Where Does Space End? It Must End Somewhere!

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Currently, the furthest "edge" of space we can see is about 15 billion lightyears away from the Earth.

That's because we estimated that the universe began in about 15 billion years ago, after the the "big bang".

It means that the the furthest stars, which are located 15 billion lightyears away from the Earth are actually the image of the beginning of the universe.

No one really knows where the universe ends. Because the image of the beginning of the whole Universe might not be appeared yet.

Scientists believe that the Universe is expanding. I think that it might only because more and more "light" of the far star are coming to us after billion and billion years of travel.

Please excuse me for any technical error. I learned those from an article.

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half a quark

With regards to the Universe size:     So, just for the record; It isn't an issue of - could, not - 50%, not even 99.99%. The Universe is Infinite by 100%.

matter cannot always be divided into smaller protions. do the words "elementary particles" mean anything to you?

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What would that ultimately imply about our universe?

That specific model gives a possibilty of the universe having an ultimate horizon, but being infinitely vast in distance, which it just seems to settle some of the more intuition problems raised here. Perhaps I am the only one that thinks it is easier to see that image (linked to in post 188) than to trying to reckon in our imagination the possibilities of an infinite or finite euclidean plane. However, you question is even more interesting, because this nice intuitive picture does not come without its consequences! The particular model I suggested implies such wonderous things as that there exist triangles with less that 180 degrees, that pythagorean's theorem actually fails, and that there can be more than one parallel through a given point to a given line! And it even goes so far as to imply that the reason that we may not be so sure about these (or even may go as far as to believe they couldn't exist) are only the result of our vastly small size in our quite large universe. It is inspiring to think that as it was once widely thought the earth was flat, and is now known to be not-so, it is now widely thought that the universe is euclidean, and may later be known to be not-so!

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gagsrcool : 2. It is constantly in acceleration at about the speed of light.

Wouldn't it have to be faster than the speed of light or atleast the same speed?

I am sorry. It has got to be MORE than the speed of light. I apologize again.

gagsrcool

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Ever since I was a young boy' date=' I have wrestled with trying to understand space. In particular, I have never really understood how space is supposed to never end. I really don't see how that's possible. Everything ends somewhere. Where one thing ends the next begins.

Can people please provide thoughts on this?[/quote']

Actually not everything has an end.

Numbers DO NOT HAVE AN END!!!!!!.

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• 11 months later...
I have a hypothesis that our universe is comprised of circles and straight lines. Circles, being matter, are infinite within themselves. Straight lines would be energy/light. Being finite, a line cannot go on forever, it ultimately has to run into a boundry. The interactions of matter and energy create something we can perceive as the passing of time. Using the boundries of the circles, energy(light) reflects off of the boundries so that it is not lost or spent, i.e. the law of conservation of energy. I would say that the universe has boundries, but is infinite within itself. Outside the universe would simply be The Void, nothing, a true vaccuum.

One thing that continually irritates me, is the simple notion that there is only ONE universe. How can we POSSIBLY EVEN THINK that there is only one universe? To put this in pespective, look at the human body. It is comprised of billions of cells, and is a "universe" unto itself. However, It's not infinite, it DOES INDEED have an ending point, that being "the outside of the body". IF YOU SUBSCRIBE TO THE NOTION, that the human body "is the universe", then how do you explain the distance between TWO human bodies in real time? Therefore,to follow my point, it is possible for two universes to exist side by side. Of course, we will never see them, for they are "outside of the body"...NOW, what is "outside of the body"? quite simple...space...but a different kind of space then we are used to thinking of. It would HAVE TO BE A PHYSICAL BARRIER, to follow the laws of physics...again using the human body as an example, size IS finite. We already know that. Therefore, to make a rudimentary comparison, picture the universe as a human body, our planet being but one molecule, or atom of such. Expand outwards, to the outside of this human body. THAT is the end of the universe that WE KNOW. THAT is what contains "SPACE", as our limited knowledge can define "SPACE". Now, when you emerge from this "human body", if you will, you encounter a barrier surrounding it, (IE., atmosphere, for example), that defines something completely different. That, my friends, is where "SPACE" ends, and something unknown to us takes over. Call it a different dimension, if you will. We will never know the answer to this question. Perhaps that is why there exists the different religions of the world. They all seek to explain what is "outside of the body"...

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One thing that continually irritates me, is the simple notion that there is only ONE universe.

Are you irritated about other peoples belifs or at the definition of the word "universe" ?

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One thing that continually irritates me, is the simple notion that there is only ONE universe. How can we POSSIBLY EVEN THINK that there is only one universe?

Because we can only account for one? I don't know, makes sense to me...

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• 2 weeks later...

okay, I'm going to clear up EVERYTHING! I saw this on a documentary once.

thread-starter, have you ever heard of M-Theory? It's a descendant of the five superstring theories; in fact, it's what you get when you enter the eleventh spacial demension (the string theories merge into one, which we've named M-Theory).

Supposedly, M stands for "membrane," which states that the universe ends far beyond any limits we could ever reach in a practical time frame, and this end is marked by a membrane. All the matter in the universe that is expanding from the site of the big bang will eventually hit this membrane and bounce off, which we have named the great crunch, where all the matter will once again merge and then explode again in another big bang.

Now, on the other side of the membrane, there are other parralell universes that make up the multiverse. These universes might have seperate rules of science; for example, in one universe, gravity may be a force of repulsion rather than attraction. Speaking of gravity, some scientists believe that these paralell universes explain why gravity is such a weak force; it's leaking to our universe from another one, and by the time it gets here, it's just a faint signal.

Nobody knows how many universes make up the multiverse, but scientists believe their membranes might be shaped differently. For example, one might be shaped like a donut, while another is shaped like a long, narrow metal rod.

I know, it's complicated, but I'm just telling you what I saw on the science channel.

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I've heard that in respect to certain theory space is curved.

What you may think is a strait line is a curved line.

Imagine to walk down a giant hallway that is so long it looks strait while that hallway is infact a circle. You will never get to the end of that hallway, nor will you be in a specific position. Like, half way, or beginning.

If this being correct, there is no reason you can not assume that what you see in the distance night sky is infact the back side of your position. That is, A strait line that runs into itself over and over, and the distance between each loop is entirely dependent on the ratio or curvature of space and the considertation of the constant speed of light.

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One thing that continually irritates me, is the simple notion that there is only ONE universe. How can we POSSIBLY EVEN THINK that there is only one universe?

Actually, I get irritated by the opposite: people who use the expression 'multiverse' to denote 'multiple universes'.

If the 'universes' in question in a 'multiverse' are casually connected (ie. events in one can effect the other) in what sense are they separate universes? After all, I don't count London and New York as being in separate universes just because they are on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

The only justification for classifying two regions of space as being in different universes, is if events in one cannot in principle affect events in the other. But in this case, we can never ever test the existence of the other 'universe', so what is the point?

The 'universe' is by definition everything we can experience/measure, so there is only one.

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I am posting mainly on speculation but space is one thing that I am particularly interested in defining.

From a clean sheet beginning I cannot for the life of me see that empty space has actually been defined, yet all sorts of guesswork includes empty space as if it was defined.

I use the term empty space deliberatley for without it nothing has any space to move. It appears a back to front situation when the space itself is required for somewhere where anything can exist that there would be any need for proof, that the empty space must exist at all times and everywhere by default, that no one seems to show in reality how that empty space could not exist ever.

The speculation concerns space not existing and if it does what exists beyond this universe, rather than space existing as it surely does.

To me once space exists there is no longer an option that it would not exist at anytime or anywhere. With no one being able to show, except theoretically, how space could not exist or worse how it could be created then why isnt that a mainstream consideration?

As I say my posts on the matter have been on the speculation forum but what has been said on this thread is more speculative than what I consider.

best wishes,

john

jck

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To me once space exists there is no longer an option that it would not exist at anytime or anywhere. With no one being able to show, except theoretically, how space could not exist or worse how it could be created then why isnt that a mainstream consideration?

I understand where you are coming from. But, one thing I try to consider when I wonder the same type of things like; How come I don't hear more about scientific study on what makes a force, mass, space, time, constant, etc etc, whatever it is you wonder about.

When I wonder on things similar to that I consider that science is a job and needs funding and employment. You can not randomly persue anything you want and expect support. I am sure there is more people studying alternative theoretical ideas like you suggest than there are scientists studying under mainstream theory, but!

Who is the scientist here? and who is getting paid? ahhh the politics how they seep into the cracks of everything.

With that aside, I'd like to give you my own opinion.

Imagine you were born blind, like every planet, and particle that exists in this universe. Tell me how you would describe space? and empty space for that matter?

Then try to explain to me how you would describe space if you were born with vision? Remember everything you see is a mental perception printed out onto the screen of your mind. And all that you see is contained in your mind, and in fact does not relate to anything else in the universe.

As far as everything else besides life could be concirned there is no space, nor a universe, no perceptions, just obidient quanta that acts in countless ways to different observers in many places at the same time.

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hmm I think this thread needs to be moved to the speculations board, its definatly not talking about physics anymore.

part of the problem here is that physicists don't talk about space as a thing. Space is merely the geometry that physicists assign to the universe. Originally this geometry was euclidean, than einstein created the special theory of relativity and unified spae time into a minkowskian(?) geometry, then further generalized this with general relativity leaving space time with a riemannian geometry. M-theory postulates some other interesting geometries, along with LQG which postulates (to my understanding of it) a geometry consisting of discrete units.

As for the question of space ending, general relativity (which works very well on the large scale) allows for space to curve back in on itself like the surface of a sphere (except in 4 dimensions), its possible for us to measure this curvature of the universe and determine if its flat (goes on forever, omitting any special circumstances that we are unaware of) or if it curves back into itself.

currently the scientific belief is that space is flat because the curvature of the universe is very close to 1, the measurement isn't percise enough to conclusively say whether it is 1 or not. WE DON'T KNOW, but we got some people working on it.

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really? what is smaller than a quark?

quarions

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And what is a "quarion"?

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And what is a "quarion"?

yeah, I'd like to know that too.

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Hi

As i understand it there was the big bang which created the dimensions up/down left/right forward/back and possible time (although some scientist are questioning whether time exists) and forced the energy into matter which can be broken down again (eg : if u lite a fire). The universe expanded at the speed of light because there was nothing to get in its way.

Outside of the universe there is no dimensions so u cannot see it, u cannot go into it, it is absolute nothingness. If u could go faster than the speed of light to the edge of the universe and kept going u would come back on yourself and then be going inward towards where the big bang started.

Thats how is see it anyway.

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Hi

As i understand it there was the big bang which created the dimensions up/down left/right forward/back and possible time (although some scientist are questioning whether time exists) and forced the energy into matter which can be broken down again (eg : if u lite a fire). The universe expanded at the speed of light because there was nothing to get in its way.

Outside of the universe there is no dimensions so u cannot see it, u cannot go into it, it is absolute nothingness. If u could go faster than the speed of light to the edge of the universe and kept going u would come back on yourself and then be going inward towards where the big bang started.

Thats how is see it anyway.

Dude, you need to proofread your posts before you finalize them. You have no idea how many typoes were in there.

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Ever since I was a young boy, I have wrestled with trying to understand space. In particular, I have never really understood how space is supposed to never end. I really don't see how that's possible. Everything ends somewhere. Where one thing ends the next begins.

Can people please provide thoughts on this?

well this is greatly disputed in the world of physics, some say that space is infinite, others agrue that space loops within itself. the latter is quite difficult to visualise or present graphically.

many scientists say that if there is no other matter in the universe, if one looks ahead one will see the back of thier head. to visualise this, you will need to go down to 3 dimentions where human visualisation (or that of most if not all humans) will allow a mental graphical image. think of the universe as the surface of a sphere. there is no "end" , instead if you travel really far you will end up where you set off on your travel. moving down a dimention, into 2 spatial dimentions, the circumference of a circle. regardless of how far you travel, there is no end to the circumference of a circle, you will end up where you began.

as for the expantion of the universe as evidence given by the radiation given off from the initial big bang, and the doppler effect or more commonly known as redshift of the light given off by distance galaxies, can be explaned again by our 3 spatial dimentional sphere surface. if you were to draw 2 dots on the surface of the sphere, then inflated it. the dots wouldnt move, but the distance in between them would increase.

so take all of the above and push it up a dimention.

even if the universe was to have an end, a curtain perhaps, we would never know whats on the outside, as our existance is dimentional whereas outside is not. in fact from our dimentional perspective it is not even nothing. space when not occupied , there is space to be occupied even if it is not. outside this there wouldnt be anything to occupy anything else ao it doesnt exist, and even if it does, this entity cannot be observed from our perspective.

good books for this:

The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

i have read both, the latter is more suited for begginers or those without much prior knowledge.The Elegant Universe is more advanced and may require some knowledge on the subject before hand.

the first few chapters of Brysons book are the chapters that are of interest to this particular topic, but the others are also a good read, specifically towards teh end where evolutionary biology is discussed.

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space is just a circle that is in-existance prior to our existance which, trying, to find the end would make it infinte...

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I don't think the universe is infinite. It has boundaries. An edge.

If you were to teleport yourself instantly to the edge of the universe you would be faced with a thin, rubbery membrane. Breaking through this membrane would cause the universe to rapidly implode, (the implosion would be similar to that of a popped balloon, I suppose, caused by the pressure differences between the inside of the balloon and the outside). Assuming that you were not consumed by this enormous implosion, you would find yourself in what I'd like to call "Dimension R". You see, I think universes are not only like balloons, but also like russian dolls. Within one universe is another, and inside that another; and so on.. The most inner universe would be "Dimension A", and all subsequent "dimensions" follow on alphabetically. All "dimensions" are expanding at exactly the same rate.

Beyond the outermost "russian doll" is the "Dining Table of the Gods" on which we are placed. We're basically just part of a finely-crafted ornament of some kind. One which is ever-expanding and a great talking piece.

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^

LOL! good one. Whatever helps you sleep at night, right? No seriously, sleeps important. I just mean how'd you test and measure.

Let the truth be told.

This is what the universe looks like.

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Funny I stumbled across this very interesting thread. I had a conversation with a scientist at work about this very idea. A mind can extend as far as it wants; that might just be the cosmological equivalent distance from end of my fingernail to the tip. The edge of the universe might just be the start.

I also have the same sort of conundrum as it relates to time. What was before yesterday? 1^gazillion years ago?

Whew! I think I better go have a lie down!