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At Quanta: Is infinity real?


From Pradeep Mutalik here:

Three puzzles test whether the concept of infinity has purchase in the physical world.

Editor’s note: The reader who submits the most interesting, creative or insightful solution (as judged by the columnist) in the comments section will receive a Quanta Magazine T-shirt. More.

Readers can always submit here if they wish. T-shirt only by arrangement.

See also: New Scientist vs. William Lane Craig on infinity explanations

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These are interesting puzzles. I find the elliptical pool table problem most intriguing. It would take some calculations to work out rigorously I believe, but just based on a simple diagram I'm guessing that hitting the ball as close to parallel to the major axis as possible, avoiding having it drop into the hole without first hitting the cushion would give you the best chance. Edit: But maybe not?! More thought required. daveS

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