“There are two infinities that confuse me: the one in my soul devours me; the one around me will crush me” -Gustave Flaubert
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.