From: Osher Doctorow [EMAIL PROTECTED], Sat. Sept. 21, 2002 10:39PM
I've glanced over one of Tegmark's papers and it didn't impress me much, but
maybe you've seen something that I didn't.
As for your question (have you ever been accused of being over-specific?),
the best thing for a person not familiar with Georg Cantor's work in my
opinion would be to read Garrett Birkhoff and Saunders MacLane's A Survey of
Modern Algebra or any comparable modern textbook in what's called Abstract
Algebra, Modern Algebra, Advanced Algebra, etc., or look under transfinite
numbers, Georg Cantor, the cardinality/ordinality of the continuum, etc.,
etc. on the internet or in your mathematics-engineering-physics research
library catalog or internet catalog.
To answer even more directly, here it is. *Absolute infinity* if
translated into mathematics means the *size* of the real line or a finite
segment or half-infinite segment of the real line and things like that, and
it is UNCOUNTABLE, whereas the number of discrete integers, e.g., -1, 0, 1,
2, 3, ..., is called COUNTABLE. If you accept a real line or a finite line
segment or a finite planar geometric figure like a circle or a 3-dimensional
geometric figure like a sphere as being *physical*, then *absolute infinity*
would be physical. If you don't accept these as being physical, then you
can't throw them out either - if you did, you'd throw physics out. So there
are *things* in mathematics that are related to physical things by
*approximation*, in the sense that a mathematical straight line approximates
the motion of a Euclidean particle in an uncurved universe or a region far
enough from other objects as to make little difference to the problem.
There are also many things in mathematics, including the words PATH and
CURVE and SURFACE, that also approximate physical dynamics. Do you see
what the difficulty is with over-simplifying or slightly misstating the
----- Original Message -----
From: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Cc: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Saturday, September 21, 2002 6:59 PM
Subject: Tegmark's TOE & Cantor's Absolute Infinity
> For those of you who are familiar with Max Tegmark's TOE, could someone
> me whether Georg Cantor's " Absolute Infinity, Absolute Maximum or
> Infinite Collections" represent "mathematical structures" and, therefore
> "physical existence".
> Thanks again for the help!!
> Dave Raub