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Is the universe finite?


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#16    StarMountainKid

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 01:31 AM

I think the concept of infinity is a complex one.  If we consider the Big Bang the beginning of our universe, and that the universe has been expanding ever since,  I would say the universe can't be infinite because it had a starting point in time.  For such an expanding universe to be infinite an infinite amount of time would have had to elapse since the BB.

Also, as far as a finite number of stars expanding into an infinite space, the universe isn't expanding into any pre-existing space, space itself 'is' the universe...space itself is what is expanding.  There is no space 'outside' the universe for it to expand into.

Physical infinity would involve volume and time.  There may exist an infinite number of universes, each creating their own finite spacetimes from their own BB creations, but each individual universe would be finite.  Thinking about it in this way, there was never the 'first' universe and there will never be the 'last' because time only exists within each universe.  If we could imagine the whole of these infinite number of universes existing, there is still nothing 'outside' of them, no infinite volume for these universes to exist within.  

Mathematicians deal with infinities, but I don't think any physical infinity can exist.  An infinite physical reality would require, for instance, having existed for an infinite amount of time in the past, and existing for an infinite amount of time in the future.  Since within this reality a clock is always ticking, there will always be another future moment, and an infinite future will never be realized.   Just some thoughts from a new member.  






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#17    Eieam Wun

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Posted 02 May 2007 - 02:17 PM

I think the universe can be finite have an actual physical barrier and still expand...  Solid matter can condense on a micro scale or become denser and on a macro scale can change from a solid to a liquid or a gas expand then resolidify.  Anything is plausible, infact I wrote a paper on exactly how such a process could work.  As to what is beyond the barrier, it's anyones guess.

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#18    Kleon

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 09:24 AM

The last book I read about that said that the universe itself is finite and is of an elliptical shape, which means that there could be more than one universe out there in the infinite space.
I'll check the book again, it's been a while  rolleyes.gif

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#19    feral koan

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Posted 04 May 2007 - 10:40 AM

Yeah, but how could they possibly prove that?



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#20    Emma_Acid

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 01:43 PM

Given that the universe is expanding (something that has been emperically observed) it must have therefore had a smaller state, therefore a beginning*, and therefore it must be finite.

It is also not true that space is infinite while the universe is finite. Space and time are intrinsically linked to the laws of this universe. We've known this for over 100 years. So its impossible for one - say, space - to be infinite yet the other (the universe) finite.

It is important to realise that there isn't an "infinite" amount of space outside of out universe, the laws simply don't work that way. Space as we know it ONLY exists inside our universe.

(*something we can only guess at, as we simply don't have the mathematical tools to delve that deeply.... yet)

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#21    Sun Raven

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 08:46 AM

Guys, space is the emptyness, emptyness cannoot be finite. The Universe is finite because it is just matter in emptyness, and that emptyness is space. As simple as that. At the end of the universe, all the matter. There is more emptyness, thats why it is black, but the universe is constantly explanding in more of that emptyness and will continue too.

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#22    Isis2200

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 03:01 PM

Quote

I think the universe can be finite have an actual physical barrier and still expand...  Solid matter can condense on a micro scale or become denser and on a macro scale can change from a solid to a liquid or a gas expand then resolidify.  Anything is plausible, infact I wrote a paper on exactly how such a process could work.  As to what is beyond the barrier, it's anyones guess.


Hi Eieam Wun:

So what you're saying is that it could be comparable to air inside a balloon whereby as the air is pushed through the balloon, the balloon expands.  So if that barrier is very strong, it would cause the universe to contract, and if the barrier would not very strong(as is a balloon), the barrier would break from the force of the expansion of the universe and thus reveal what could be outside that barrier.

Interesting.

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#23    Celumnaz

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:01 PM

universe expansion may be faulty observation due to limited perspective, shifts warped by time may give false color etc...
planet/star expansion is fairly well confirmed no?  those are finite things.
If the universe is finite, or some type of closed system, it is possible it can still expand, possibly infinately.
my favorite theory so far is the one that says if you leave the milky way in a straight line, eventually you will see the milky way approaching from the front
fits with the megaverse/multiverse thing, not that I completely subscribe to that either


#24    bee

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:59 PM


  I had this thought when looking at the stars, one night....

  You know how things appear solid to us, but really there is loads of space in every 'atom' (or what-ever you want to call it).

  I've heard the analogy that if an atom was the size of a football pitch...then the nucleus and electrons would be like tiny marbles.

Anyway...I looked at the stars and wondered if all the stars were seen at the same distance....would there be a 'wall' of light.

In other words...is the universe a sphere of light?

Do the stars make the edge of the sphere, but they seem to be far apart to us...like the content of atom would if we could see it.

Don't know if this makes sense...but I surpose I'm saying that I think the universe is finite...and that the edge of it, is what-ever it is that we perceive as light.  

  Maybe, perhaps, possibly...who knows? Just wanted to share this thought. original.gif


#25    Calista

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 03:01 AM

I truly believe this question is beyond the comprehension of human intelligence.  Are we a universe inside of a larger universe?  If the Universe is finit, what is beyond the universe?  Far too complicated.


#26    spikeman25

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 05:47 AM

Quote

but how can something infinite grow? which is what the universe is doing according to the majority of respectable scientists.
Something that has always existed can certainly grow. Scientists don't have all the answers, All they can do is take an educated guess when it comes to this.



#27    Einstein

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Posted 27 May 2007 - 03:09 PM

Maybe there are many universe we may just be one of it.What i am saying is that we are like a football field on earth but there are many planet.Like air inside the water but trying to expand as there are many bubble thats the small universe. What will happen if we are living in this universe that are expanding always?.If alien exist they maybe on this universe or other universe.Untill we classify the detail about what was there before universe.(Explain)Maybe like water ,universe is like air .

This is self opinnion


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#28    when.i.am.queen.

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:20 AM

The other day we were discussing this in class, and we came down to the problem of defining what the univesre really is.
Some people say that it is where there was matter, and others say that it was everywhere.
So if universe was defined by where there is matter, and it is indeed an elliptical shape, then past the last atom of matter on the outer rim is not universe.
Hence that it is finite.

But if the other definition is your thing, the universe is infitine, as there is no end.



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#29    Captain Kolak

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 12:10 AM

INFINATE!!!!!!!!

Why? Our univers does not have a clearly defined edge. It is just energy and light expanding. And it is becoming more dilute the further it expands. Like if you drop a rock into a calm pool. The waves are still present far away but hard to notice. Until they die away. And for it to expand, it must expand into something. And in this case nothing is something (Space).

Saying that gaps in the fossil record invalidate evolution is much like saying time doesn't exist between ticks of your digital watch

#30    Isis2200

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 04:22 AM

Quote

The other day we were discussing this in class, and we came down to the problem of defining what the univesre really is.
Some people say that it is where there was matter, and others say that it was everywhere.
So if universe was defined by where there is matter, and it is indeed an elliptical shape, then past the last atom of matter on the outer rim is not universe.
Hence that it is finite.

But if the other definition is your thing, the universe is infitine, as there is no end.



Well, I for one, believe it's finite(just my personal opinion.)  What's your opinion, Queen?

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