Any ideas???

I haven’t posted in quite a while but I recently had a question that I just can not figure out OK:

If an ABSOLUTELY unstopable object meets an ABSOLUTELY inmoveable object; what happens??

which one gives?

Risk looking foolish for love, for your dreams, and for the joy of living…

I’m probably making a big mistake in even answering this, but here goes:

Impossible. As with many philosophical construct based on concepts such as this, it’s all moot. There can be no real object that has infinite inertia, and so neither an immovable object nor an unstopable force really exist. Have fun counting angels on the heads of pins, and listening for trees in forests that no one can hear…

Jason R Remy

“No amount of legislation can solve America’s problems.”
– Jimmy Carter (1980)

Null question. Restated:what happens when you stop and go at the same time?
The question, as stated, is illogical.

I don’t feel it’s illogical at all…unrealistic?? maybe. I’m not saying this could happen in your back yard…what I’m wondering is which law of physics gives?? which one breaks first…is one weaker then the other?

I’m thinking they would move right through each other. Neither object would be intact after the collision but the mass of each, even as billions of particles, could continue on their previous trajectory.

I flunked Physics but I got an A in Logic.

But your question has already violated the laws of physics. It’s a non-sensical question. Since neither of your substrates (the immovable object and the unstopable object) can possibly exist, physics doesn’t bother to deal with this. Biology has never explained the anatomy of a leprechan, but why should it try?

Jason R Remy

“No amount of legislation can solve America’s problems.”
– Jimmy Carter (1980)

Well, I’ll take a shot –

I’ve seen this posed as an “irresistible force” meeting an “immovable object”. I agree that the question is actually nonsense but looking at it from another angle:

Motion, in general, is relative while force is not. Therefore the irresistible force wins!

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

relative? whats that got to do with it? there are two givens both true.I like papas answer ,never thought of that. And it violates neither truth. But any way this was answered in Superman comics in the early 60’s. I forget the answer, Lois Lane was startin to look good to me about that time,and i didn’t pay much attention to that illegal alien.


The problem is that your assumptions cannot logically exist. If the universe contains an absolutely immovable object, than by definition there can be no unstopable object in the universe (or vice versa). The universe can only hold one of these objects, so they can never meet.

{{{If an ABSOLUTELY unstopable object meets an ABSOLUTELY inmoveable object; what happens??}}}—Tigs

A General Protection Fault occurs.

The Universe is then reset, the Power-On Self-Test routines are executed; time is initialized and the Celestial Operating System is reloaded.

(The Original EnigmaOne)
Common ¢ for all ages.

The cop gives them both tickets.

Silly little beings,

You’re so comfortable with YOUR universe that you think that it’s the only way.

In The immovable object/unstoppable force universe the laws of physics are different.

For one, relativity as you know it does not exist. The speed of light varies, but velocity is constant. As result of this is that it takes an infinite amount of time for the unstoppable object) to reach the immovable object.
Analogously, in YOUR universe, an unstoppable force could plow into a black hole (pretend that it is an unmovable object). For an outside observer, The unstoppable force NEVER reaches the black hole. It seems to progressively slow down as it approaches the event horizon, and lingers there, dimming as the number of photon dimimish in number until it gone from view. You see from the outside observer’s perspective, time slows down for the unstoppable force. BTW, for the unstoppable force, is ripped apart by tidal forces.

My wife is an immovable object (just try to get her to agree to the purchase of a big-screen TV)…I’ll ask her tonight.

Ah, if only I were an irresistable force…but most women find me all too resistable.

Live a Lush Life
Da Chef

Linguistic answer: An inconceivable event.

Hawkingesque answer: An irresistable force and an immovable object COULD exist in the same universe. However, if they should ever strike each other, they would mutually annihilate; the force would not be resisted and the object would not be moved. They’d both just vanish.

One more thing,

I wrote the previous post during a single listening of “Revolution 9” on the Beatles White Album.


The album is title “The BEATLES,” and it’s white.

Since this thread is already going the way of all things ludicrous…

jayron 32 wrote:

And Chef Troy wrote:

If a man speaks out in the forest, and his wife is not around to contradict him, is he still wrong?

Well, the way Tigs asked the question, the answer is simple. The ABSOLUTELY unstoppable object would bounce off the ABSOLUTELY immovable object and continue to be ABSOLUTELY unstoppable in the opposite direction.

“For what a man had rather were true, he more readily believes” - Francis Bacon

Great gobs of h-bar Mark Mal is right. It’s impossible for the unstoppable force to be moving at a perfect normal to the immovable object, hence there would always be a non-zero velocity component tangent to the surface of the immovable object.

I hate to admit this, but this question kept me up last night. Once again, I recognize that the question can’t be answered as stated, but I was trying to find a way it could be answered without violating too many laws of physics. I’m guessing that’s what the originator wanted – not an ABSOLUTELY(!) correct answer but the *least wrong</> incorrect answer.

In my earlier post I was trying to be succinct and only got as far as cryptic. I stated that motion was relative and force wasn’t. I was referring to relativity theory – not the part about the speed of light, but the part that says there is no absolute reference frame. An immovable object is not moving only in a relative sense. A viewer on a passing train would see the heretofore immovable object moving along nicely without requiring an irresistible force or any force at all! Simply by changing the reference frame an immovable object can be moving and an unstoppable object can be stopped.

Assume, tho, for the sake of the question, that our reference frame is one in which the immovable object is not moving and the unstoppable object is fast approaching. What happens? I would say one of three things: A. the objects pass through each other (good answer, PapaBear). B. The objects rebound from one another (good answer, MarkMal). or C. the objects coalesce.

Physically, I think that A. is the least likely. Dissolving the objects into constituent particles begs the question. The interaction of the particles would still move some of the immovable object and stop some of the unstoppable object.

C., on the other hand, is IMHO physically most likely. The only way an object can be immovable is to have infinite mass. Likewise the only way to be unstoppable is to have infinite momentum which implies infinite mass. And unless the objects are infinitely large, in which case they would already be in contact, they must be infinitely dense. So we have the collision of two infinitely massive and infinitely dense objects. What happens? They collide, coalesce and form a single infinitely massive, infinitely dense object. The cosmological term for such an object is a singularity, at which point, by definition, the laws of physics no longer apply! So anything can happen.

Finally, I think B. is the most satisfying answer. Before the collision we had an unmoving immovable object and a nonstopped unstoppable object. After the collision, we have (tada!) an unmoving immovable object and a nonstopped unstoppable object. The moment of collision is hard to describe but if we wink at that, the universe is pretty much the same before and after.

So, I have to vote for B. The object rebound.

Next question: Can God make a rock so large he can’t lift it?

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”