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What hasn't worked

I thought of elementary particles, but with antiparticles they can be converted into photons (thus the particles and antiparticles vanish), and photons can be converted into heat (thus the photons no longer exist). I have also thought of information, but it is not confirmed that information is actually indestructible (if it is thrown into a black hole) and I have observed in my own experience from accidentally wiping my computer that information can be permanently lost (not to mention that since phones, hard drives, computers, monitors, CDs, DVDs, servers, and paper can be shredded, cut, burned, etc, the data on them can be lost permanently). I have thought of Black Holes, but Hawking radiation effects can make the Black Hole evaporate eventually. Space and time can be ripped/warped by a strong enough gravitational pull, and even things like depleted uranium, tungsten carbide, vanadium steel, and other relatively strong materials all melt if you throw them in the sun (which is why I think probes have never been to the surface or core of the sun, as no currently available material will maintain its integrity at the surface of the sun, much less the core. I have thought of atoms, but atoms can be split or fused. Also, protons and neutrons have been split into quarks by the LHC.

What I mean by Indestructible

When I say indestructible, I mean that it cannot be split, cut, burned, disintegrated, vanished with antimatter, warped, broken, erased, deleted, blown up, or otherwise made to not exist. Since indestructible is an absolute term, if there is any possibility of the thing in question ceasing to exist, it does not count as "indestructible."

The essential question

According to physics, is there any possible thing, object, particle, etc. that is or could be indestructible?

Note: I was unsure what tags to use, so any edits to the tags would be welcome.

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    $\begingroup$ Friendly reminder: if you are tempted to write “how about X?,” please post an answer instead of a comment. Several deleted. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    Sep 27, 2022 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ This post may be relevant worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/32904/… $\endgroup$
    – yarchik
    Sep 28, 2022 at 11:12
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    $\begingroup$ Why is this closed as opinion-based? $\endgroup$
    – Rexcirus
    Sep 28, 2022 at 21:09

7 Answers 7

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The fundamental laws of physics are time reversible. So if something cannot be destroyed then it follows that it cannot be created. And if it cannot be created then either it doesn't exist or it has always existed.

As far as I know, we don't know of anything that has always existed. So then we don't know of anything that is indestructible.

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind
    Sep 27, 2022 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ Has there not been observed breaking of time symmetry or is this irrelevant for this reasoning? $\endgroup$
    – Martin
    Sep 28, 2022 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Martin In particle physics there are three fundamental symmetries: charge, parity, and time (CPT) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPT_symmetry . Combined CPT-breaking has never been observed and all processes are theorized to be CPT-reversible. However CP violation has been experimentally observed and is postulated as the source of the universe being primarily matter-dominated (vs equal matter and antimatter). CP violation implies (in fact requires) T violation. $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2022 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I know. But for the above reasoning it needs time symmetry $\endgroup$
    – Martin
    Sep 30, 2022 at 14:38
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The word "destroyed" doesn't bear a lot of mean in a generic scientific context, in other words; you left the word "destroyed" to be open for interpretation.

For example:

When you crush a brand new car, most people would interpret that as destroying the car. However, at a more fundamental level, the matter is all still intact; it just changed shape.

You can use a collider to smash matter into tiny particles so it isn't even matter anymore, however; this example is much like the car example in the sense that the energy that constituted the matter still exists; it's state just changed.

From a particular perspective, nothing can be destroyed in our universe, as matter can only change its state. We live in a universe of impermanence, a universe where entropy is the second law of thermodynamics.

Read about Maxwell's Demon, for a good example of how omnipresent entropy is. The universe could not be what it is without it. Everything is in an impermanent state, everything will change, everything has to change.

What does entropy have to do with your question?

Well, it has everything to do with your question.

It certainly answers it, though the answer may not be as defined as you might like.

The bottom line is that everything in our universe must change: if crushing a car means it was destroyed to you, then everything in our universe can be destroyed, and will eventually be destroyed. On the flip-side, if you feel that the car wasn't destroyed, and that the car simply changed shape, then to you, nothing in our universe is destroyed, but everything can change, and eventually will change.

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Energy it can only dissociate transform but never completely gets wiped out. SO ENERGY is the answer. Energy might change its magnitude,colour,form but it doesn't just disappear.

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    $\begingroup$ It actually increases in an expanding universe. $\endgroup$
    – Habouz
    Sep 27, 2022 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ Hmm.yes ig.but still it exists right there.... $\endgroup$ Sep 27, 2022 at 15:10
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Alternative reasoning, same answer as others...

All physical entities we know of exist in time and space. But we have no way to know if time and space have always existed or will always exist. So we can't know if anything within them can or will either.

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The Universe itself.

(At least according to the current body of physics)

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The second law of thermodynamics states that, within a closed system, entropy must always either remain constant or increase over time. Therefore entropy as a bulk quantity can never be destroyed.

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Nothing can't be destroyed. Once everything else is destroyed, Nothing will still remain.

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    $\begingroup$ Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Sep 27, 2022 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ He means the concept of nothing itself. It's a personal philosophical position. I doubt there are many citations or documentation. :) $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2022 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ @JoãoMendes can a concept remain when there is nothing to conceive of it? $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2022 at 16:56
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    $\begingroup$ Interesting take that can also have philosophical implications but also does seem relevant to the OP question about destructibility. Check out the "Closer to Truth" series on "Why is there anything instead of nothing?" closertotruth.com $\endgroup$
    – jrdevdba
    Sep 28, 2022 at 17:43

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