Sorry, Donald Trump, It Can’t Be Infinity
“But just because we can’t explore infinity doesn’t means we shouldn’t explore things to the absolute limits of what’s physically allowable. The purpose of the National Space Council is to advise and assist the President on matters of national space policy and strategy. It is chaired by the Vice President and is composed exclusively of cabinet members and presidential appointees. The only two spots for scientific advisers— the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy —are presently both vacant. There is no guarantee that either one of them will be filled by an actual scientist or someone with scientific expertise, even though those are the only people who possess the necessary skills to succeed at those jobs.”
Last week, Donald Trump restored the National Space Council, promising to take America and the world to new heights in space. He also made some statements claiming that this is infinity here, and that we don’t know, but it could be infinity. In both cases, the statements don’t quite match the facts, as the funding cuts proposed by the President are inconsistent with increased exploration efforts, and, more to the point, we know we’ll never access infinity. That includes, by the way, even if we wait around for an infinite amount of time! The amount of Universe that we can reach is finite and quantified; the amount of Universe we can observe today is finite and quantified; and the full suite of things that will ever impart information, photons, particles, etc., to us is finite and quantified. It can’t be infinity, as we’ve learned by doing science.