Once again, you ask and you answer, in the latest installment of our FYI Live feature.
This week, Edward Owens has a poser: "Our universe as far as we know is finite; space is infinite as far as we know. Does anyone think there is another universe, or more out there?"
What do you think? Post your answers below.
Good question. I would venture to guess that space and the # of universes are endless, in both directions - in both micro and macro scales. From our current ideas and perspectives, I could see it getting 'spooky' in many ways the farther we go in both directions. Most likely, what we think will be the final answer to the question, will only be the first word in a endless novel.
I would like to get into a rocket and travel at the speed of light however, to see if I hit "something else" eventually. :)
Speculation eh? XD Well, we used to think the earth was the centre of the Universe, why should we think our Universe is the centre of space? I'm assuming when we say "Our Universe" we are talking about the boundaries of all matter and energy created or propelled by the big bang. I guess the question then is, was the big bang the definitive action in space at that time, or was it just a huge explosion at some point in space, and there have been other such explosions at other points in space?
What I would like to know, is what kind of forces are at work at the edge of our universe, is there something like a termination shock when the energy and matter on the outer fringe of the big bangs shockwave hit whatever is outside our universe. I speculate that it might be the ultimate vacuum, the space outside our universe, given that there shouldn't be any opposing force like there is at the edge of our solar system, does it just keep expanding unaided? or is there something more out there?
I don't think the core question should be "Does anyone think there is another universe, or more out there?", because our Universe could be only one type of construct, from big balls of energy, to other models of universes (Open, close, flat, spherical, hell, maybe there is a universe out there that is anchored in a equilateral triangle by 3 HUGE celestial bodies that are each moving outward), maybe just big ass clouds of Hydrogen. No, I think the core question should be, are their energies, matter, etc, that exist outside the bounds and influence of our universe. Because if there is, then (given certain conditions) anything could exist.
While the question might be amusing to ponder, there is really no reason to bother making any serious attempt at trying to find out what is out there because, even traveling at the fastest speeds possible (slightly less than the speed of light, in theory) we wouldn't ever be able to reach the "end" of our own universe. In theory, nothing can reach the speed of light (besides light) because then it would have infinite mass, so unless we plan on folding space any time soon, the question is moot. :P
Before discussing how many universes exist, and where they are you must first define what a universe is. The definition I offer is:
an organization of bodies held together by intangible forces, with smaller groupings of categorical structures.
This definition, in my opinion, is broad enough to include only the very small and very large. For example, the structures composing an atom, and the atom intself, fall into this definition. However, a collection of atoms, for example, those that make up our bodies, do not. But on the larger scale this definition comes back into play by including what we commonly call our Universe, but unfortunately also includes galaxies and solar systems.
That being said, there are many universes around us every day, in fact a countless number of universes. Contrarily, do macro-universes exist other than our own? If you follow the theory of expansion, the reasonable conclusion would be "yes." By the way, expansion recently became closer to being proven with the discovery of a cloud of galaxies moving at more than 8 million mph indicating that something much more powerful, larger, or whatever you'd like to call it, is dragging them through space, and yet for all its might is invisible (and possibly on the other side of our expansion bubble).
But with the nature of the universe being cyclic, in that certain concepts are repeating time and again just in different forms, I'd fathom that there are many universes. In fact, there could be as many universes as there are atoms on our universe, or some exponential factor thereof.
But now that we offer answers to the question, what's next? Even if we prove there are other universes, what does it matter? We can't even get humans much beyond the orbit of our own moon, let alone beyond our solar system or even into inter-galactic space for that matter. It took a tiny probe decades to reach the outer-limits of our solar system, and we have to totally re-engineer how to get back to the moon because our geniuses who got us there didn't think to preserve instructions on how they did it.
So if there are other universes, why does it matter? Even if we could go there we don't know if we could exist there. The rules that govern some other universe need not necessarily resemble those that govern our universe. There may be forms of matter that not even Gene Roddenberry could have ever dreamed.
Don't be confused, I am as interested in technological advancement as any of you who might be reading this. But there is a line between practical research and impractical research. Data pointing to the existence of multiple universes will help the common person, how exactly? That's a better question to answer.
It's endless, just like the library! I don't think any one person could ever read EVERY book out there, and that's just in the library! =)
Here's my take on the universe, how it started, and its relationship to other universes. The Big Bang was a point in space where all matter in the "known universe" was expelled from a huge explosion (yay explosions) - but what you have to consider that the matter which comprised the Big Bang had to come from somewhere (hmm...)
My thought is that our universe began as a collection of matter expelled from neighboring universes that collected in a large empty space until *BOOM!!!* we have a universe!
Obviously this means I believe there are universes outside our own, likely in many different stages of formation. It's likely (given this model) that as our own universe expands, regardless of deceleration (no dark matter) or eventual accelleration (dark matter - wiki "open universe"), matter would be excreted from our universe and either absorbed into a neighboring universe or undergo a Big Crunch with matter from neighboring universes in empty space. So basically what you get is one huge collection of universes in a Crunch-Bang cycle forming and dispersing in the same fashion as solar systems in our own universe.
I like my idea, its shiny. If your idea is shiny, I like it too :) I'll check back later to see what the happy haps are here.
42. Wait, no that's not right.
i think there are some universe out there but if there are other universe what do you call the another big one and certainly after that BIG one there will be soppuse bigger body than the one bigger in that one and so on >>> ryt ????
If you watch the videos on the PBS.org website under 'Nova' (name of the tv program), you will find a set of videos called 'elegant universe'. The gist of the new creation story, created by four theorhetical physicists, was that within string theory, there are two two dimensional feilds that move like the oceans surface. When the two feilds collide, so much energy is released, it creates a new universe with new rules. These feilds are infinately large and there is an infinite number of universes.
My veiw on this is the same as any other religious creation story. There is no physical evidence to back it up, nor evidence to back string theory up for that matter. This theory is what creationists wish evolutionary theory was.
As far as we know, there is only one universe and it has a finate amount of mass and energy that is being spread out over an infinate amount of space.
This is interesting....
I say yes. I find it hard to believe that our universe could be the only one. Look at it this way:
We live on a planet in a solar system amid 8 other planets. Our solar system is most definitely not one of a kind. There are possibly thousands, maybe milions of other systems in our Milky way galaxy. Our Milky way galaxy is one of millions of other galaxies in this universe. So why can't there be more than one universe. Space is incredibly vast, and most people cannot comprehend how big the solar system is. How big is big? In this, we should follow the Copernican Principle.
"We are not Special"
We are not at the center of the solar system, our system is not at the center of the galaxy, and our galaxy isn't in the center of our universe. So it follows that our universe cannot be the only one.
But, in order to verify this, we would have to travel very, very far. This would take a couple billion years to reach the end of the universe, and by then, humanity would have lost interest and moved on.
A better question might be, do we have enough resources to discover other universes?
I find this interesting. If the Law of Conservation of Matter is true (which I don't think it is entirely), then the materials that made our universe had to come from somewhere. It is possible that the "space junk" from the "original universe" could have stockpiled in one of its far reaches and that these materials were used to create the big bang. The cycle could repeat itself and we could have one ever expanding universe that is constantly being added on to via big bangs. If this is not true, then I strongly believe, that ours is not the only universe out there. I highly doubt we will solve this paradox within the next billion years, or ever.
When we look into a sample of pond water with a microscope it may be considered a vast universe to the bacteria that live there. When we look into space with a telescope it is considered a vast universe to us. Therefore we can observe and infinite number of universes with a microscope and only one with a telescope. From our perspective there will only be one universe and it will expand as we find larger telescopes. I would also suggest that bacteria in the pond could not have the intellect to imagine a creature like ourselves observing them. In the same way are minds are not capable of imagining what may be observing us.
I think there is a problem with the very definition of the word 'Universe' that everyone makes for themselves. So let me propose a very very basic concept:
1)The Universe is 'That which contains EVERYTHING'
(Including anything else you can think of...)
2)Because it contains EVERYTHING, there must be only ONE.
(I guess you dont need a genius to figure this one out!)
So if you want to talk about the parts of the Universe that you cannot see yet, then why not just call them 'THIS or THAT part of the Universe? PLEASE I BEG YOU ALL dont call them OTHER UNIVERSES!!! THIS IS WRONG!!! Call them SUB-UNIVERSES A, B and C and i will applaude!
I dont get the intellectual masturbation about so many universes when the problem is that we only need better glasses... I really hope that the planned James Webb super space telescope discovers a galaxy 20 billion light-years away and make the Big-Bang nothing more than a local 'fart'.
Science is parsing the facts, what we've seen or sensed with instruments. Science isn't about speculation.
So far, we only think we know what we think we know. It ain't necessarily so. I agree that it is pointless to speculate what is beyond that boundary. It either is or isn't and we may be right or wrong.
Of course, nearly everyone here so far has declared a faith position. I have one, too. Mine is that there are at least two more: One is very hot and has no bottom, and the other is home to the Creator.
1000 years ago people KNEW that the earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago people KNEW that the earth was flat. Regardless of what technological advancements we have obtained, it seems that there are fundamental aspects of our basic understanding that are dead wrong. Perhaps the universe is a single "atom" in a larger universe? Or maybe outside of our universe is just a place where our laws of physics no longer apply and there are different forces and types of spacial dimensions. For all we know, its true.
There is nothing beyond our Universe, because the furthest reaches of every dimension x, y, z and time itself, are contained within our own Universe.
As we look out to the farthest galaxies we can see, we are looking back in time to only a few million years after the Big Bang. As we develop better telescopes we may one day be able to look 'back' to only moments after the bing bang - or to put it another way - we may be able to see close to the very 'edge' of the Universe.
However the Universe 'is' all that we understand. It's boundaries are the beginning of time itself. To look beyond our Universe in the sense that we understand it would be impossible.
I find the question of what lies beyond the Universe similar to the question of what happens to our consciousness when we die. They are both fundamentally unanswerable questions, and if you spend too long thinking about it, you'll only get depressed, or a headache.
That's not to say our Universe may not contain other dimensions however, and that could well be one of the most incredible discoveries of the human race.
It's my understanding that evidence suggests "our universe," "the known universe," was created by a period of cosmic inflation soon after the big bang. Space-time expanded massively in some area of the larger universe, creating the bubble of inflated space-time that we know and love. This means that the universe is infinite, even though "our universe" isn't. I've heard it said that travelling out of such a bubble is NOT possible, but I have absolutely no grasp of the reasoning behind, or validity of, this supposition.
Therefore the universe would be infinite, but we couldn't get at it. This obviously begs some questions about what it means for something to exist. Perhaps indirect evidence or overwhelming odds would favor this interpretation over others, even if it could never really be proven.
The universe is "effectively" infinite.
If massive objects bend light, then being at the "edge" of the universe (where all the mass in the universe is "behind" you), looking outward you see no end to the universe because you're seeing light bent back inward. You will not be able to detect the edge of the universe because all information you receive peeking ahead of you comes from behind you.
In fact, I'd venture that the universe is actually smaller than people think because we see distant objects twice. Once from the original light sent in our direction, and then again in the light bent back in our direction at the "edge" of the universe emitted eons before (in a different location).
That's my 2 cents.
Oh. And of course there's more universes out there.
Consider the point. Extend another dimension, there are an infinite number of points on a line. There are an infinite number of lines in a plane. There are an infinite number of planes in a solid. Why should it stop there?
Knowledge of one object of another (one line to another) only happens when the objects intersect, as each object itself is its own universe.
No we don't have the resources, we cant even fix our problems on earth nor even get out of our solar system with humans onboard a spacecraft.
the 1 thing i wanna know is..... the secret to the universe.... and see the edge of ours.
Such a beautiful Star, I think we must be able to see the use of astronomical telescopes, it is best to wear a pair of glasses, if you are nearsighted