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Author Topic: How could the universe gain time and space if it is a closed system?  (Read 757 times)

Offline thedoc

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John Thomson asked the Naked Scientists:
   If the universe is a closed system, as the laws of thermodynamics assume, and if a closed system, by definition, cannot be added to or subtracted from, how is the universe getting more time and more space?
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 17/06/2016 10:50:02 by _system »


 

Offline Semaphore

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Do the  laws of thermodynamics restrict time? I don't think so.

The universe is not getting more space, the space it has is expanding, like a cake baking; the stuff is the same but expands.

(Note: this is based on an out-of-date degree so I may be entirely wrong.....)
 

Offline 1thomson

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I got on to this question by first thinking about the laws of thermodynamics, entropy to be specific, but it then dawned on me that these laws all assume that the universe is a closed system.  At that point, I sort of stopped thinking about entropy and, instead, I thought about the implications of what a "closed system" is, the first being that you can't add anything to or subtract anything from such a system.  Whatever is in it is all that there is, period.  As I understand it, the system we call "universe" is composed basically of energy, matter, time, and space.  So, it seemed to me that those four things taken together constituted a fixed amount, hence "closed" system.  It also seemed to me that these four components must all obey the same fundamental laws, how else could they interact if they didn't?  This would be the "system" part of the two word concept.  After all this deep thought, it just popped into my head that there were only two ways that we could be getting more of any of the components: either some of the components were being transformed into other of the components or, somehow, it's possible to stretch things.  For instance, if space is expanding, does that mean that matter/energy are being transformed into space, or does it mean that space is stretching?  And, if it's stretching, what the heck does that mean?  Is it becoming less dense?  Is it thinning out?  Remember, it's a part of the system,, it can't violate any of the fundamental laws that are obeyed by the other members.  Similarly, how is time extending, if it's not getting more of itself by transforming energy/matter into time, what does it then mean to say that time is "expanding"?  I'm stumped here.  That's why I asked the question in the first place.  I guess I left thermodynamics a ways back there.  Sorry to mention it.  That was just where I started my thought process, and I guess I confused things by mentioning it.  JT
 

Offline garth john greiner

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If indeed the universe is expanding much the same as a cake being baked then this would suggest that space
within and all its ingredients would be greatly effected. There would not only be a reduction in density but there would be
The occurrence of stretching. As the universe expands things move further away from each other which will effect the time it takes
to travel between solar systems or from one side to the other so therefore time has been greatly effected
by expansion. I think that with regards to time and space they get stretched
And with regards to matter it just it gets pulled together by gravitational forces (energy) over long periods of time to form solar systems, If
 the universe is a closed system then at some point it will stop expanding. I feel that the universe
is a group of systems that work together to form a functioning body thats main objective is the formation within of diverse infrastructures for complex and intelligent life forms to be proper gated ( I'm a great believer in the anthropic principle).
After some thought I feel that  the expansion of space stretches time and energy and matter tangle together via gravitational forces in the efforts to create solar systems for  life/ consciousness and awarenes to evolve. I think the universe
Is deliberately and purposefully creating complex and diverse life forms everywhere.
 

Offline Semaphore

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The galaxies are indeed moving further from each other, and the expansion is accelerating, so that at some point they will be moving faster than the speed of light and will disappear from view. Our distant descendants (if we have any) will look out at blackness.

Note: this does not break Einstein's law since it is space that is expanding.

Your last sentence....don't tell me...not an intelligent designer, or worse still, a G__?
 

Offline 1thomson

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Thanks for your replies, guys.  I must say, though, that I'm still flummoxed.  I know that space can bend, which suggests that it stretches on one side and compresses on the other.  But the truth is that I have no idea what that really means.  If space is quantized, rather than continuous, then what's in between the quanta?  More space? And in between those spaces?  That starts to sound like infinite regress, which is just the flip side of infinity, neither of which are any clearer to me.  And if there's no space between quanta, then how can there be a multitude of quanta?  Wouldn't they all just be one continuous thing?  Which would bring us back to the apparent conflict between the concepts of space as quanta vs space as continuum, neither of which actually makes any sense to me, either.  Sorry for being so stupid.  Just the way I am.  And I haven't even gotten to the question of time.  If time is being stretched, what could that possibly mean?  Was one second at the beginning of universe shorter than one second now, which would be shorter than one second in the future?  But how would we know that?  And why would we refer to all them as seconds, as though they were equal things when they're plainly of different lengths?  My brain just wants to jump up, roll over, and cry.  And please, no math, that won't help a bit.  As for purpose in the universe, I don't think anyone knows, one way or the other.  Besides, what difference is there between an unbreakable chain of cause and effect, on the one hand, and the will of a god, on the other?  Either way, there's no free will.  Which means we're all just meat puppets, anyway.  Sigh.  This took me a long way from where I started.  Sorry about that.  But, please, feel free to continue commenting.  JT
 

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