The universe is vast, so vast that it is astronomical. I always liked oxymoron’s and if we can have jumbo shrimp, then astronomically small works for me. The concept of infinity goes back to the ancient Greeks and Zeno’s paradox which sort of doesn’t make sense, but it is easy to understand. You can always add something even after you think that you have reached the limit, so the largest number can always be increased and you will never reach infinity. Zeno went the other way, saying that anything can always be divided in half for his paradox. He had a man named Achilles chasing after a turtle who is given a head start, which doesn’t seem all that fair, as of course the man would be able to catch the turtle. He said that after so much time, Achilles would cut the distance of the lead that the turtle had in half and he would keep cutting this distance in half and never actually catch the turtle.
The Greeks were the first to think in terms of atoms, saying that these atoms were the smallest things of matter. Zeno took this further dividing the atoms and then dividing the result of that which lead to the notion that space and time are infinitely divisible. There is no infinite amount of anything in the observable universe. It is a paradox, as you can keep dividing a line segment in half, or anything for that matter, then each of those halves can be divided in half again, and you just keep repeating the process forever. You will never reach a point where you can’t divide a line segment in half.
Written for 8/3/19 Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is “Astronomical”.