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Perfection

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NVTS
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Fiji

Perfection

Post by NVTS » Wed May 15, 2019 4:34 am

:-@
My own mental BS!!

For some reason, I thought of the American Declaration of Independence.

There is mention of “a more perfect union”.

They realized that there is no such thing as a perfect union, but only an approximation.

For the mathmathitions among us; there is a concept of halfing the number ad infinitum!!
M-47-married
LO- married 48,work colleagues

MrSpock
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Re: Perfection

Post by MrSpock » Wed May 15, 2019 12:28 pm

NVTS wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 4:34 am
For the mathmathitions among us; there is a concept of halfing the number ad infinitum!!
Speaking of that.. last night I was helping my 13 yro son with a chemistry test today about atomic models. I asked my son to imagine how come Democritus (the Greek philosopher who postulated the idea that all matter was made of atoms, circa 400 BC) postulated that atoms are indivisible.
We started discussing the idea of halving numbers ad infinitum, and if you could similarly halve a thing the same way. As expected, he initially saw no problems in halving matter for ever and ever, but eventually came to realized that something was off with that idea when I asked him how would he count an infinite number of balls (and how he would end up with an infinite number of parts if matter could be endlessly subdivided).

Then I show him how Democritus, in turn, drew the idea of atoms being indivisible partially from the "Paradoxes of Zeno" (another Greek philosopher of the time), who in turn came up with said paradoxes to showcase the ideas of his tutor, Parmenides, who postulated that change, motion and void were only illusions, and which Democritus partially rejected (specially about the "void" which he postulated to be the emptiness in which atoms moved and interacted)

There are a few Zeno's paradoxes, all intended to show that Parmenides was right about motion, change and void being illusions, but the most common is known as "The dichotomy". It goes like this: space can be subdivided in halves, so that in moving from A to B you necessarily must pass through the midpoint AB first. But to move from A to [AB] (midpoint between A and B) you need to step first through the midpoint between A and [AB], and so on... however, if there is always a midpoint that you have to pass through first, how can you ever get to any point at all? since stepping first over an infinite number of locations should take an infinite amount of time no matter how fast you move.

Democritus response was to consider that maybe the premise itself was wrong, and space cannot be infinitely subdivided. Neither can the empty space, or "void" onto which matter is to be found, hence at the bottom of the recursion, you'll find the "atoms" being an indivisible unit (though there were other reasons to consider atoms to be indivisible, some of which were theological).

---

Something to clarify that is usually not explained in class: Democritus is credited for putting together a full comprehensive "atomic theory of the universe" with all sort of details about what atoms were like, how they interacted and how macroscopic matter was made out of them, but Atomism as a concept can be traced back to India circa the 8th century BC (which is about 4 centuries before the Ancient Greek). Democritus and his tutor Leucippus thus discussed those pre-existing ideas about the world being made of atoms in order to develop the full theory.

Idiotic
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Re: Perfection

Post by Idiotic » Wed May 15, 2019 12:50 pm

Oh yeah I remember Zeno's paradox, is this the one where he gives example of Hercules and the tortoise are in a race , and if the tortoise starts early Hercules or Achilles can never catch up?
Or that if you shoot an arrow and it hits the target , but it didn't actually move?In my head I always imagine them being like physical movie reel, or frame by frame photo, like infinite frames.
I keep dancing on my own - Robyn

MrSpock
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Re: Perfection

Post by MrSpock » Wed May 15, 2019 4:02 pm

Yeap, that's the one...

What I like about them is that they are, still, paradoxes. Is not like these days we can point to where he was wrong or what the answer is.
There are some theories out there, specially about space not being a continuum [1], but nothing settled.

[1]
What Is Spacetime, Really?, by Stephen Wolfram

https://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2015/12 ... me-really/

Idiotic
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Re: Perfection

Post by Idiotic » Wed May 15, 2019 7:36 pm

thx for the link
I keep dancing on my own - Robyn

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