Newtonian supertasks: A critical analysis

Synthese 114 (2):355-369 (1998)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In two recent papers Perez Laraudogoitia has described a variety of supertasks involving elastic collisions in Newtonian systems containing a denumerably infinite set of particles. He maintains that these various supertasks give examples of systems in which energy is not conserved, particles at rest begin to move spontaneously, particles disappear from a system, and particles are created ex nihilo. An analysis of these supertasks suggests that they involve systems that do not satisfy the mathematical conditions required of Newtonian systems at the time the supertask is due to be completed, or else they rely on the application of the time-reversal transformation to states which are not well-defined. Consequently, it is unjustified to conclude that the paradoxical results are arising from within the framework of Newtonian mechanics. In the last part of this article, we discuss various aspects of the physics of these supertasks.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,227

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

130 (#141,523)

6 months
9 (#317,143)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?