits of atomic structure together comes from interactions with Higgs bosons, which are an excitation of the Higgs field, which permeates EMPTY SPACE everywhere.

    The Mona Lisa IS illumination, all by itself. Ideas about matter having a finite number of states are wrong. Matter cannot even exist without the energy of the vacuum propping it up. The vacuum itself does not appear to have anything like the quantization that matter does going on in there in the virtual particles winking in and out of existence from zeptosecond to zeptosecond, or in any of the other kinds of fields, mesons, gluons, or whatever.
     

Share This Page