Infinite Divisibility of Matter and Space

PSI Blog 20170322 Infinite Divisibility of Matter and Space

Readers will remember that the Eighth Assumption of Science, infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions) is one of the guiding lights of all our work at PSI. Ever since Aristotle introduced it, microcosmic infinity has given thinkers as much trouble as Newton’s macrocosmic kind. Here is my response to our old friend Bill Westmiller who, like Captain Bligh of matterless motion fame, likes to cherry pick among “The Ten Assumptions of Science.” The Captain doesn’t like the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion)—not “sophisticated” enough for him. In addition to infinity, Bill doesn’t like the Ninth Assumption of Science, relativism (All things have characteristics that make them similar to all other things as well as characteristics that make them dissimilar to all other things).

His comments illustrate some of the hurdles we have to overcome to develop progressive physics and Infinite Universe Theory:

BW: Of course, I have no problem distinguishing matter from the motion of matter. Our disagreement persists on the issue of "perfect" matter, which we've discussed extensively in the past.

>... Like all idealizations, solid matter and empty space do not and cannot exist. ...

BW: We agree that all known *compositions* of matter consist of physical components in motion. It took a long time to discover that a "perfectly solid" rod of iron is composed of atoms in motion. It took longer to discover that the atoms themselves are not "perfectly solid" objects, but are compositions of smaller physical particles in motion. 

My proposition is that there are even smaller particles of mass that compose those sub-atomic particles. So, it's no surprise to me that you would be skeptical about those particles (Unimids) being "perfectly solid" objects. Even if they are not, I think the Unimid Theory explains a host of problems common in quantum particle theory.

However, our dispute is primarily philosophical. My position is that no matter can be in motion unless there is space where that matter does not exist. If all space is occupied by matter, no motion can occur.

[GB: False! All the space in this room is occupied by matter, and yet, I have no trouble moving about. As an absolutist, you assume that all matter has the same characteristics. That is definitely not true, per relativism. This is in tune with our definition of matter as an abstraction for all things. As with all abstractions, matter per se does not exist—only specific examples of matter exist. As such, each microcosm has different characteristics. Those with the greatest mass (resistance to acceleration) tend to displace those with lesser mass, as I do when I thrust aside the air that blocks my passage through my open doorway.]

BW: There can be no such event as a "collision" or "interaction" among particles, since they would all be in constant contact. The universe would be one infinite solid block of matter, with no motion whatever.

[GB: Again, there are various kinds of matter, with each of them having characteristics approaching solid matter and characteristics approaching empty space. This is from my new book in preparation:

“MATTER-SPACE CONTINUUM. A range or series of microcosms that are slightly different from each other and that exist between what we imagine to be perfectly solid matter and perfectly empty space.[i] Like all idealizations, solid matter and empty space do not and cannot exist.

The matter end member:

As mentioned, matter is an abstraction; there is no such thing as matter per se—there are only individual, unique examples of matter.[ii] The idea that solid matter must exist deep down at some level is still just that, an idea, or ideal, which never occurs in nature. The Greek atomists imagined that atoms were true elementary particles filled with solid matter. The things we now call atoms appear to contain mostly empty space. Even so, some absolutists assume that we just have not gone far enough and that the nirvana of perfect solidity is theoretically possible.[iii] At one time, the space between you and I may have been considered empty. Now we know that is not the case, for space is just the stuff that yields to the motion of other stuff. These ideals exist only in our brains—they help us understand the properties of various kinds of matter, but they can have no real existence. We use them to understand the intervening reality. It is good enough for finding a doorway instead of a wall, even though the doorway contains matter in the form of air and the wall contains space. In IUT, what we consider solid matter is simply a portion of the universe that offers more resistance to acceleration than other portions we consider empty space.

The space end member:

The absolutist’s belief in the ideals of perfectly empty space, nothing, and nonexistence comes right out of the cosmogonical handbook whose precursors are the sacred texts of traditional religion.To insist, like the young Einstein and his positivist friends, that space is perfectly empty or immaterial makes one a rank idealist. To insist, as indeterminists are wont to do, that idealities could be or must be realities merely provides another roadblock to the ultimate acceptance of IUT.”

The “block universe” you and others write about is impossible because matter cannot take on the characteristics of either end member of the matter-space continuum. Absolutists of that type tend to think of infinite divisibility as divisibility of the ideal solid matter end of the continuum. Absolutists of another type might tend to think of infinite divisibility as divisibility of the ideal empty space end of the continuum. That would result in an empty universe. In actuality, every subdivision anywhere along the continuum always ends up with both properties: solid matter and empty space.]

[ii] Coyne, George, 2017, Notfinity process (in press): Denver, CO, Outskirts Press.
[iii] AbuBakr, Mohammed, 2007, The End of Pseudo-Science: Essays Refuting False Scientific Theories Taught in Schools, Colleges, and Universities, iUniverse, 86 p.


Bligh said...

Granted, we have to use abstract terms to describe what fundamentally we cannot observe. Has this blog ever considered using a more modern concept than micro and macrocosms? How about a Field concept? Matter waves doesn't it?
And you know what I mean, don't tell me that matter can't move, because I believe you say that very thing in your book TSW

Glenn Borchardt said...

Has this blog ever considered using a more modern concept than micro and macrocosms? How about a Field concept?
[GB: Univironmental determinism (What happens to a portion of the universe is determined by the infinite matter within and without) postdates modern physics. Its use of “microcosm” for a portion of the universe and “macrocosm” for its surroundings is more modern than Field Theory. Field Theory, as considered to be “immaterial” by Einstein, is a century old. It is regressive, not progressive.]
Matter waves doesn't it?
[GB: Indeed it does. A leaf waving in the wind is a good example of matter waving. But that is not what is meant here. You still need to learn the difference between a particle and a wave. Waves are group motions, while particles are matter—portions of the universe having xyz dimensions. Waves occur in a medium, which is made up of numerous particles. Despite the regressive physics promulgated by Einstein, there are no such things as wave-particles.]

George Coyne said...

I am grateful for your clear and excellent explanation on this tremendously important topic. Your paradigm of the matter-space continuum, in which complete solidity or emptiness is impossible provides a superb foundation for understanding infinite divisibility. I contend that the reason that this is so difficult for many people to understand is because their approach to thinking about it is very heavily conditioned by ideas of matter as a “thing” and space as not a thing (i.e. “nothing.”)
Thanks for citing my book. I am still waiting for my editor to send me the final edited chapter of Notfinity Process, so that I can send it to the publisher.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Thanks George. On Wednesday I will have some more to say about some comments I got from Bill.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Thanks Andy for the comment (my responses are in brackets).

"5. Because empty space is impossible, the nonexistence of the universe is impossible."

I gleaned this off your main page under the 10 assumptions, and would like to suggest a modification.

Although I agree in principle that empty space is impossible, I think the concept requires further thought and investigation when defining it as a reason for the existence of the universe.

[GB: The further thought simply is this: both “empty space” and “solid matter” are idealizations and cannot possibly exist. This is an example where the idealizations of math can fail us.]

There are two possible states of empty space, |0|, or absolute nothingness, and |1|, or absolute emptiness.
[GB: Sorry Andy, but there is no difference between the idealization of absolute nothingness and the idealization of absolute emptiness. Neither is possible.]
Both conditions could be seen as mathematically possible, but requiring an infinite quantity of X to achieve.
[GB: My tiny brain cannot figure that out. I would think that an infinite quantity of nothing is still nothing, both in reality and in the ideality of math.]
The potential for either condition becomes infinite, making an absolute state of the universe unachievable. It's the possibility that either state could exist as a definable universe that makes the universe itself infinite in nature.
[GB: Sorry, but the existence of the Infinite Universe has nothing to do with math. The universe exists everywhere for all time because it is real and not ideal. The one thing the universe cannot do is to produce ideal empty space—no math necessary.]

Both |0| and |1| represent opposing, or inverse end points. They are equal but opposite dimensionless states. End points on a number line. The infinite universe is the dimension that lies between them. The universe is |1| > ∞ > |0|.

We exist, because 1/0=∞. It's the only logical conclusion.
[GB: Sorry, but that only follows if you assume absolute nothingness and absolute emptiness are not identical. I do not assume that.]

As an 11th assumptions of science, if I might be so bold to suggest.

11. The universe can only be understood through human assumptions, using human reason and logic to form a consensus.
[GB: Interesting, but it would need to have an opposing assumption for it to be fundamental. Let’s just say it is a nice goal. It could never be achieved because “understanding” is always incomplete in an infinite universe and a consensus could never be achieved. That is because each of us goes through many stages of understanding. A 2-year old, 6-yr old, or even a 20-yr old may not have much of a clue about the nature of the universe and probably might not even know what a consensus was. The supposedly well-educated cosmogonists developed a consensus, but got it wrong because the initial assumption was wrong.]

The reason is simple. The universe is infinite, making it incalculable by its very nature. One thing is certain. There is an answer to explain the cause of everything, and it's our shared quest to figure it out in human terms. And a radically different scientific approach towards that answer is required, as you are suggesting.

[GB: Andy, I hope what you mean by “the cause of everything” is not that the universe had a cause. The beauty of Infinite Universe Theory is the realization that the universe did not have a cause and that every single thing within it did have a cause produced via convergence from other things, ad infinitum. In any case, with our assumption of infinite subdividability, it would be a non sequitur to be able to determine all the infinite factors involved in even one cause. The best we can do is to determine only a few of the major factors involved in a cause. We just have to accept that the infinite universe forces us to have a plus/minus for every determination.]