Infinity. Physicists hate the thought of infinity.
It’s like dividing by zero. Or taking the square root of a negative number. Except, infinity actually exists. Solutions to Einstein’s field equations predict the existence of black holes. A singularity. Some terms of his equation turn into infinity, and make way for the most exotic of our Universe’s creations. Infinity.
Einstein didn’t believe in his equations. I mean, he didn’t think black holes could exist. In fact, he proposed that a theory of everything could come about by restricting his equations as to avoid these singularities. Infinity made Einstein doubt his work. How could it not? Here is a man who became famous for proposing a cosmic speed limit for the universe. 3.0 x 10^8 (m/s). That’s hardly close to infinity. Bill Gates has more dollar bills than that. What about number of particles in the entire Universe? 1.0 x 10^80. That’s a lot of zeros, but number of fundamental particles in the entire Universe?
The number fits in one line on a WordPress blog. No pages. No paragraphs. One line. Number of particles in the entire universe. Infinity is a powerful word. So naturally, people love it. Best friends forever. I am eternally indebted to you. I will always love you.
Infinity. People love the thought of infinity.
For the layperson, infinity is security. You don’t want to die? Well, what about a blissful afterlife! Something being finite means there’s an end. The zeros don’t keep on going forever. Once you moved to a different state when you were 8, neighborhood playmates diminishes to 0. Lost connections. That $10 dollar bill you lent someone turns into $0 over the next 5 years. Forgotten memories. 15 years after marriage, you get divorced and file a case to give $0 to your ex-spouse. Love turns to hate. 100 years later and you will be dead. That’s all you get. 2 zeros. Probably less.
I think that’s why people don’t like physics. It tells you things you don’t want to hear. You’re telling me, that the Andromeda galaxy is set to hit us in 4 billion years? You’re telling me, that the Sun will explode in 4-5 billion years? You’re telling me, that if we survive global warming and nuclear warfare disaster, the human race has 9 zeros at best?
The number fits in one line on a WordPress blog. No pages. No paragraphs. One fraction of a line. Number of years for human consciousness. Intelligible cognition. Curious inquiry. History, philosophy, literature, language, culture, art, music, science, entertainment, media, the internet, all gone in 9 zeros. Infinity is a powerful word.
But you know, Einstein was wrong. Black holes are real. Infinities do exists. Einstein’s intuition, that served him so well, had failed him. The fact that the universe allows for infinities leads me to speculate what other infinities could exist. Friendship? Gratitude? Love?
As a 21-year-old trying to navigate through life, I have to be honest and admit: I don’t know. I can’t know. I won’t know. Not now, maybe never. But I’m looking for it. Something that will give me eternal happiness. Limitless peace. Something that will give me my infinity.
I think what would give me my infinity is my soul mate. We wouldn’t need to have kids, raise a family, live in a nice home, buy a fancy car, etc. We’d just need each other. Love has grazed me before, and I think it could bring me my infinity. My best friend. My one and only. The one.
The number fits in one line on a WordPress blog. No pages. No paragraphs. Just one character. The search that can define our life, send us down a journey, and bring us our infinity. I don’t need multiple zeros. Just give me 1.