What is making the Universe expand?

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Ben Marshall

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What is making the Universe expand?
« on: 15/05/2008 09:19:25 »
Ben Marshall asked the Naked Scientists:

Hi naked scientists!

Your podcast is great, I listen to it every week on itunes!

If the universe contains all matter that exists, what is it expanding into, and how does it expand?

From Ben Marshall, Rotherham.


What do you think?

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Offline Soul Surfer

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What is making the Universe expand?
« Reply #1 on: 15/05/2008 17:22:25 »
When you look in detail at the basic physical equations that determine how our universe behaves on a large scale it emerges that it is almost impossible for a universe to be stable.  They will either expand into nothingness at variable rates or collapse into a big crunch which may or may not bounce and expand again. Measurements of our universe on a large scale suggest that our universe will expand into nothingness over an extremely long time.
Learn, create, test and tell
evolution rules in all things
God says so!

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Offline LeeE

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What is making the Universe expand?
« Reply #2 on: 16/05/2008 00:19:48 »
I think the simplicity of this question belies it's significance:)

The most elegant aspect of our universe is that it creates it's own 'space'.  If something is to exist without being the entirity of all existance (think pre-BB states), it requires an environment within which many discrete things can exist and maintain their own discrete identity, and this is the trick that the universe appears to achieve.  As it expands, the 'contents' of the universe make their own 'space' in which to expand.

This is probably the best party-trick that's possible.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

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Offline caboose17

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What is making the Universe expand?
« Reply #3 on: 16/05/2008 20:10:33 »
if what you are saying is true than you say that the universe is creating something out of nothing.

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Offline ukmicky

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What is making the Universe expand?
« Reply #4 on: 16/05/2008 20:58:01 »
BEN

All the evidence suggests the universe is expanding but the truth is no one understands whats going on.

All the best explanations of today could be proved totally wrong in the future.

Your question is one of them that is at present unanswerable
« Last Edit: 16/05/2008 20:59:58 by ukmicky »

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Offline LeeE

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What is making the Universe expand?
« Reply #5 on: 17/05/2008 21:40:39 »
I don't believe that the universe is creating something out of nothing but making something else out of something else.  Not really very helpful, I guess.

...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!