Edge of the Universe

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Cpickens89

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if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

so if the universe is expanding outword what exactly is it expanding out in ??

and if we managed to catch up with the edge of it if we went passed it what would there be ?

would we pop into another universe or what ?
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

It is expanding into nothing.

The Universe only exists within the Universe, therefore by definition, we can never reach the edge.
 
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Cpickens89

Guest
Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

lol this is where i hate my curiousity i always think up some strange question's


i just cant grasp the concept that it is expanding into nothing just not how my brain works i guess just weird to me i just keep wandering if somthings on the other side or not ... :?: probably sounds weird to ya'll but im just someone who thinks a little to far outside the box i guess ... ;)
 
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Smersh

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Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

If I caught up with the end of the Universe, I'd like to visit the restaurant there. (As long as it's not run by Vogon, of course.)
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

Cpickens89":24vo211n said:
lol this is where i hate my curiousity i always think up some strange question's


i just cant grasp the concept that it is expanding into nothing just not how my brain works i guess just weird to me i just keep wandering if somthings on the other side or not ... :?: probably sounds weird to ya'll but im just someone who thinks a little to far outside the box i guess ... ;)
No problem, it is a very hard concept to grasp. It's weird to all of us, but that is the best evidence we have so far. Future observations might change that :)
 
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warpfactor999

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Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

MeteorWayne":ofo917c7 said:
It is expanding into nothing.

The Universe only exists within the Universe, therefore by definition, we can never reach the edge.
Is it "dark matter" Wayne? Say if man was capable at some point in time to travel light multiple light year speed such as in "Star Trek" would we finally see the last molecule on the giant's hang nail? Or could we build a scope powerful enough to see the gates of Heaven? One with an inquisitive mind always ponders answers to questions that hold no proven answers. I cannot get too scientific on one for posing such a question. I feel the question is legit for the forum. No offense by the way..and hope you had a great B-day!
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

Since travel faster than the speed of light is prohibited in our universe, this does indeed belong in The Unexplained.
Even the most powerful scope imaginable cannot exceed that basic limit.

However, since this is the Unexplained, you can make up any kind of unrealistic physics you wish :)

Since it's impossible, you have no limits!
 
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JeffreyNYA

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Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

I am not sure I buy the whole universe is expanding thing. Not sure how we would even know. If we can't see to the edge of it then how do we even know there is an edge. I don't think there is. There is universe everywhere. We see Galaxys moving away from each other and thats fine, not hard to accept that.

I think the Big bang happened eveywhere at one time. It was just not some little point that you could say, oh look, here is where it first happened.
 
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dougstuff

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Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

There's a difference between 'space' and 'nothing'. If we're in a spatial universe that's expanding into nothing; the other side just doesn't exist. Example: There's something between us and the moon... space. If that space didn't exist, the moon would be touching us; there would truely be 'nothing' between us. And... since the universe IS something finite (according to the Big Bang), and the other side isn't occupied by anything (otherwise it would be part of our universe) - therefore it can't exist. It could be very possible to travel to the end of the universe just to find you're entering from the opposite side; a finite infinatum.
 
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odiedb

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Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

It has been theorized that the Universe itself may be a huge Black hole, from which no escape is possible.... If you were to reach the edge, you would loop back in one gigantic arc..... We can never get out!!!! As to what it may expand into, Possibly other dimensions!!!
 
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MetalMario

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Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

Honestly, I think that if we were to catch up with 'the end', then we would simply see nothing. Nothing, in it's own matter does not mean black. It would be no colors at all, simply nothing. If you attempt to describe the basis of 'color', then it would have to be a whole new word or words to describe. It there is, somehow, something there, then It could be an interdimensional wall, seperating two universes, or, you would see somesort of a bubble bath. You would look out, and see bubbles with something inside them. They would be other universes, floating in a strange dimension, of dimensions. Still hard to grasp you head around... :shock:
 
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origin

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Re: if we caught up with the end of the universe ????

Smersh":1pbw1j5s said:
MeteorWayne":1pbw1j5s said:
Since travel faster than the speed of light is prohibited in our universe, this does indeed belong in The Unexplained ...
Scientists Make Radio Waves Travel Faster Than Light

:p
Here is a recent update on this article that makes sense and is quite interesting.

Sorry for the hijack, I just thought the point should be addressed!
 
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dangineer

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I'm not sure if this topic was already posted somewhere, but it's something that I'm still having trouble understanding.

What is the current scientific thinking on whether the universe has a boundary (either physical or mathematical or in any other sense)? I understand that it appears as though the universe at this point is both to large and expanding too quickly for us to ever observe the edge of the universe (save for the microwave background radiation). Do any current theories mention or imply anything about whether there is a boundary to space (or more correctly spacetime)? And if so, what is it like?
 
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MeteorWayne

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Yes it has been posted eleswhere, so I will close this thread for now. As soon as I find the other thread I'll insert a link here.
Please stand by.

Edit: I changed my mind. After rereading the thread (which was in the Unexplained) it has stayed fairly sane and on topic, so I merged the thread here.

I hope it will stay in the land of intelligent discussion so it doesn't have to revisit the Unexplained.

MOD HAT ON***
A note to all, if you are going to post in the Physics forum, you have to have a grip on real Physics. If you are going to just make stuff up with no scientific basis, then the thread will be closed, or parts of it moved to the Unexplained. Physics is supposed to be a hard science forum, discussing real important issues in Physics. Please keep that in mind.
We've allowed a lot of leeway lately (too much in my opinion) but many threads here are getting a bit too silly, so will likely be moved soon.

Thanx in advance for your cooperation :)

MOD HAT OFF

Meteor Wayne
 
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ramparts

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In response to dangineer's question on the current scientific thinking, here's what I've got. You'll have to rely on someone else for the word from the more speculative theories (I'm no expert on string theory, for instance), but the current theories (GR and quantum mechanics) to the best of my knowledge say nothing about a boundary. In other words, they're not predicted, so we have no reason to believe one is there :) Here's what we've got: the Big Bang was the expansion of space itself. What lies beyond that bit of space is certainly a valid question (maybe phrased differently: what would happen if one travelled past the edge of that space?), but we really don't know.

Some multiverse theories suggest that, in fact, each universe like ours is a "bubble" in a larger multiverse, out of causal contact with the others (of course - we're out of causal contact with a lot of our own universe as it is!). But that doesn't solve the problem - just pushes it off. It's one to ponder over philosophically, but science as yet has relatively little to say about it. The data suggest pretty strongly that the universe is not closed on itself like the surface of a sphere, which would have been a neat solution to the issue.

I'd appreciate a word from someone who's knowledgeable about these things if I'm wrong or missing something :)
 
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ramparts

Guest
Actually, Wayne, I'm curious about what you said above, that we can never reach the edge. I'm having trouble visualizing that. It seems sensible enough to me that in a finite universe (as ours almost certainly is), you can determine an outer "edge". If we take a point when the whole universe is causally connected (so very early universe, pre-inflation), any Cauchy surface should cover the entire spacetime (right?), and be finite and have a discernible edge (assuming the method survives quantum effects). Or if we're more comfortable in the modern universe, we can imagine - even if we can't test - observers who are located at t=13.7 Gyr in a galaxy on our particle horizon, then imagine another observer at the same local time in a galaxy on their horizon in the same direction, and so on - surely the process would come to an end at some point, otherwise we're dealing with a good ol' infinite universe. I think the question of what happens after you repeat that process enough times, or what lies past the edge of this early universe Cauchy surface, is a valid question.

But then, I might be spouting nonsense here :)
 
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MeteorWayne

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Well, that makes my brain hurt. The fact is, as we understand the Universe at this time, it is expanding at the outer edges (from our point of view) faster than the speed of light within the Universe, so it's rather a moot point. Can't get there from here :)

I'm no expert by any means.
 
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ramparts

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MeteorWayne":iweewtm7 said:
Well, that makes my brain hurt. The fact is, as we understand the Universe at this time, it is expanding at the outer edges (from our point of view) faster than the speed of light within the Universe, so it's rather a moot point. Can't get there from here :)

I'm no expert by any means.
That makes two of us :lol: So my second question essentially asked: we can't get there from here, but "there" should still exist, no? Imagine that we were in a galaxy 13.7 or so billion light years from us (the farthest we can see) at the present day, measured in their time. They imagine the same thing for yet further distant galaxies, etc. Eventually we'd expect one would arrive at an "edge".
 
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MeteorWayne

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Realistically, all we can say at this time is "Maybe". :lol:

Anyone who unequivocally says they know is making stuff up.

Anyone who theorizes is free to do so, but as of yet their ideas can never be proved...the best that can happen is they might fall into the "possible" bin :)
 
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dangineer

Guest
I know Einstein felt that reality only exists because we perceive it to exist. If that were true then there wouldn't be an edge to spacetime because we can't "see" it. But I don't want this discussion to become too philosophical, so lets assume that this is not the case and there is a definite edge of some sort.

I'm curious as to whether how the edge is defined or constructed, could it affect the physics within the boundary in any way? What if the edge was made up of a thin film of particles, or virtual particles or whatever. Would this assumption change any of the physics within the universe?

Maybe if what goes on at the boundary is taken into account in modern physics, some results may come up that explain certain unexplained observables, like dark energy and such. I can't think of any way this might occur off the top of my head, but then again I don't have a lot of experience with high level math like topology.
 
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dangineer

Guest
So the universe could easily be boundless and that could possibly be verified through experiment. This is very interesting, but at this point I would like to reformulate my question.

Lets assume that the universe is bounded and finite. Could making the assumption that the edge of the universe has some physical structure or is in some way different from the rest of the universe have some kind of impact on the physics inside the universe?
 
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ramparts

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dangineer":r17ojaq3 said:
So the universe could easily be boundless and that could possibly be verified through experiment. This is very interesting, but at this point I would like to reformulate my question.

Lets assume that the universe is bounded and finite. Could making the assumption that the edge of the universe has some physical structure or is in some way different from the rest of the universe have some kind of impact on the physics inside the universe?
There's really no reason to expect the "edge" of the universe, if such a thing is there, to be made up of anything. Either way it's unlikely to affect the physics.

If the universe is "bounded and finite", the most likely thing is that the curvature is globally closed - in other words, going one way would bring you back around the other end, much like living on a sphere. In that case, there's no edge anyway. This is a very philosophically satisfying idea, but the evidence doesn't seem to point that way.
 
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SpeedFreek

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ramparts":3948zg8r said:
If the universe is "bounded and finite", the most likely thing is that the curvature is globally closed - in other words, going one way would bring you back around the other end, much like living on a sphere. In that case, there's no edge anyway. This is a very philosophically satisfying idea, but the evidence doesn't seem to point that way.
The surface of the Earth is boundless. You can travel as far as you like on the surface of the Earth, but you will never find an edge to that surface.

If the universe is positively curved (i.e. closed) then it is boundless, as there is no edge. Bounded means the opposite - going one way (if you could travel fast enough) would bring you to a place where there were no more galaxies.

The evidence doesn't point in either direction - we have no evidence that the universe is bounded. In fact, the universe can be finite, boundless and flat! (The global topology may be more akin to a 3-torus, rather than a 3-sphere)
 
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