How some infinities cause problems in classical physical theories

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Abstract

In this paper we review a 1992 excursion of Jean Paul Van Bendegem into physics, ‘How Infinities Cause Problems in Classical Physical Theories’, in the light of two later models concerning colliding balls, of Pérez Laraudogoitia and of Alper and Bridger, respectively. We show that Van Bendegem anticipated the model of Alper and Bridger by six years, but we also argue that his conditions for the avoidance of problems in these models are not entirely adequate. For although a veto on actual infinity seems to be required, allowing a potential infinity remains a viable option.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationModestly radical or radically modest
Subtitle of host publicationFestschrift for Jean Paul Van Bendegem on the occasion of his 60th birthday
EditorsP. Allo, B. van Kerhove
PublisherCollege Publications
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-84890-070-7
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameTributes
PublisherCollege Publications
Volume24

Keywords

  • Zeno balls
  • finitism
  • potential infinity

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