Nonconservation of Energy and Loss of Determinism. II. Colliding with an open set.

Citation data:

Foundations of Physics, Vol: 40, Page: 179-189

Publication Year:
2010
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8973
Author(s):
Atkinson, David; Johnson, Porter
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article description
An actual infinity of colliding balls can be in a configuration in which the laws of mechanics lead to logical inconsistency. It is argued that one should therefore limit the domain of these laws to a finite, or only a potentially infinite number of elements. With this restriction indeterminism, energy nonconservation and {\em creatio ex nihilo} no longer occur. A numerical analysis of finite systems of colliding balls is given, and the asymptotic behaviour that corresponds to the potentially infinite system is inferred.