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Re: The Incredible Shrinking Space

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Posted by Mario Dovalina on January 22, 2001 03:43:40 UTC

As a practical question, it doesn't matter. The space never equals zero because the electron shells of the atoms of the car and wall repel each other, causing the crash. But the atoms never touch.

As a theoretical question, I think Zeno first posed this question back in the olden days. The jist of it was that, say a Viper and a 1982 oldsmobile are on a race track, only the Oldsmobile starts 10 feet ahead of the Viper. If the Viper moves 10 times as fast as the beater, by the time it reaches foot ten, the beater will have reached foot 11. By the time the Viper gets to foot 11, the beater is at 11 1/10. By the time the Viper gets to 11 1/10, the beater is at 11 1/100, and so on to infinity. So in theory the race car can never pass the Oldsmobile. Ergo, movement is impossible.

However, as you can see, movement is possible. So there must be a smallest possible measurement of distance (the Planck length.) A cosmic pixel. So as a purely theoretical question, there is a point where the golf ball disappears.

Of course, I could be wrong.

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