Zeno’s bouncing ball

I’m not a physicist; thus I ask this question.

When I drop a ball, it bounces. If it is sufficiently bouncy, it bounces right up to the height at which I had dropped it.

Then, it bounces just a little lower, and lower still. The corresponding sounds become increasingly frequent.

Is there a finite number of bounces, or an infinite number? The ball bounces ever closer and reaches ever closer to the bottom. But, does it really ever stop?

Closer to the bottom, closer a bit more, closer even still…but never stops.

It seems to have stopped, but that is because it bounces at such a higher order of measure that we cannot recognise it’s movement. Like Wittgenstein’s idea of how if we are to divide a space by black and white lines of equal thickness, then divide a space by lines of half their thickness, and half again. We reach a point whereby we cannot discern line black from line white, but see only a plain grey.

Zeno’s paradox lives forever.

– Destre


One thought on “Zeno’s bouncing ball

  1. Many people think that it never truly stops bouncing, because there can be no last bounce. The truth is that it does (truly and completely) stop bouncing, EVEN THOUGH there is no last bounce. That is the paradox. If the parameters are known, it is even possible to calculate the exact time at which it comes to complete rest. Just click my name if you want to see how.

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