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# Is the universe supposed to be infinite?

Question #28741. Asked by student. (Feb 27 03 2:51 AM)

mochyn

Stephen Hawkings says:

 Feb 27 03, 4:56 AM
Gnomon

Yes, the Universe is infinite. At the time when Stephen Hawking wrote his famous book, it was not known whether the universe was finite or infinite, but a lot of work has been done on this question since and it is now accepted by scientists that the universe is infinite, expanding and will continue to do so forever.

 Feb 27 03, 8:14 AM
What-A-Mess

The Universe is NOT infinite but space is! The Universe is not space but what is in it. The planets, stars, nebulas, asteroids, comets, satellite moons and all the other junk make up the Universe. It is expanding.

There will come a time when the resultant kinetic energy from the 'Big Bang' is exhausted and then the gravitational forces of the celestial bodies will act as magnets and bring everything back to the theoretical center. (Yes, there is a center to the planets, etc.) When all has come back to the center there will be a 'Big Crush' followed again by a 'Big Bang'. We are less than half way through expansion. So it will take an astronomical amount of time to get back to crush/bang.

u·ni·verse [yoo-nuh-vurs] noun

1. the totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena throughout space; the cosmos; macrocosm.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/universe

 Feb 13 07, 12:46 PM
Baloo55th

The expansion can be compared to that of a balloon (not a Baloo-n). Every body (note gap between words) in the universe is receeding from every other body. Look at a balloon while it's being blown up. The surface expands, but not from any particular point (I'm not referring to those annoying sausage ones but to the round ones). Now imagine that in 3D. A thought occurs - perhaps the flow of time is a similar expansion, because time will have started with the universe. What we perceive as time may be a fourth dimension of the expansion. Anyway... Back to the balloon. Outside the balloon there is no rubber. Inside the balloon is no rubber. all that exists is the rubber of the balloon, which expands. (This is only an analogy, remember!) Outside the 3D (or is it 4D counting time in?) universe, there is no universe. Not another one within hailing distance, like with galaxies where there is space between them. Just nothing at all. (If you think this is hard to understand, just try explaining it without getting extremely technical!) And to make it worse, there probably isn't an end to the universe, or an edge. To have an edge, there has to be something past it. With the universe, there just isn't anything past it. To show what I mean, consider being in a very small universe. If you look far enough into your telescope, you could be able to see the back of your own head.

 Feb 13 07, 2:30 PM
Arpeggionist

Dan Quayle said the following: "The universe is almost infinite; as a matter of fact, we think it's infinite."

Of course, Dan Quayle is no Stephen Hawking, and now the accepted wisdom among even our leading scientists is to suggest that our universe occupies a finite and measurable space. Looks like the ancient philosophers were right about that one after all.

 Feb 13 07, 4:25 PM
queproblema

Yes, it is supposed, as in imagined and believed and theorized, by many intelligent and informed people to be infinite. But this is still an unknowable answer in any empirical sense. It is a faith answer.

We can't conceive of infinity, nor of stark finiteness. What would the end of the universe be like? But how could it never end?

When this question popped up I happened to have my computer desk cluttered with Powers of Ten by Morrison and Morrison, The Everlasting Man by Chesterton, the Bible, Five Equations that Changed the World by Guillen, and Hawking's A Brief History of Time. Oh, yes, a Betty Crocker cookbook, flotsam and jetsam from my mailbox....

I've studied every word of all these books and conclude we can wonder and marvel but can never fathom the totality of what the Grand Plan (GUT, TOE) might be. We can only search for and worship its Designer.

 Feb 13 07, 11:58 PM