The Smallest Length

So in Going the Distance I was rambling on about logic problems that create infinite distance in a certain amount of space. The whole argument was based on the fact that it is impossible to divide anything by 2 and get 0. This means that halving the distance between 2 objects is an infinite process, right? Well, no. Where there’s science, there’s a way, and they’ve found the way here as well. The answer to all these paradoxical statements is the Planck length.

The Planck length is just like a centimetre or inch (a unit of measurement) except smaller. Much smaller. In fact, it’s the smallest unit in the universe. How do we know? Because the laws of the universe stop working if you go any smaller. The Planck length is 1.6 x 1035  (0.000000000000000000000000000000000016) metres, which is very tiny indeed. There is also Planck time, which is the time it takes light to travel that distance in a vacuum. Again, any shorter length of time than that is invalid and doesn’t really work.

So what does this tell us? Well, this is the reason that anything can ever reach the other place. Having a shortest possible distance is very convenient to anyone studying things on an extremely tiny scale. But it also creates an interesting phenomena. I’ll use the car example again with this newly acquired information.

So the cars having been halving the distance between them and they are now one planck length away from contact. Halving the distance again will provide contact, meaning that you get zero from a division of 2.

So there’s your answer. I know it has (many) holes and we as humans are still trying to iron out the quirks, but it is certainly getting there. If any new developments come to light I’ll be sure to write an article. Oh yeah, I think I mentioned Planck time before. Stay tuned.

Until next time, this is Theo signing off…                          

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