Not much in science is more of a mind-bender than thinking about the size and fate of the known universe (except for quantum mechanics and string theory, which also has a lot to do with the size and fate of the universe, albeit on the opposite end of the size spectrum). When we first developed theories about the universe, the model which resulted depicted all of space as static and unchanging, infinite in depth in any direction. Then Einstein posited general relativity and suddenly a whole host of universes were theoretically possible: static, dynamic, infinite, and finite.
Once practical observation caught up to theory, we were able to conceive of the Big Bang and prove it by observing Doppler shifts. We knew at least that galaxies were moving away from each other, expanding off into the distance. What we didn't know was whether that expansion would continue forever or if it would, like the largest and slowest rubber band ever known, eventually snap back.
It is only recently that we have determined the former to be the case. The universe will expand until our neighbor galaxies are no longer visible to us (of course, assuming we are still around tens of billions of years from now) and the stars in our galaxy will use up all the raw hydrogen fuel, fading out to nothing. There is one other long shot possibility (and here we return to string theory) that dark matter may ultimately refuel the rubber band from the earlier example and we may indeed all snap back to the first moment of the Big Bang. Under this scenario, our universe could be just the most current in an infinite number of universes that have expanded and collapsed over trillions and trillions of years.
quantum mechanics is very mind blowing
What is beyond this universe?
Are there more universes? As anything is possible... anything could be out there, or, we could be somewhere much different from what we expect, kind of like the marbles off of MIB.
I just want to know what is farther out...
Check out Michio Kaku's book "The Physics of the Impossible". He goes over multiverses and alternate realities and what possibilities there are/aren't (at least mathmatically) I'm sure there are other books that speak more directly to the subject but I'm not sure what they are. I know that Physics of the Impossible is very accessible for those of us who don't have PhD's in..........well.........anything.
i hope some genius will discover these secrets and allow colonization on planets that are millions of light years away before i die.
Yes the universe will expand forever.
The expansion feeds on itself and therefore is exponential.
hey ktperera how do you know just because some website posts something doesn't make it true i think that the universe will continue to expand until it reaches a certain point at wich a reverse big bang will occur or the expanding will cease and reverse at the same rate until the "big bang point" is reached at wich time the universe will be destroyed remade and another big bang will happen