Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Infinite Small?



Consider this; the universe is infinite.  It goes on forever.  It just goes on and on and on in all directions. You could say it was "large," but that is a gross understatement if you consider that it goes on forever.  Technically, I don't even think "large" is the correct term to use to describe it.  Essentially, the universe is sizeless.  But for lack of a better term, we'll refer to the universe as the "infinite large."

Now consider time.  Consider how we measure time.  Years, months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds.  If you think about it, you can never pinpoint a moment in time but so specifically.  You can pinpoint a moment down to a second, but you can split a second into an infinite amount of fractions of itself.  You can go to a tenth of second, hundredth of a second, thousandths, millionths, billionths, and so on.

With that in mind, let's now consider the atom.  The atom is a basic unit of matter that can be broken down into protons, neutrons, and electrons.  Protons and neutrons can be further broken down into quarks.  Better observation equipment and microscopes have enabled scientists to find these tiny particles.  But consider this; what is the smallest of the small?  Scientists didn't always know about quarks.  Could there be something smaller than quarks?  And could there be something smaller than whatever that may be?  If so, how small is the smallest of the small?  Or could it be that there is an "infinite small?"  Could the particles that make up an atom be broken down into infinitely smaller particles?  I mean, could you ever really get to the point of saying there's 'nothing else here'?  There's seemingly 'something' everywhere.  Whether it's air, atoms, 'dark matter', photons, or neutrinos; it seems that you can find 'something' everywhere.  How could you ever really break a particle down small enough to get to the point where you could say there is 'nothing else here'?  If you could break something down to the point of saying there is 'nothing else here', then the next question you could ask is, "How is it that there is anything anywhere at all (Because if something isn't made of something, then theoretically, it must be nothing!)?"

To measure something, you need a starting point and an ending point.  You can't measure the universe because it is infinite.  You can only measure things within the universe.  But if you consider that the universe is the "infinite large," could there not also be an "infinite small?"  It's difficult to even comprehend the vastness of infinity.  But it may be even more difficult to comprehend the minuteness of it.

1 comment:

  1. I just love your perspective! Great post!! I have to admit, that when I get in a plane and fly over my city, I realize that as big as my world seems, from above, me in relation to the masses--I'm nothing. My city in relation to the state--it's nothing. My state in relation to the country--it's nothing...ad infinitum. So, our planet is nothing but less than a grain of sand in every beach on the Earth. It makes you wonder...if I'm a part of a city, my city is part of my state, my state is part my country, my country is part of the Earth, my earth is part of a galaxy... What huge thing are we all a part of? We call it the universe, but could it all be cells inside of a larger thing we can't see? It blows my mind!

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