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Does the Universe have a center or an outer edge

Mon 25 Nov, 2013 11:59 pm
I thought I'd start this thread again because the other thread had 14 pages full of mainly rubbish (I only got through page 3 though before I got fed up, but if someone did answer this correctly I apologize.) This is what I've heard from astrophysicists on this question: NO!

The Big Bang Theory describes the expansion of all space and time, and there is no center or edge. We are just as much in the center as any other galaxy. We with our limited human minds cannot picture a 4 (or more) dimensional Universe. Not even Einstein could visualize this pictorially. The only way we can visualize this is with a 2 dimensional analogy of the surface of a balloon (not the entire 3 dimensional balloon.)
"Picture a universe that consists only of the surface of a balloon. All of the galaxies and the stars in the galaxies are fixed onto the surface of the balloon. There is no way for the observers to perceive the region inside the balloon or the region outside the balloon, they are (and light is) constrained to travel only along the surface."
Our universe is like the surface of this balloon. Dots drawn on the surface represent the galaxies in our universe. As the balloon expands, the universe gets larger and therefore the distances between the galaxies get larger. "The galaxies are not really moving through space away from each other. Instead, what is happening is the space between them is expanding." but there is no center on the 2 dimensional surface of the balloon. There is no outer edge. If you travel on the surface of the balloon you could go around and around for infinity, but never reach a boundary.
I believe I heard the only way you can truly understand & appreciate this, is mathematically.

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Jpsy

1
Tue 26 Nov, 2013 12:04 am
@Jpsy,
Now, that I wrote that (as that is what I was told previously), I will now contradict it. I read this:
Where is the center of our universe?
The idea is that we live in a universe with three spatial dimensions that we can perceive, but that there exist "extra" dimensions (maybe one, maybe more than one) that contain the center of the expansion. Just like the two-dimensional beings that inhabit the surface of the balloon universe, we cannot observe the center of our universe. We can tell that it is expanding, but we cannot identify a location in our 3D space that is the center of the expansion.

Interesting! If anyone can expand on this, please do.
farmerman

1
Tue 26 Nov, 2013 02:41 pm
@Jpsy,
Ive always been comfortable with the "brane" hypothesis. I cant even fathom infinity in a structure like a universe. I have a hard enough problem with time , let alone space/time
maxdancona

1
Tue 26 Nov, 2013 02:45 pm
@Jpsy,
Quote:
I thought I'd start this thread again because the other thread had 14 pages full of mainly rubbish

lol
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Foofie

2
Tue 26 Nov, 2013 05:50 pm
I read of a professor and his colleagues in Salamanca, Spain that came up with a novel idea to explain the supposed "red shift," that denotes the speeding up of the expaning universe. And, that is that time is slowing down farther away in the universe, so it appears that the universe if speeding up in its expansion. I do not really understand that; however, the inference is that if time is slowing down, then the day could come when time stands still, and so does space, and the universe becomes a snapshot for eternity. That might just be the best defintion of the '60's phrase, "What a goof?"

This novel concept would then eliminate the need for "dark energy" pushing space apart. Regardless, since it appears from what I've been reading, the expanding, and then contracting universe seems to have become an obsolete concept. In other words, the future will be very lonely for all solar systems, since light will not be reaching other solar systems, in any timely manner, since distances will be so enormous between solar systems. So much for finding intelligent life elsewhere.

But, it seems that new cosmological theories come up every now and then, and maybe something more optimistic will appear to be the newest theory? But, it does make one wonder who would have designed such a ridiculous universe. I think the answer would be no one!
Jpsy

1
Wed 27 Nov, 2013 12:38 am
@Foofie,
Quote:
time is slowing down farther away in the universe, so it appears that the universe if speeding up in its expansion.

That's interesting Foofie. Did they say what they think might be causing time to slow down & why that makes the universe appear to be expanding faster?

As far as I know, the only things that cause time to slow down, are gravitational time dilation (being in the presence of matter) and movement.
Jpsy

1
Wed 27 Nov, 2013 01:01 am
@farmerman,
Yes, I have a hard time comprehending spacetime. It's amazing how time and space are inextricably linked. When you walk you get heavier, the width of your body decreases, and time slows down. This all sounds like science fiction.
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Jpsy

1
Thu 28 Nov, 2013 03:21 am
@Jpsy,
As I think about it further, it would appear that the Universe is finite. If the surface of the balloon is an accurate analogy of our universe, than just as the surface of the balloon is finite, so is our universe. After all, it is expanding, meaning it's size is getting bigger. Although you could travel around the surface of the balloon an infinite number of times, you are still travelling in a finite area. Similarly you could travel around the surface of the earth infinitely, and never reach an outer edge or a center. Yet, the earth's surface is still finite.
That's my guess.

I wish someone could explain how the center of the earth is hidden in extra dimensions. I will do some research on that.

Jpsy

1
Thu 28 Nov, 2013 03:39 am
@Jpsy,
Again, I find it's best to go to the experts. Here's what Professor Joseph silk says (I'll post it because it's interesting but this is from 2001 & I think we've solved whether or not our universe is flat or torus shaped by now. I'll search some more later):

ESA: Is the Universe finite or infinite?
Joseph Silk:
We don't know. The expanding Universe theory says that the Universe could expand forever [that corresponds to a 'flat' Universe]. And that is probably the model of the Universe that we feel closest to now. But it could also be finite, because it could be that the Universe has a very large volume now, but finite, and that that volume will increase, so only in the infinite future will it actually be infinite.

ESA: It sounds like a game of words, is it?

Joseph Silk:
No. We do not know whether the Universe is finite or not. To give you an example, imagine the geometry of the Universe in two dimensions as a plane. It is flat, and a plane is normally infinite. But you can take a sheet of paper [an 'infinite' sheet of paper] and you can roll it up and make a cylinder, and you can roll the cylinder again and make a torus [like the shape of a doughnut]. The surface of the torus is also spatially flat, but it is finite. So you have two possibilities for a flat Universe: one infinite, like a plane, and one finite, like a torus, which is also flat.

ESA: ‘Flat' seems to have a different meaning to non-scientists. By 'flat' we understand to be like a table, which has width. Does the Universe have width?

Joseph Silk:
Flat is just a two-dimensional analogy. What we mean is that the Universe is 'Euclidean', meaning that parallel lines always run parallel, and that the angles of a triangle add up to 180o. Now, the two-dimensional equivalent to that is a plane, an infinite sheet of paper. On the surface of that plane you can draw parallel lines that will never meet. A curved geometry would be a sphere. If you draw parallel lines on a sphere, these lines will meet at a certain point, and if you draw a triangle its angles add up more than 180o. So the surface of the sphere is not flat. It's a finite space but it's not flat, while the surface of a torus is a flat space.
Lordyaswas

1
Thu 28 Nov, 2013 03:57 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Ive always been comfortable with the "brane" hypothesis. I cant even fathom infinity in a structure like a universe. I have a hard enough problem with time , let alone space/time

I should invite you over some time, to look inside my wife's wardrobe.

It would all become clear to you then, once your eyes become accustomed to the area beyond the shoes.
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Setanta

1
Thu 28 Nov, 2013 04:57 am
And now, for a brief musical interlude . . .

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dalehileman

1
Thu 28 Nov, 2013 12:38 pm
@Jpsy,
Thank you again Jpsy for that rundown. Makes one renew one's speculation that there might be other, "simultaneous" Universes, and in infinite numbers

One of the problems with infinity that has always bothered me: If anything that can happen, will happen, which seems so far to be the case, then by sheer chance an infinite number of Universes must contain an infinite number of each possible version, suggesting a very large if not infinite number containing an a2k website, with a Dale at this moment chatting with a Jpsy

Getting back to probabilities however, it seems the less evidence for something…..the less likely
Jpsy

1
Fri 29 Nov, 2013 01:33 am
@dalehileman,
Quote:
Getting back to probabilities however, it seems the less evidence for something…..the less likely

I think the problem currently with the multiverse, is we don't even know how to look for evidence. So I think we have to be agnostic about it. But remember...
...At first the earth was the center of the heavens. The geocentric model seemed accurate because after all, the stars, the moon, and sun appeared to be orbiting around earth. Earth was the focal point of the cosmos, and humanity made in God's image. Plus, it was written in the Bible. Begrudgingly, it was deduced by Copernicus that the sun was the center of the universe. Next, it was discovered that we lived in a galaxy, but it was thought that the milky way was the sole galaxy in existence. In the 1920s, Edwin Hubble's observations provided evidence that we live in a universe full of galaxies. It seem's only natural that the next step is the discovering of a multiverse. But, there is that evidence thing. That is important.
dalehileman

1
Fri 29 Nov, 2013 11:29 am
@Jpsy,
Quote:
I think the problem currently with the multiverse, is we don't even know how to look for evidence.
Point well taken Jpsy. However most theories start with a hint of some sort, of which multiverse is devoid

The increasing complexity you cite possibly as a sort of hint strikes me the other way 'round, the more involved what we've got, the more unlikely are others

One reason being recent discoveries suggesting the constants are interdependent, with the implication that maybe everything is. That is, a change in one would make one or more of the others impossible

Also there's a general principle that given two or more alternate theories, the more complex is less likely to prove the case, with the infinitely complex, like multiverse, almost infinitely improbable

..almost, anyhow
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Foofie

1
Mon 2 Dec, 2013 10:55 am
@Jpsy,
Jpsy wrote:

Quote:
time is slowing down farther away in the universe, so it appears that the universe if speeding up in its expansion.

That's interesting Foofie. Did they say what they think might be causing time to slow down & why that makes the universe appear to be expanding faster?

As far as I know, the only things that cause time to slow down, are gravitational time dilation (being in the presence of matter) and movement.

No. The science blurb I read did not give details, other than it was a novel way to eliminate the need for dark energy to be causing the speeding up of the expanding universe.
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Foofie

1
Mon 2 Dec, 2013 11:06 am
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:

One of the problems with infinity that has always bothered me: If anything that can happen, will happen, which seems so far to be the case, then by sheer chance an infinite number of Universes must contain an infinite number of each possible version, suggesting a very large if not infinite number containing an a2k website, with a Dale at this moment chatting with a Jpsy

Yes, I've read of this belief that an infinite number of universes should therefore have Doppelgangers of us, at every age, or something like that. However, I think this is totally bogus, since it could then be said that an infinite number of universes should also have universes where Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are the actual king and queen of a continent called Disney World. Meaning, the concept of multiple, infinite universes should also have silly, ridiculous worlds also. That I cannot believe. So, I therefore discount infinite universes with Doppelgangers also. And, infinite universes could also then have an infinite variety of life; no Doppelgangers at all. In other words, this concept of an infinite number of multiple universes just allows anyone to conjecture anything one can think up as a plausible scenario within the infinite universe paradigm. Just silly, in my opinion.
dalehileman

1
Mon 2 Dec, 2013 12:02 pm
@Foofie,
Quote:
And, infinite universes could also then have an infinite variety of life; no Doppelgangers at all.
Thanks Foof for the interesting response. I've long wondered about the math of this assertion and in fact OP'd a couple of threads to that effect, with no answer. So is your assertion backed by some math principle or other reasoning

Quote:
And, infinite universes could also then have an infinite variety of life; no Doppelgangers at all.
Yes, in an analog Megillah you're absolutely right about this Foof, bringing up a thought I've long pondered. Supposing digital Universes, that is ones progressing in small steps, then there will be a finite (though pretty big) number. But in the analog version, as you assert, it's hard to imagine any two ever exactly alike. But wouldn't there be huge numbers very nearly identical

Say, on this one there's a Dale chatting with a Foofie, but compared to its closest cousin one hair on my head is 0.0……010446399111113…. in. longer

After all infinity is a pretty big sum

As for silly Universes, I hears what you're sayin' but I wonder; since so much of our existing one is silly, especially in the humanoid environment. What you mean, then, is that there's a threshold of silliness that cannot be breached. But given a very large number of chances forever, surely a few would happen; then given an infinite number, especially if simultaneous, then wouldn't there be an infinite number of each and every possible silliness
dalehileman

1
Mon 2 Dec, 2013 12:41 pm
@dalehileman,
……so at risk of repetition, I find something intuitively objectionable about other universes

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Foofie

1
Mon 2 Dec, 2013 05:16 pm
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:

As for silly Universes, I hears what you're sayin' but I wonder; since so much of our existing one is silly, especially in the humanoid environment. What you mean, then, is that there's a threshold of silliness that cannot be breached. But given a very large number of chances forever, surely a few would happen; then given an infinite number, especially if simultaneous, then wouldn't there be an infinite number of each and every possible silliness

None of my thinking reflects any math, other than attempting to deal with the endless infinity concept. Anyway, I would think that this is the only show in the Universe that I care to be concerned about. Any other intelligent life can likely be too different for me to be comfortable with. My dabbling in cosmological thinking brings out my introversion.
dalehileman

1
Tue 3 Dec, 2013 11:23 am
@Foofie,
Quote:
My dabbling in cosmological thinking brings out my introversion
Mine, Foof, brings out my ignorance
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