Neil Henis asked:
Let's say we develop warp drive..say warp 1,000,000,000. We start at earth and travel 13.7 billion light years in any direction. When we get there-what will we see? Will there be a sign saying danger..slow down, universe ends in 10,000 light years, or will we simply see similar space and stars like we see here, with a further 13.7 billion light year limit in any direction. How far could we go like this?
Dominic - Wherever you are in the universe, if you look at the distribution of galaxies and galaxy clusters around you, you will find that the sky looks more or less the same as anywhere else, and that's because you can think of the universe as being a bit like a sphere, only a three-dimensional surface of a sphere. So on a sphere, you can go all the way around and come back to where you started again. The universe is not a two-dimensional surface. It’s a sort of three-dimensional surface or four-dimensional sphere if you want to think of it that way. So, wherever you are on the surface of that sphere, you've got 13.8 billion light years worth of universe that you can see in any direction, full of galaxy and galaxy clusters.
The universe does not have an edge, it is infinite, and it is essentially the same everywhere. Pikaia, Sun, 5th Jun 2011
Look at it from the viewpoint of topology. Then you could have a sphere, so as you move you return to your point of origin, there is also the doughnut which introduce two types of 'rotations', as it seems to me? As it has this 'hole' in the middle.
A complication that arises when talking about the hypothetical "warp drive" is that by definition this device moves us through a great deal of "space" in a very short "time". When talking about things cosmological, Einstein's theory of relativity requires that we specify what we mean by these terms. Involved in the issue not only of "what" is at the edge of the universe, but "when". We may get different answers depending on what we mean by "when". Atomic-S, Mon, 6th Jun 2011
@NakedScientists Space and time are curved... so if you could see all the way around... you'd see you again looking for yourself. was tweeted by @EvilEyeMonster @EvilEyeMonster, Mon, 6th Jun 2011
@NakedScientists The edge of the universe? HA... you'd see your own back. was tweeted by @EvilEyeMonster @EvilEyeMonster, Mon, 6th Jun 2011
Neil Henis asked the Naked Scientists: Let's say we develop warp drive..say warp 1,000,000,000. We start at earth and travel 13.7 billion light years in any direction. When we get there-what will we see? Will there be a sign saying danger..slow down, universe ends in 10,000 light years, or will we simply see similar space and stars like we see here, with a further 13.7 billion light year limit in any direction. How far could we go like this? What do you think? Neil Henis, Tue, 7th Jun 2011
Another Universe. Incognito, Wed, 8th Jun 2011
Spheres and Toroids for the shape of the Universe are all very speculative.
dont matter where, if theres no light u aint gonna see?as per optical BUT if theres an antilight thing out there u might get ur eyes pulled out of ur head? CZARCAR, Wed, 8th Jun 2011
Now, that is a model of a universe that might worry me slightly Czarcar. Remind me to take no star trips before your model has beeen invalidated. yor_on, Sun, 12th Jun 2011
http://news.discovery.com/space/feeding-black-holes-discovered-at-the-dawn-of-time-110615.html hungry black holes & no comment from me CZARCAR, Thu, 16th Jun 2011
Of course, all these hypotheses are just that, hypotheses, be it doughnut, sphere, hecatohedron or twin doughnuts joined at the........... alright, a figure of 8 then.
Don - that boundary is considered more as a horizon than anything physical. It has many of the same characteristics as the event horizon of a black hole - incl an analogue of Hawking radiation. It is very complicated and frankly I struggle to get my head around it imatfaal, Fri, 17th Jun 2011
Yes, I see this term 'horizon' bandied around quite a lot and though the concept of a (or should that be 'an') horizon is easy enough to grasp, it still has me in a quandary. I know that there is something beyond the detectable horizon and if I move toward the horizon, I will be able to detect it, but the horizon has now moved and there is still something beyond it.
I think you can actually get to the edge, because if you keep going straight and not turning, you won't actually go around the sphere. You know what I mean? ???, Thu, 28th Jul 2011
It is difficult for man to contemplate eternity,but that is what it is, there is no beginning or end to the universe, so you could not reach the end of it,no more than you could find the beginning or end of time. It's just something which we don't have enough brain power to understand. grumpy10, Thu, 18th Aug 2011
As a firm believer in empirical study..I went to the end of the universe this morning and this is what I found !
This is what you would find syhprum, Sat, 20th Aug 2011
I know it has been said in other ways but to put it simply, light rays travel a straight line in curved space. Rather like a light ray follows the curves of a fibre optic.
I do not think the universe has an edge. I think it is infinite in size in all directions without looping back on itself. Robro, Tue, 23rd Aug 2011
In a similar vein according to Alan Moore scripting as Tharg (of 2000AD comic fame) the end of the unioverse has "Big George was here" written across it in massive letters... Mazurka, Wed, 24th Aug 2011
In a similar vein according to Alan Moore scripting as Tharg (of 2000AD comic fame) the end of the unioverse has "Big George was here" written across it in massive letters...
Well, Mike, my post was to point out that you were misleading someone about what the big bang model allows or doesn't allow. It's pretty clear you don't understand the model, despite the fact that you continually post and tell others why it's wrong. This is your modus operandi on a lot of areas of physics on this forum.
And to add to my last post. If you only concentrate on things that can be observed in nature, and you interpret your observations to the very best ability of modern science, you will ultimately come to the conclusion that the Universe has no edge. The big bang idea necessitates an effect without a cause. It throws real science out the door. I mean it's a cool fantasy, bringing in all the added dimensions and special relativity, the needed dark matter and dark energy to make the big bang Universe mostly all work out. But it does not all work out. Every time there is a problem with the big bang theory, a gang of physicists pile onto it and conjure up some new phantom particle or other dimension, or something that nobody can see, to fix it. They stack theories upon theories to keep it on life support. But it is taking it's last gasping breaths before it dies. It is sad that many good scientists stake their reputation on the theory and concept, rather than being able to keep their integrity and move on to better things. They feel that if the big bang dies, they die. So sad it is. Robro, Thu, 25th Aug 2011
Sorry again, not trying to advance a non mainstream idea, just trying to better understand the current theories. With that I must say that an edge to the Universe has not been detected, Galaxies stretch out as far as the most powerful telescopes can see. I have a suspicion that when telescopes are developed that look into longer and longer wavelengths, we will see the same thing, Galaxies. So, when it is discovered that Galaxies are out there at 20 - 30 billion light years, the BBT will have to be adjusted to fit the observation, again. And what an eyebrow raising adjustment that will be. Robro, Thu, 25th Aug 2011
I think we cannot comprehend infinty, so we start to make models and concepts like multidimensional space. If there would actually be a boundry , I would think of it like the end of space-time. Wherever there is no matter or any form of energy/gravity, it is possible that time stops as well. No matter how fast you go, you would eventually be standing still. At least, that concept is something we can grasp with our feeble minds. Unfortunately, we can only concider something to be true or false, if we can understand it. So, I suppose a concept like the absence of time is a credible theory, and if we can understand it, it must contain some truth. That's silly, of course, but that's the way we think. Just like the way we knew for a fact, that the earth was flat. Werner, Wed, 28th Sep 2011
Most unsatisfying answer ever given. The Earth is a sphere and we can travel off of it. So let's say the galaxy IS a sphere and were in the middle of it (hypothetically) if we traveled straight in one direction we would have to hit an edge at one point. That is what I would like to know. What would it look like? ThatOneGuy, Wed, 30th Apr 2014
If this was the case how does this explain the red-shift effect that suggests the universe is flying apart. I understand that the universe feels/is fractal in nature but (and I’m no expert so maybe looking very stupid at this point in time) red-shift would suggest a force either pulling or pushing galaxies apart. So if you can only see 13.8 billion light years in any given point in space-time that would suggest a static form folding in on itself. I know the analogy is like an expanding balloon but what’s expanding space? What’s pushing the galaxies apart in a finite 13.8 LY block of 3D space. I agree with ‘that one guy’ the whole thing smacks of 'well if' & ‘imagine this’. If we hypothesize a big bang then the universe has an edge which is the cool down of the expansion. if the universe just is then I can believe that its so big no one could ever find the end let alone see it. But redshift has to be suggesting that we are expanding into something which again would suggest it has an edge. The balloon theory doesn't stack up and if it is expanding space who the jinglebutts is blowing the balloon? Nomad_Wizard, Fri, 1st May 2015
I would like to know where, roughly we are in the universe. I know that through math, we can approximate where it all began, and safely assume that things are more concentrated together, and given how spaced apart everything gets from that point on, and up to where we are, but also by what we are able to see and lose sight of(referencing the fact that each day, we lose sight of certain stars, as things grow apart and fade). Marlon Lee, Wed, 22nd Jul 2015