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What happens when an immovable object gets struck by an unstoppable force?


Exactly what the title says....

2952 day(s) ago

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bjones
Thatís easy. The unstoppable force punches a hole in the immovable object and passes through it. As with many supposed paradoxes, this is another one that suffers from faulty syntax. It should never be assumed that only one of two possible events can occur or that there are only two possible solutions.

Luckily for us, we donít really have to think about this conundrum because neither an immovable object nor an unstoppable force can exist in this universe. An immovable object would have to have an infinite mass, and anything with an infinite mass would collapse on itself and form a singularity, thus becoming a black hole.

An unstoppable force also cannot exist because it would require an infinite amount of energy, and modern science tells us that the energy in our universe is definitely finite and one day it will run out due to the force of entropy.

My answer is not the only solution provided to this classic puzzle. Another popular solution is that the unstoppable force would destroy the immovable object. Yet another answer has the immovable object and the unstoppable force destroying each other.

In order to make the puzzle a true paradox would require that additional parameters be established. However, the problem with this is that many people who ask the question believe there should be a scientific answer based on physics. This creates the bigger problem of how to impose the real-world laws of physics on impossible objects and forces. It just doesnít make any sense to try.

Interestingly, the paradox you propose is considered to be part of a larger family of paradoxes known as omnipotence paradoxes. The chief paradox in this family is the question of whether an omnipotent being can create an object so heavy that it cannot be lifted by the omnipotent being. If the being could not create such an object, it would seem the being is not actually omnipotent. If the being could create an object it could not lift, again, the being is not actually omnipotent. This paradox is a little more solid than the immovable object paradox as no proposed solutions seem to exist.

Posted 2942 day ago

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JamBooBGeophys
2870 day(s) ago
@navymedic > I mostly agree with what you said but what if the solution to this version of the riddle is very simple. EVERY force is 'unstoppable' (for one bosons have no mass but i won't go into the problem with that and the term 'unstoppable') IF you regard the force as particle (Its much more difficult to picture the waveform producing the force field).

If I have a boson (force carrying particle) and its travelling 5ms-1 (this is hypothetical obviously) BUT it also has a negative vector in the same dimension equating the two to equal 0) the force still has a magnitude yet it is in equilibrium (not moving). Therefore have the same but it has an infinite magnitude whilst being in equilibrium.

The above statement is completely wrong I was just trying to compose an argument though I can think of a way in which to calculate this from first principles:

Find the energy equation relating to inertia (an objects predisposition to oppose movement) and substitute the value for the inertia to be infinity. Then equate this equation to a version of F=ma in which it will successfully become integrated (if you put infinity for the F you can equate the two by arranging the two formulas Infinity=(equation) and then simultaneously solve the aggregate.

navymedic
2912 day(s) ago
while i agree with your prognosis that any immoveable object would in turn collapse under its immeasurable weight, the argument seems straight out of a google search, and the statement that any unstoppable force sould not be so as the enrergy that powers it is finite, while true is an elementary reading of the laws of conservation of energy. This is no more a physics question than one of sociology, as with the salesman who sold a spear that could pierce any shield and a shield that could stop any shield, or the old greek mythology of the hound who could catch any prey and the fox who could eternally avoid being caught. this puzzle seems to go on for centuries, your solution to this puzzle seems to contridict the spirit of the matter, if the unstoppable force were to infact puncute,pierce, or "punch" a hole in the object it would state that the object is in turn immovable as every individual piece of the object would also have to be immovable, and to make a hole would mean that matter was moved out of the way, also, with both objects being destroyed, would require the immovable one to move and the unstoppable one to stop, this leaves a couple options open, such as light passing through a translucent substance, the light is not stopped, well not all of it and the paper does not have to move, this also however goes against the spirit of the riddle, due to the fack that the light is passing through the paper, would this be what happens? would the unstoppable force simply phase through the object? is that even relative to the meaning of the paradox? another question and the only way i would think this would work scientifically was if the immovable object were crecent shape and the unstoppable object sphere shaped, and the momentum carried the force in a curve and launched it back the way it came, problems with that situation is friction, the force of friction would be applied when the two objects met reducing the speed of the unstoppable force which begs the question if the object is slowed but not stopped can it still be placed in the category of unstoppable, more than likely the answer is no, as any objecty that can be slowed can be slowed enough to come to a stand still. simply put even if an object or force of the aforementioned status existed they could not coexist on the same plane of existance due to the wording of the statement, unstoppable & immovable, however, your example refering to the omnipotent being i found to be an astute and less argumentable topic and your short explanation of that topic was dead on, but im no scholar just a kid with an intrest in the field of science

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