Expanding Universe Question?
Subtitle: Questions you wake up with!
If the Universe is expanding, then what is it expanding into?
Obviously the expanding universe must be expanding its way into some sort of void, right? The whatever is in this void is being pushed away or displaced to accommodate our universe?
Saquist, a little help here please!
Like to the "if God is the prime mover who caused God?" question there is no answer to this matryoshka question.
Of course we imagine the universe like a ballon that is blown up but our imagination fails here. There is nothing outside of the universe so it is not expanding into anything. Our primate brains have not evolved to imagine this kind of stuff, that's why it will always be totally abstract.
It's like when theoretical physicists say that they cannot get their head around quantum mechanics. They might understand their model but not the phenomenon in and of itself. For us the very tiny and the very large break down into mathematical abstractions and are not really perceivable.
Our universe is expanding toward one tiny little pin that lies at azimuth 323, declination 12 degrees, distance 50 parsecs. When the edge of the universe reaches that pin, it will pierce the fabric of the universe, causing it to slowly deflate. Eventually, our universe will be too small to hold all its contents, and we will like in a black, deflated bag with all the planets, stars, galaxies, space junk and spatial phenomena all cluttered together. As long as our planet is somehow miraculously left to spin, and is not pushed too far toward our sun, we ought to be alright, and the sky will look awfully weird.....but that's a real narrow chance there. We will most likely end up a collective mush of life. We will be the flotsam and jetsam of ourselves, squishing our way through and around all the other objects that have been jammed together.
But don't worry, I don't think it'll happen in our lifetime.
(I keed...of course...actually it probably will happen in our lifetime.)
(Again, I keed.) :D
The only proper answer is "We don't know".
We have never observed a barrier or a limit to the universe so we can't see beyond it.
HOWEVER. Science has not given up on explaining that question. There is no consensus but there are competing theories.
The Evidence for the Multiverse
Part of the Big Bang Theory. Alan Guth theorized the expansion of the universe billionths of second into it's begining. His math suggest that certain particles could cause gravity to work in reverse in a VERY Large Way exponentially. This force could take the space the size of a molecule and expand it to the size of Galaxy in several billionths of a blink of an eye. This theory is largely accepted.
A Russian Physcist Vilenkin inspired by this theorized what would slow down inflation. His theory suggest that inflation doesn't end every where at once so pockets of space are expanding at different speeds suggestion there were multiple Big Bangs. Always occuring. That inflation may never end spawning multiple universe WITHIN SPACE.
According to the math there is an incredible amount of energy or Dark energy in empty space at the Quantum Level. However when we compare that with the amount of energy actually in space to push galaxies apart at the observed speed comes to an incredibly small number .01 to the hundredth 23rd power. Nothing like the math suggest.
String Theory separately attempted to explain the smallest quanta of energy in matter which turns out to be packets of energy. This theory works ONLY if these strings vibrate in 6 additional directions than the 3 Dimensions. According to the math there were extra dimensions curled up in normal space that help define the normal 3 Dimensions of Space and Time. But there were so many variation of the results that it implied a nearly infinite number of dimensions all valid. 10 to power of 500 shapes of string theories.
If our universe is part of a multiverse of an infinite amount of universes then every value of dark energy would be represented some where in one of these universe and would add up to the HUGE number physics say it should be. String Theory allows for every value of Dark Energy. In some of those universes Dark Energy would propel universes with a small DE number than ours to collapse and ones way too big DE number to expand out of control so that nothing like stars and planets could come together. These three ideas individually created for their own purposes support the theory of the multiverse.
Supporters & Creators of the Multiverse
After Hawking's claim 30 Years ago that information would be lost in a blackhole because of thermal Dynamic evaporation of the singularity he began supporting the Multiverse theory when it allowed a new concept through multiverse to not only disprove his theory but also the results that disproved his older theory.
Theories of Multiverses
You should know thatGeneral Relativity allows for an infinite Universe. But we don't know. If it's Infinite then the expansion is irrelevant because there is no boundary.
If it's not, here are the possibilities
Type One Multiverse
This multiverse is just an extension of our own infinite Universe it is part of our Space but distanced so far away that light from it will never reach us. Max Tegmark estimates that such a Universe, similar to ours, should be about 10^10^115 meters away from our Universe.
Type Two Multiverse
This Multiverse is made of an infinite number of giant soap bubbles that float in hyperspace (the bulk). Each bubble contains an entire universe. In the infinite vastness of the hyperspace there are an infinite number of bubbles containing a Universe like the one we are living in, and a infinite variety of other Universes. What is more interesting is that these bubbles spawn new baby universes by colliding with each other creating a hierarchy of universes, a tree of Universes.
Type Three Multiverse
Quantum mechanics predicts, and indeed experiments done on single particles provide the evidence, that each constituent of matter can find itself in several places at the same time. When you zoom in to the quantum level everything becomes foggy. Yes, every particle is to be found in several dimensions (universes) at the same time, that is, in several universes that are in the same space and time as our universe but from other dimensions inaccessible to us. There is a parallel universe out there where you don’t read this article or you may have never been born.
Type Four Multiverse
The Type 4 Multiverse contains all universes resembling our own, but also includes those having physical laws different from ours. The vast majority of the universes with these tweaked laws of physics may not be able to harbor life at all and probably are dull dark places with nothing interesting to show.
READ HERE FOR A SIMPLER EXPLANATION
-If the universe is infinite then it's expanding into "nothing". No edges and so "nothing" to expand into.
-If it is part of a multiverse then one type of verse is one where all the dimensions are right beside each other much like Trek shows being out of phase. This is where the concept of the Terseract comes in (4D cube)
-The other type of Multiverse is as explained above. Where the Universe exist in an expanding Hyperspace of other universes that are also expanding but forever cut off from one another. Universe come into being when two universe's outer membrane collides.
You got it Omega. It's a tough question.
You gave me a great opportunity to break down almost everything I've learned for the past two weeks. When I saw that it was so ...long. I felt it needed a simple break down. (I know I needed one)
But essentially science maybe moving toward a reality where alot of things represented in Trek may be True...certainly more than I would have thought.
A great and crazy question, Omega. Also Saq, some wonderful stuff you posted there.
To me, the whole question kinda reminds me of the end of the TNG episode 'Remember Me' where Crusher has been caught in a shrinking universe and everyone she knows is disappearing. At the end of the episode the known universe is collapsing in on the Enterprise and hull breaches are starting. You think of it as this bubble that's closing in on the ship and eventually will close in 'til there's nothing left, but when Crusher asks the ship computer the cause of the hull breaches, the computer responds that it's caused by flaws in the ship's design. It doesn't conceive of the ship that was there before the shrinking universe began to 'erase' portions of the ship from existence so it perceives the ship is built wrong. To me that touches on Omega's question. Outside the known universe there is not even a void or even 'nothing'. But some of the multiverse theories and quantum foam theories Saquist mentioned take a different angle on it.
It's crazy mind-boggling stuff. I'm still trying to get past that the behavior and state of matter on a subatomic level is defined by our perception of it. That's crazy, but true.
Great point, Livingston, and I think this episodes neatly illustrates that the picture we intuitively make when we try to imagine the universe, here a collapsing one, is wrong. Ironically the people in the Middle Ages who imagined the world to have an end might better cope with this than we.
We face the same problem with time. We cannot imagine that time actually started one day and automatically ask what happened before the big bang just like we cannot imagine not having existed before our birth and not existing anymore after our death.
Over the weeks I've been seeing some incredible perceptions by physicist from Einstien, Guth, Hawking and others. There really might be a Unifying Force or equation forumula for why what we observe on the BIG Scale doesn't compute to the small scale. It may all be explained by the multiverse.
I personally am beginning to think that the multiverse is a construct of inter-phased dimensions that String Theory uses. I've noticed that Boze-Einstien Condensates (the Fifth Phase of Matter) move in linked quantities. They become frictionless the more HEAT you take out of them. (The more energy). They move and behave as one.
In quantas of matter (on the quantum level) particles can be in multiple places AT ONCE...untill you look for it and then it's forced to be in one location. I'm beginning to think that when we look at this level of space we're LITERALLY seeing into other dimensions wrapped around our own. And because we're in this dimension we SEE the particle that corresponds where the particle SHOULD be in reference to this dimension.
I think THAT is the combination of Both General /Quantum Relativity. In other words depending on your DIMENSION you will see the particles at a certain location at a certain spin. It's sort of profound. We maybe seeing other dimensions ALREADY. Reducing the energy of gases such as Bose-Einstein Condensates my be influences particles to interact with each other on a multi dimensional level....Like a larger scale quantum entanglement.
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