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Thread: What is the universe?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: What is the universe?



    Just my geezer wunderin' on a cloudy Saturday night - lol - If much of the known universe is gazillions of light years away from us does that not suggest that it could have all burned out millions/billions/trillions of years ago but we won't find out until one night when the sky goes dark?
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    Default Re: What is the universe?

    Quote Originally Posted by chicagorandy View Post
    Just my geezer wunderin' on a cloudy Saturday night - lol - If much of the known universe is gazillions of light years away from us does that not suggest that it could have all burned out millions/billions/trillions of years ago but we won't find out until one night when the sky goes dark?
    Well, since we can observe light as far as 13.5 billion light years away (give or take a few hundred million light years) and everything in between, that suggests that we're ok for the time being.

    Of course, something could flip the switch on us and cause vacuum decay and if that happens, it'll be all she wrote for everything.

    https://cosmosmagazine.com/physics/v...te-catastrophe

    Lots of bad things can happen and contemplating them too hard can leave you awake at night blinking into the darkness.
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    Default Re: What is the universe?

    I was told there would be no math - lol - but is that not 13.5 billion year old light we are seeing now?

    I was pondering the Andromeda galaxy at 2 million light years away as the most "recent" light reference for my logic problem. If I'm understanding the science correctly, what we would see tonight is Andromeda as it was two million years ago? If so, does that not imply that all the universe beyond Andromeda 'could' have ceased to exist 2.001 million years ago and we wouldn't know about it until those lights went out one fine evening?

    The question doesn't cause me any insomnia -lol - but it did make me pause and ponder a bit.

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    Default Re: What is the universe?

    Quote Originally Posted by chef alan View Post
    I just don't think that something that is endless can expand.
    You are trying to make sense of complex and difficult ideas using everyday words and thinking, and it just doesn't work. As you have stated it here, well, no, it makes no sense at all that an endless thing can expand. From what boundary is it expanding and into what space beyond that boundary? Not possible for that to make any sense with everyday thinking! The word "expand" (and "infinite," which may be a better word than "endless") has a meaning in this context that takes advanced math to understand.

    I am not saying this to be critical or condescending -- I myself certainly do NOT have the math or physics background to understand how the universe works. There are a lot of books, documentaries, etc. that can help a truly inquiring mind to grasp some of the meaning, but there will always be puzzling gaps in the layman's understanding if he doesn't have the math. And even the most knowledgeable scientists don't know everything, but they have worked hard to master the math and physics so they can continue to develop an understanding of our universe.

    You have choices. One, decide to make a serious study of cosmology. Two, decide that you don't really want to do that, but that you are interested enough to explore the ideas further, realizing that there are going to be things that do not make sense without knowing the math and physics. Or three, decide that because you don't understand it, it can't be true. I think the second one is best for most of us, the first one not practical for most of us, and the third not a good choice for any of us, but which is unfortunately all too often the top choice for many people.
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    Default Re: What is the universe?

    What we call the laws of physics are always being broken. I think first we have to learn the mystery of ourselves as humans.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD5MnHZUnOw

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    Default Re: What is the universe?

    OP, if you're seriously interested, I recommend reading any books by Max Tegmark or Carlo Rovelli. They'll give you a decent overview without getting too deep into the math.
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    Default Re: What is the universe?

    Quote Originally Posted by chef alan View Post
    I just don't think that something that is endless can expand.
    Well, you're wrong. Take an endless infinity of space for which you have measurements giving the distances between all the things you can see in it.

    Multiply all those distances by some number greater than 1, say 2. All those objects are now in a volume that is 8 times greater.

    Infinity is like that.
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