Jump to content


Welcome to BrainDen.com - Brain Teasers Forum

Welcome to BrainDen.com - Brain Teasers Forum. Like most online communities you must register to post in our community, but don't worry this is a simple free process. To be a part of BrainDen Forums you may create a new account or sign in if you already have an account.
As a member you could start new topics, reply to others, subscribe to topics/forums to get automatic updates, get your own profile and make new friends.

Of course, you can also enjoy our collection of amazing optical illusions and cool math games.

If you like our site, you may support us by simply clicking Google "+1" or Facebook "Like" buttons at the top.
If you have a website, we would appreciate a little link to BrainDen.

Thanks and enjoy the Den :-)
Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

Unstoppable Force/Immovable Object Solution?


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Kikacat123

Kikacat123

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 507 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:In a chair, held captive by the cat on my lap

Posted 16 July 2014 - 09:48 PM

The famous paradox: what happens if an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? It has many variations, unstoppable bullet v.s. bulletproof vest, etc. However, I think there may be three viable options.
1. This is a true paradox, and thus unsolvable.
2. Perhaps the unstoppable force was diverted from its course. The immovable object would not have moved, and the force would not have ceased.
3. The unstoppable force passes through the immovable object, not colliding with any of its atoms as it does so.
Please let me know if my reasoning is faulty or if there are other solutions to this paradox.
  • 0
"Silflay hraka, u embleer Rah!" - Thlayli, Watership Down

#2 Yoruichi-san

Yoruichi-san

    "That Woman"

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3395 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Outside the box

Posted 16 July 2014 - 11:39 PM

Well, from a scientific perspective both those things are misnomers. 

 

"Unstoppable Force" - I would argue forces are fundamentally unstoppable.  You can counteract a force, but you can "stop" it.  I.e. when I hold up a book, I'm counteracting the force of gravity that is trying to pull it down towards the earth's mass, but I'm not stopping gravity, it's still acting on the book.

 

"Unmovable Object" - This depends on the frame of reference.  An object is never moving in it's own frame of reference, but is always moving in some other frame of reference, or else, like, our universe would be some wasteland where of absolute zero temperature, if there were no particles moving.  I.e. the ground beneath my feet seems like it's not moving to me right now, but it's actually rotating around and circling from the frame of reference of the sun or an observer in space.  On the most fundamental level, the electrons in any object are always moving, the atomic bonds are always vibrating.  

 

So I think the fundamental answer to the question is that it's not a true paradox, it's using words to make things seem like a paradox, but since the words don't correspond to anything real or truly meaningful, its in truth a semantic illusion.

 

(But if you want to play with it, you could try arguments based on the 'frame of reference' principle ;))


Edited by Yoruichi-san, 16 July 2014 - 11:47 PM.

  • 0
Women are definitely stronger. We are [Fe]males, after all...

Some of what makes me me is real, some of what makes me me is imaginary...I guess I'm just complex. ;P

<3 BBC's Sherlock, the series and the man. "Smart is the new sexy."

Chromatic Witch links now on my 'About Me' page! Episode 3 is finally here!

When life hands me lemons, I make invisible ink.

#3 Kikacat123

Kikacat123

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 507 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:In a chair, held captive by the cat on my lap

Posted 18 July 2014 - 12:41 AM

When I imagined this, I pictured it to be the collision of a force with infinite energy that is not affected by friction or entropy (never stopping or slowing down) and a solid object at 0K in a fixed, unchanging point in space. That's my view, anyway. I never really thought about the semantics before.
  • 0
"Silflay hraka, u embleer Rah!" - Thlayli, Watership Down

#4 Yoruichi-san

Yoruichi-san

    "That Woman"

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3395 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Outside the box

Posted 19 July 2014 - 12:26 AM

I'm not sure what a "force with infinite energy" actually means, but if a strong force was applied to anything at 0K, it would no longer be at 0K.  A force with enough energy would destroy the object, if not by mechanical means, then by breaking the bonds b/w or even within the atoms, sending its pieces or particles flying throughout space.  Since a force must have direction, there will be a net movement in the center of mass of all the debris.  And don't try "indestructible", that's not atoms work, unless this is some fictional universe where things are not made of atoms and the laws of physics are different, in which case, I have no idea :huh:.

 

As for being affected by friction or entropy, take an object sliding down on inclined plane.  The force of gravity is what is pulling it down.  The force of gravity remains the same, it's a fundamental force.  Friction will slow the object down, it will counteract the force of gravity, but it will not affect the force of gravity itself.  


  • 0
Women are definitely stronger. We are [Fe]males, after all...

Some of what makes me me is real, some of what makes me me is imaginary...I guess I'm just complex. ;P

<3 BBC's Sherlock, the series and the man. "Smart is the new sexy."

Chromatic Witch links now on my 'About Me' page! Episode 3 is finally here!

When life hands me lemons, I make invisible ink.

#5 Kikacat123

Kikacat123

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 507 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:In a chair, held captive by the cat on my lap

Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:14 AM

Maybe the problem becomes simpler if we reduce it to "a force so powerful it can pass through any object" hitting "an object that cannot be penetrated, shifted, or broken."
  • 0
"Silflay hraka, u embleer Rah!" - Thlayli, Watership Down

#6 Yoruichi-san

Yoruichi-san

    "That Woman"

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3395 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Outside the box

Posted 20 July 2014 - 03:17 AM

No, both those things are, by the laws of physics, impossible.  The more powerful a force is, the more likely it will interact with the fundamental forces, particles, and bonds of molecules, atoms, quarks, etc., there's no way it'd just "pass through" the object.  On the other side of the coin, all molecules, nuclei, etc. have threshold energies at which the bonds will break, particles will excite, decay, fuse, etc.


  • 0
Women are definitely stronger. We are [Fe]males, after all...

Some of what makes me me is real, some of what makes me me is imaginary...I guess I'm just complex. ;P

<3 BBC's Sherlock, the series and the man. "Smart is the new sexy."

Chromatic Witch links now on my 'About Me' page! Episode 3 is finally here!

When life hands me lemons, I make invisible ink.

#7 Kikacat123

Kikacat123

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 507 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:In a chair, held captive by the cat on my lap

Posted 20 July 2014 - 04:17 AM

The paradox isn't necessarily realistic, it's hypothetical. In the Grandfather Paradox, time travel is a factor, but that doesn't exist either (in the way that it is worded).
Edit: typo

Edited by Kikacat123, 20 July 2014 - 04:18 AM.

  • 0
"Silflay hraka, u embleer Rah!" - Thlayli, Watership Down

#8 Yoruichi-san

Yoruichi-san

    "That Woman"

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3395 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Outside the box

Posted 20 July 2014 - 04:30 AM

Precisely.  It has no correspondence to real concepts, it's a semantic bastardization of scientific terminology, like the "evolution -> progress -> good" or "entropy -> chaos -> evil" arguments..  Trying to explain with real physics (as 2 and 3 of your OP does) is kinda like trying to explain what goes on in Harry Potter with physics...;P  


  • 0
Women are definitely stronger. We are [Fe]males, after all...

Some of what makes me me is real, some of what makes me me is imaginary...I guess I'm just complex. ;P

<3 BBC's Sherlock, the series and the man. "Smart is the new sexy."

Chromatic Witch links now on my 'About Me' page! Episode 3 is finally here!

When life hands me lemons, I make invisible ink.

#9 Kikacat123

Kikacat123

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 507 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:In a chair, held captive by the cat on my lap

Posted 20 July 2014 - 05:01 PM

What?! Harry Potter is real! :) Anyway, in my OP I was just trying to answer a hypothetical with a hypothetical. It's all speculative, so I guess, like you said, the real paradox comes if you try to interpret the semantics.
  • 0
"Silflay hraka, u embleer Rah!" - Thlayli, Watership Down

#10 nuurhasan

nuurhasan

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 21 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 October 2014 - 08:16 PM

The meaning of this paradox is more philosophical than physical. It is about two people going head to head with identical aptitude, where either won't give an inch and the situation is bound to continue forever. There will never be a victor or a loser, how they can conclude battle is by disengaging from it, not by trying to win it.    


  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users