Infinity

When we talk about infinity, we are talking about a quantity greater than any number, no matter how large.

Just try to stand between two mirrors and you’ll see a large number of images of yourself, each the reflection of another. Well, you cannot see an infinity of images because the mirrors are not perfectly aligned and they are not perfectly flat. Besides light does not travel infinitely fast, and you are in the way. But if all the conditions are in place, your cat would be a perfect expression of Infinity.

If you consider your cat down beyond a single atom, you confront an infinity of the Very Very Large. And these infinities represent an unending regress that goes on not just Very Very Far, but Forever.

So what about the lives of the stars? The same is true for them, as hydrogen fusion cannot continue forever: in any given star, there is only so much hydrogen fuel in its hot interior. The fate of a star, the end of its life cycle, depends very much on its initial mass.

Billions of years from now, there will be a last perfect day in our Universe. This evolution is inexorable. Eventually the stars will vanish, the life will die and catastrophe of the most immense proportions imaginable will overtake the univers. And no God will be able to save it from its fate.

infinity

I have a terrible need… shall I say the word?… of religion. Then I go out at night and paint the stars (Vincent van Gogh). Image: © Megan Jorgensen

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