Is the Universe Finite - or Infinite (You thoughts) (50)

1 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-06 05:26 ID:+gNaXyxH

I have been contemplating the universe..

I have come to a fork in the road for many of my thoughts..

Is the Universe Finite or Infinite

Each choice dictating the direction of further contemplation on any given thought

For example: Finite: If the universe started out from an impossibly hot, impossibly tiny singularity, (such as in the Big Bang Theory), then.. What did that singularity exist in? what was around it, what co-existed with that singularity? how was it considered hot if nothing around it existed with any varying temperature with which to compare?

These examples represent one blade of grass in the entire milky way, as far as how many questions there are with the two-headed fork

But if the Universe is infinite, these questions don't exist and an equally massive list of new ones pop up..

Just curious on your guys' thoughts..

2 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-06 10:10 ID:uEM7f41c

This is an ongoing debate in the physics literature. I'd say there's good reason to think the universe is infinte, but not everyone agrees.

3 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-06 15:23 ID:gjIrnFGG

How about both? Finite and Infinite?

4 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-06 18:27 ID:5U19uMuk

If the universe started from a single point then it would have to have a boundry as well as a center.

5 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-06 18:43 ID:glxbwUPP

The idea that it has a boundary is correct, but in the may mass bends space time leads to the conclusion that it may of may or may not be bent into a sphere of sphere like structure, which would mean that through natural propulsion an object would travel in the straightest possible line, in this case around ion a circle, but I guess the only way we'll ever know if weather the universe itself is expanding at or greater than escape velocity.

6 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-07 04:43 ID:oOQhMpU3

i remember i watched something about string theories and somehow they began to explain that the universe is just a cosmic bubble on vast dimensional curtain and that these bubbles are constantly forming and popping.

so yes, the universe is finite

7 Name: buzzbros2002 : 2009-05-07 07:37 ID:wD5lIn7S

My opinion, it is finite, yet ever growing. It can be measured, only to be measured again at a bigger distance.

8 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-08 14:34 ID:HN89q57k

Here's one to test your noggins...

If the Uniferse is finite, but expanding at the speed of light - there's no way you could EVER perceive the boundary - making it infinite by default.

9 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-08 16:11 ID:JP2C1aRJ

My high school science teacher used to say something like "the universe is finite, but unlimited". He explained it in a way that made sense but I can't remenber well...

10 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-09 15:43 ID:gjIrnFGG

"An intriguing question is whether infinity exists in our physical universe: Are there an infinite number of stars? Does the universe have infinite volume? Does space "go on forever"? This is an important open question of cosmology. Note that the question of being infinite is logically separate from the question of having boundaries. The two-dimensional surface of the Earth, for example, is finite, yet has no edge. By travelling in a straight line one will eventually return to the exact spot one started from. The universe, at least in principle, might have a similar topology; if one travelled in a straight line through the universe perhaps one would eventually revisit one's starting point."

11 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-05-09 19:46 ID:Heaven

Well it depends on if you believe that predestination exists..
If so then everything that can happen is happening. Has already happened, and will continue to happen forever. Predestination means that every possible outcome of any-thing is has and will happen at the same time and will continually happen somewhere forever.

12 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-06-22 03:35 ID:3FVTr2ID

Yes, the analogy of the surface of the earth is exactly correct -- The surface of the earth is a finite 2-dimensional surface, but unbounded. General Relativity requires that the universe must have those same characteristics -- and some of the early physicists (there are papers online from them, google "relativity 3-sphere") proved that any qualifying geometry of the universe must necessarily be the "3-sphere". This is like the surface of a sphere, except instead of a sphere in 3 dimensions, you have a sphere in 4 dimensions. The surface of that sphere is 3-dimensional. It has the same properties of the 2-sphere that it is unbounded and finite. It also has some other interesting properties, including that the center of this sphere is entirely arbitrary. Every point can equally be considered the center.

Just like with the familiar 2-sphere, a straight line in any direction will eventually return to its origin, but we will never be able to look out in space with a telescope and see the earth, because the 3-sphere of the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light. As a result, the visible universe is only a small portion of the universe that we will never be able to see beyond. In GR, it can be described exactly like a black hole. A black hole can be described as a region where space itself is getting pulled into the singularity faster than the speed of light, so no information can ever reach us from that region. The area outside the visible universe is mathematically the same -- anything that far out, and that part of space is moving away from our part of space faster than the speed of light.

13 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-07-31 16:01 ID:9myNSkou

Why considering universe as infinite makes question about placement and what is outside not important? As it really doesn't matter if space is finite or infinite for this question as we really can't see beyond it, it makes this question more of a philosophical nature.

And even if space is finite and has boundaries, for me there is no "what is beyond the edge" question and not even because we can't reach it (as few people already mentioned). Why? Because beyond edge nothing exists. Absolute nothingness, no black or white space, just nothing. No time, no space, as those exist within edge. Universe is not placed anywhere, as it defines space and placement itself.

But probably it still doesn't have any boundaries anyway but if it is infinite or finite...

Well, what was the starting mass of space? ;)

14 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2009-09-26 17:50 ID:Heaven

What is the start of space?

15 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2010-04-19 02:45 ID:qmYkBvTR

I like to think the Universe has a finite boundary thats ever growing and a infite mass, it just a theory, with nothing to back it up.I see it as the big bang not as a explosion, more as infite mass of building blocks drifting apart, well not drifting apart , but space stretching and the parts gaining space away from each other, and those parts eventualy creating hydrogen atoms, forming into stars, then galaxys.all at the same time. So the universe is finite only in the sense of what we can observe , but infinite in reality.

16 Name: brad : 2010-06-12 10:47 ID:3AA5W0vq

You can't say nothing "exists" outside the edge or boundary of the universe because, because you're saying there is actually something that "exists" outside of the universe, which is nothing. So what you're really saying is that nothing is actually something because you're giving it the characteristic of existence. I think an infinite eternal universe is a lot easier to wrap my brain around than a finite one with nothing outside of it.

17 Name: Pieter : 2010-07-31 21:55 ID:IPqjPUr1

Universe would actually have to be expanding at a rate above the speed of light to not collapse under the influence of gravity. This means there is a lot of 'empty space'. But the uncertainty principle makes the existence of empty space impossible. So in this space new matter is created, eventually new galaxies form with new stars and possibly new forms of life.

Maybe he explained it like a globe or a sphere. It has finite area, but it's unlimited (there's no boundary to the surface of a sphere). Of course the finite but unlimited idea has to be applied to the 4-dimensional space-time construction.
That's the way I like to see the universe, and unlike what I actually think (I'm an agnost), this has as a consequence there is no god necessary to start our universe. Why? Because there is no start of our universe, so nobody could have started it.

There is no way we can measure the amount of mass in our complete universe. We can only roughly measure the amount of mass in the observable universe (which is higher than the actual mass, because we can't observe black matter).
Also to the question of 'beyond the boundary'. This is no question ever to be thought of, because the universe expands faster than the speed of light, so we wouldn't be able to keep up or even get closer to the border than we are at this moment.
To not confuse anybody, it's not because space-time is finite but unlimited, space has to be as well.

I hope I've helped...

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19 Name: Andrew : 2010-09-21 19:48 ID:rpmwxGSf

The material in the Universe, if you subscribe to Big Bang Theory, would almost necessarily be finite, since it was at one point all together, before exanding, prior to an event horizon nearly 13.5 billion years ago. The total mass of the universe its probably not measureable, or as to its exact density it would be difficult to measure with any certainty, that I am aware of. Only mathmatical models can estimate how much stuff there is in the Universe.

The space into which the Universe is expanding would by definition have to be infinte, unless it is defined as existing only relative to the mass that occupies it nearby.

In other words since there was no matter before the origin of the universe, the universe consited of no matter but infinite space without mass or relative time.

I have considered the possibility that the Space of the Universe may be so infinte that perhaps it contains many other small universes within it.

I have not heard a good argument especially from agnostics that the Universe is not big enought to hold more than one event horion. In other words, that from our universe, the next universe is too far away to be observed as a seperate event.

Either way if there was nothing before any event horizon, the size of the universe would at least be undefined, if not most certainly infinte in 3 dimensions.

20 Name: Andrew : 2010-09-21 19:53 ID:rpmwxGSf

The Universe as we know it, and defined by the Big Bang Theory, only contains one event horizon that started everything in motion. So that would imply that before time begain the Universe was infintely empty, or the that Space was undefined since there was no mass to occupy it.

21 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2010-10-08 19:56 ID:tuO71fkc

Big Bang theory tells us nothing about whether the universe is finite or infinite. At Big Bang time, our universe was not compressed to single point, it was just "infinitely compressed" - but it still could be infinite during that.

For example - expansion of our universe is often depicted as inflating a rubber balloon - but the universe is not what's inside the balloon, the universe is the rubber. No point is in the center and yet it is expanding. Now imagine it is happening on a flat balloon - there is no air being added inside, just the rubber is expanding on its own. You can have such a balloon in the same box all the time, no extra space is needed and the universe on the rubber can still infinitely expand. And the same can happen with an infinitely large rubber sheet, there is no restriction on its expansion after big bang.

In my own opinion, universe is "practically finite". This means, we will always be able to explore finite part of our universe. There is certain hard limit behind which we can never see or travel unless the univere expansion stops and it starts shrinking for some reason - and I don't think it will happen any soon.

22 Name: A SMART KITTY KAT : 2010-11-17 10:32 ID:TvEz/Oz3

wtf r u all retarded
look @ it like this:
concept of infinity exists by virtue of teh real-valued numbar infinaty
can u count to infinite
well u can try.
can we conceive infinity?
yes. duh no shit. it is not with end. it is always larger than n for all n. ALL n, right?


by aksing whether the universe is infinite or not ur tthinking of 1 of a few things:

does local euclidean space go on forevar

can u has infinate smallness, eg. does separation exist beyond teh theoretikal limits of like a superstring or a d-brane or smth

is time w/out end (although if u read immanuels kants u wud no this question is fukkin retarded)

is dere a lots of dimensions that got 'curled up' when teh frothy particle soup selected isospins n charges n stuff

is dere a lots of other you or me's branchin off into othar possiblities (but if ur thinkin' of this holografik universe balonely than grats ur fukkin retarded)

U C, while all them points be utilizing teh concept of infinity they will nevar be knowned. ur retards because u are countin infinaty but not looking 4 it.

with dat said, wat of teh possibilities of shit just stopping somewhere??? well if u ask urself this after what i JUST SED then grats ur like a liberal arts fag thinkan he understoods OOOOOOH QUAAAAUNTAAAAM PHYYYYYSIKS!! lol

MY point is this: u stupid fukkin humans are a part of the univarse, right? and u same stupid humans like to abstract urselfs from nature cuz u can master ur passions and boss all us othar animals around. ur so damn amazed that u exist dat u COMPLETALY 4GET u evolved or were creationed or whatevar teh shit just like teh rest of us. so u partition ur concept of "self" and work from teh outside in, right? well its workan great 4 ur scientifik purrsuits and ur usin neurorology mighty fine to filet ur own brains.

but ur pride traps urself in cuz, while ur doing a good job enumerating objects outside urself and categorizin them and all this pennis flapping, u completely 4get what teh inside of UR OWN MIND is lookan liek. u think u can has a telescope to go farther into space and c where its end??? OK but i tell u this: it's teh same as counting to infinaty.

U dont C that INFINAITY IS RIGHT THERE. take this 4 exampel: a musics exist. u play an instrumant and r consekuently influenced by teh noise ur hearing from maybe othar musics or rocks or smth. u dont know music exists cuz ur waiting 4 the seconds of a song 2 come to an end. no. u hear teh notes and u make teh notes. u can FEEL musics. btw, ever heard of FEEDBACK??? if ur putan a function in a funcktion in a funktion... thats infinaty in nature u stupid human

in this respekt u can be overwelmed by natures. well try countan teh sand on a fukkin ocean if u want u retard. o no, better yet: put it all in liek a big bucket and maek a computar count it. haha, ur clever nao? well count all the fukkin' atoms u c u fukkin human. u cant.

if u dont C my point by now i think u should brush up on ur differential commutative pennis shaking cuz ur lookan like an idiot right here.

teh MIND is a PART of teh universe, and if mind can has concept of stuff goin on 4ever then well stuff can b goin on 4ever. keyword is CAN, u fukkin human who thoughts PROPOSITIONAL LOGIC and LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN was makin u a genious. ur probably thinkin liek, "O IF I HAS A CONCEPT OF UR FACE EATING SHIT RITE NOW DAN U BETTER PUT A BIB ON" bcuz u interprated wat i said as dat smth will come true IN THIS WORLD if u thoughts about it.


23 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2010-11-20 20:26 ID:Heaven

are you drunk?

24 Name: A SMART KITTY KAT : 2010-11-21 08:25 ID:TvEz/Oz3

no why u say that?

25 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2010-12-03 22:12 ID:Heaven

Because you're talking like a fundamentalist atheist.

26 Name: A SMART KITTY KAT : 2010-12-04 22:46 ID:TvEz/Oz3

You mean it wasn't because I talked like a mouth-breathing dropout?

27 Name: tibor : 2011-12-09 06:52 ID:yaX6H2+Q

The universe as we perceive it, is a finite energy field ,with varying concentrations into matter, but between these concentrations, gradations of energy exists which is perceived as empty space, and is in fact, low levels of energy and gravitational forces. There is a reciprocal equivalent negating void to this universal energy field. The universe was created from an unstable null void separating into a positive and negative force fields which eventually will implode and explode.

28 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2011-12-09 17:47 ID:/zeh54Mb

>>25 What does atheism have to do with his post? I thought he types like a Facebook user.
Also what the heck is a "fundamentalist" atheisit? I dont even know what that means.

29 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2011-12-10 19:26 ID:TvEz/Oz3

Unstable null void? What the fuck is that?

30 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2011-12-13 13:53 ID:VaMkhv7d

Actually it was because you talked like a lolcat, which is pretty jarring around here.

31 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2011-12-15 22:47 ID:Heaven

> infinitely compressed

infinite compression is impossible.

32 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-01-12 00:55 ID:9hkIKuh4

>infinite compression is impossible.

why? As far as I know in black holes density is infinite.

33 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-01-14 19:10 ID:TvEz/Oz3


34 Name: 3112100000 : 2012-01-23 14:55 ID:ctTNYDHi

universe is infinite but the matter is finite but welled out of something continuously

35 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-01-24 01:56 ID:TvEz/Oz3

Define matter. And don't tell me it's mass-energy.

36 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-02-10 20:11 ID:D6qEHgek

Matter is also a function of space. Space continuously produces and destroys matter (quantum foam)

37 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-02-27 02:49 ID:gjIrnFGG

The Universe was started at the beginning with a malloc(Really_Huge_Number), so at some point in space/time when you reach that limit you'll get a buffer overflow and the program will crash. You will then need to press the reset button.

38 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-03-05 22:10 ID:Kl6P1K3v

For obvious reasons we can't look inside a black hole from the outside and report back. But in at least some of the models, density is not infinite, just sufficient to make the escape velocity higher than the speed of light in vacuum.

It's a puzzle. How would you tell the difference from the outside? What experiment could you perform?

39 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-03-29 05:58 ID:BwTRt47z

we know that black holes have entropy (, and that the maximal entropy of a region scales with the surface area ( if the volume of a non-rotating black hole is 0, then the surface area is 0. if the surface area is 0, then the maximal entropy of the black hole is 0. rotating black holes could have 0 volume but nonzero surface area, but not large enough surface area for their entropy.

tl;dr infinite compression breaks thermodynamics.

40 Name: Math Man : 2012-04-02 00:25 ID:sXG9MfQn

I think your problem lies in the fact that your thoughts are, along with every other human for that matter, tied inextricably to the physical laws that persist in our "universe." There is no reason to believe that all of these, most especially time as we understand it, existed before the big bang. So any thing that existed previously would be nearly impossible for us to understand. Also, I think the point is made nearly moot by the scope of the known universe. Even most stars won't live long enough for their light to travel all the way across it. For such puny and short lived creatures as us it is for all intent and purposes "infinite" if not actually so.

41 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-04-05 23:32 ID:TvEz/Oz3

That is an awful argument and you know it, Math Man.

42 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-06-10 15:06 ID:V+LJN834

If the universe were finite, gravity would make an example of it.
Says Hawking.

43 Name: vasp : 2012-07-21 13:16 ID:6b4KJ1GS

If the universe is not infinite, then we're in a confined space. it has the limits even though they are not available to people. but what is it - an end and limits? if the universe has a boundary, then what behind this edges - emptiness? emptiness - the space too. empty space. I think the universe is infinite. but I also think that the human brain can not understand it. I have a feeling that in our brain is not enough detail, with which we could understand it. yeah, it's lousy explanation.

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45 Post deleted.

46 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-07-24 21:21 ID:Heaven

So infinite compression breaks thermodynamics, and Hawking says the universe can't be finite. Seems like either Hawking is wrong, or the big bang theory is in trouble.

47 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-09-01 08:25 ID:Heaven

Perhaps the universe somehow loops back, and the way we try to assess it is as
flawed as the way our ancestors viewed the world as flat. Ofcourse, while our world might
be looped in only two dimensions and we can leave by moving up, the universe will loop in all three.

48 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-10-11 01:33 ID:6SAVyqyL

As a matter of fact, fuel on the universe runs out, so it's definitely impossible for it to have run eternally, also if there were an infinite amount of time before us, our time wouldn't take place, since there is an infinite there, it never ends, so we never come to be. It's similar to Zenos paradox, only that zenos paradox was about a fixated distancy that couldnt be ran because each time there was one more half to advance (in case anybody wants to actually go and claim that it is like that, it isn't, its totally different).

49 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2012-10-25 20:08 ID:TvEz/Oz3

the universe doesn't fucking run on "fuel"

50 Post deleted.

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