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Q & A: infinities in physics

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Most recent answer: 11/09/2014
Q:
It is my general understanding that when theoretical physicists develop a theory and the calculations result in infinities, that theory is generally invalidated, and considered more or less a failure. However certain versions of string theory result in an infinity of universes. Instead of being considered a failure it is called the "Multiverse". Why is this infinity acceptable and not others?
- John Fistere (age 79)
El Cajon
A:

When your theory gives infinity as the force between two objects, say the Moon and the Earth, it's not acceptable because we can observe that it's not the right answer. When your theory gives an infinite number of universes, that might or might not be true, since it doesn't disagree with anything we see.

Mike W.


(published on 11/09/2014)

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