Re: The Big Bang

Anders Sandberg (
12 Nov 1997 13:35:08 +0100

Michael Lorrey <> writes:

> However, unlike pure numbers, in terms of "real" photons, you can't have
> a fraction of one from a source. You either have none or one or more
> integers of photons. Fractional photons only exist in a virtual state,
> as in the ZPF. Given this, you need to treat the light from each star
> relative to distance like its on a halflife type scale.

There is no halflife of photons, they are eminently stable. But of the
photons outputed by a distant star, only a handfull will ever reach
your eye. My argument still holds if you have indivisible photons,
since we are speaking of photons/steradian, not individual photons. In
the infinite universe, there will be so many very distant stars that
even if they send just one photon each throughout their history to
your eye the light will be blinding.

> Additionally, consider the filtering effects of non-luminous matter.

This has been mentioned a lot of times in this thread, but the short
answer is: no, it doesn't work. Given an infinite time and an infinite
number of stars, the non-luminous matter would be heated until it
shone just as brightly as the rest of the sky.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y