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Does the UNIVERSE have a boundary or OUTER LIMIT?

 
 
Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 09:46 am
Does the UNIVERSE have a boundary or OUTER LIMIT?

Do you think that our Universe has a boundary?

What would you expect to see if you were to reach this boundary?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 20 • Views: 41,472 • Replies: 270
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Phoenix32890
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 10:06 am
Bib- I hadn't really thought about it, but off the top of my head, I think that the universe is infinite. When you go to the "end" you start out all over again!
husker
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 10:08 am
I believe the only limit to the universe is in our imagination, I feel it's beyond our minds to try and put a limit or draw a boundry.

Might be a good place to see if you have any control issues.
fishin
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 10:13 am
I hadn't ever really thought about it but off the top of my head I'd guess I agree with husker's comment.

If I was able to travel to a "boundry" at the edge of teh universe what would happen if i crossed that boundry? I'd either cease to exist of just continue on. If I just continued on then am I really in another universe or was the boundry false? If I ceased to exist than I guess the whole point would be moot for me eh? Very Happy
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bigdice67
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 10:24 am
This one of the questions that sometimes comes up when I'm out with these two friends of mine, Brian and Ted, and we then realize that our heads are too small and our brains too slow, to sample the question " Is there a boundary out there?"

We'll start out thinking a bit like Douglas Adams in "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe", just to realize how mindbogginly big the universe really must be! I'm always awed at this point, we all are, actually, and see us the way we are... big in our own little universe, but infinetly small in the real one!
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Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 10:32 am
It's a small question with a big answer!

According to Big Bang proponents, if the Universe started as a pinprick of supercondensed material which then expanded in all directions from it's origin, then this material is still expanding today, in which case, it should have a boundary!

What do you think about this?
husker
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 10:35 am
shoulda coulda..

Yeah I agree a boundry seems reasonable but when it gets to it's outtermost limit at that point it's going to start coming back on us, I think that's part of of the bigbangers theory also.
Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 10:47 am
Let's put a twist to this question:

If the "space" within our Universe is mostly vacuous, up to the point of the "boundary," then what is on the "other side" of the boundary?

Is it vacuous also? or is it full of anti-matter?
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 12:25 pm
Bibliophile the BibleGuru wrote:
Let's put a twist to this question:

If the "space" within our Universe is mostly vacuous, up to the point of the "boundary," then what is on the "other side" of the boundary?

Is it vacuous also? or is it full of anti-matter?


I think this is what I was thinking earlier. Even if it's vacuous, it's still a part of the universe so it isn't an edge boundry to my way of thinking - it's just a part of the universe where nothing exists.. ???
dyslexia
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 01:59 pm
its infinite (unbounded) but for our ability to image (cope with) its finite. perhaps its linguistic but i dont see the concept in language to express any understand of non-limited anything. we still can be puzzled trying to define mobius loops and micro-cosmologies so i don't see any metaphor to describe unbounded.
littlek
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 02:43 pm
I think scientifically, the outer limit of the universe is where the first bits to eject from the big bang are now. I also think it mostly takes the form of infrared light.....

<pardon the edit>

We've only gotten back to about 25% the age of the universe (75% of the universe's history is unseen and unknown to us). But, one scientist states in an article in space.com that he thinks with new tech, we'll be able to see much farther within a few years....
littlek
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 02:44 pm
Hmmmmmm, but what's the universe expanding INTO......?
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Equus
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 03:49 pm
Time and space were both created at the big bang, so they have no meaning outside the context of the big bang. We can't ask what is on the other side of the edge of the cosmos because the question doesn't have context anymore. We might as well ask, what is on the other side of time?

Yes- there is a limit to the cosmos. When we look into a telescope, we are seeing backward into time. Objects furthest away from us appear in the telescope as they did near the dawn of time. If we COULD look far enough in the sky (in any direction, take your pick) we could see the big bang, except that it predates light.

An easy proof that the cosmos is finite:
If infinite stars existed outward in time and space to infinity, we would be able to see their light, even as the tiniest of pinpricks in the night sky. The night should be a solid mass of light from an infinite number of stars and galaxies shining light toward us from infinite time. The night is NOT a solid mass of light. Therefore, the cosmos is finite.
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husker
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 04:15 pm
Oh I see a time discussion coming. If the past is seeing backward, like in a telescope, then lets just turn it around???? sorry - couldn't help myself...

Equus, so what your saying is that light does not lose it's energy to disapate into darkness? And your thinking that the earth shines or reflects light so.. better getting to rethinking on that one.. :-)
What about blackholes that suck up the light they do not radiate light, what about dark sides of planets not reflecting light?
husker
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 04:16 pm
L'k you crack me up!!
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littlek
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 05:46 pm
How so, Husker?
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 06:08 pm
Equus wrote:
An easy proof that the cosmos is finite:
If infinite stars existed outward in time and space to infinity, we would be able to see their light, even as the tiniest of pinpricks in the night sky. The night should be a solid mass of light from an infinite number of stars and galaxies shining light toward us from infinite time. The night is NOT a solid mass of light. Therefore, the cosmos is finite.


I'm not arguing against you here, just interested and your comment brought chain of questions to mind.

If, as your proof listed is true, and assuming the the universe began with the Big Bang, wouldn't all matter from that Big Bang be expanding outward in straight lines in all directions from the origination point? As that matter travels farther from it's origination point wouldn't there be an increasing amount of distance between that matter? Why wouldn't that account for the "dark space" we see? Aren't there stars that we know are out there right now that we can't "see" visually? Isn't that why we keep building more powerful telescopes? Aren't there also black holes that suck in light which could prevent light from getting to anyplace we can currently observe it?

I've always had a bit of a side interest in this stuff but my knowledge here extends as far as to what I picked up in Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time".
quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Dec, 2002 09:08 pm
How you define the universe I believe is the first thing...
If you define the universe as all that is out there...then it is infinite. If you define it as objects created from the Big Bang, including surrounding galaxies, the bubbles and such...well, then it is an interesting question. It is anyway however but, thats where I usually start it in discussion.
Then, you must move on to the big bang...do you define it as when time and space was created or when the matter itself of time and space was created? If when matter was created..then isnt it space thats there for it to be created in? If your definition is the creation of time and space what created the bang if nothing was there? Oh my little brain hurts. hehehehe
Really though.....
Now, we go forward into expansion...yes, kinda like objects in motion and all that stuff.
Light and black holes...very interesting.
reflection and absorbtion...interesting as well.
So, my thoughts on the original question.....
I have no idea but, I would love to find out Smile
Bibliophile the BibleGuru
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 11:00 am
Fishin:
You said, "Aren't there also black holes that suck in light which could prevent light from getting to anyplace we can currently observe it?"


Black Holes are MATHEMATICAL and THEORETICAL possibilities, but no one has ever detected one in Space.
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 11:29 am
guru: M87 is an active galaxy, one in which we see interesting objects. Near its core (or center) there is a spiral-shaped disc of hot gas.
Although the object is no bigger than our solar system it weighs three billion times as much as the sun. This means that gravity is so strong that light cannot escape. We have a black hole.
 

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