Event Detail
Wed May 13, 2009 234 Moses Hall, 6–8 PM |
Working Group in the History and Philosophy of Logic, Mathematics, and Science David Malament (UC Irvine) How Space Can Be (and Is) Finite |
The goal of the talk is to clarify certain points about “space” and “spatial geometry” within the framework of general relativity. (Within that framework, talk about four-dimensional spacetime geometry is perfectly unambiguous, but not so talk about three-dimensional spatial geometry.) So, for example, consider this question: “How big was space just after the big bang.” It is a trick question because it depends on what one means by “space”. Indeed, if the universe is described by a standard Friedmann-Robertson-Walker cosmological model in which k = 0 or k = -1, then the answer is “infinitely large” in one sense of “space”, but “incredibly small” in another sense of “space”.