How do you conceptualize the universe - something infinite?

Physical things take up finite space - at least for a period of time. A person fits in a car - a car in a garage - a garage in s neighborhood - in a city - in a country - on a planet - in a solar system - ... and then? And after that? So, how do you conceptualize what we call the universe - basically everything?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Well according to Dr. Neil DeGrasse (majored in physics at Harvard, later mastered in Arts of Astronomy/ Masters in philosophy in Astrophysics/Doctorate in Philosophy in Astrophysics : "Math is the language of Tue Universe. So the more equations you know, the more you can converse with the cosmos"

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    • Indeed. It's funny to accept infinity as a mathematical concept, but want to explain how a physical manifestation can be anything but finite. Possibly because the math portion always seemed like dividing something up into smaller and smaller pieces.

    • Thanks for MHO!!!

What Girls Said 1

  • The answer to your question is general theory of relativity, that's the concept. Concerning the universe, it basically says that not only the content of space can move. Space itself has a dynamic, too. Imagine a ruler on an elastic band. Stretch it to, say, double its size. Distance between start and 1 grew by 1. Distance between 1 and 2 grew by 2. The farther something was away at the beginning, the faster did it "move". But this was not a movement of the bodies but of space. And this pseudo-movement is not constrained by speed of light. That's why it is not possible to reach the borders of a universe whose space is expanding. And it seems our universe does just this.

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    • "Distance between 1 and 2 grew by 2" is false, of course, sry. I meant to say between start and 2.

    • Yes, but expanding into what?

    • It doesn't have to expand "into" anything. All we know is that everything is is getting farther apart.

What Guys Said 6

  • I don't really think about it. I'm not trying to be flippant, but I don't really care either. I'm more of a down-to-earth type person, which takes on a double meaning with this question. :)

    I'm a very curious person, and read about pretty much anything and everything. But things like the nature of the universe, it's origin, origin of life and things like that just don't hold my interest for long. I'd rather know what's at the bottom of the ocean here on earth than what's out in space.

    It's like there is a limited amount of space in my brain for knowledge. There are so many things closer to home that I'd rather fill that space with. There are so many things that I see every day, things that I can see and feel and touch, that I don't understand. Thinking about those kind of things is more interesting for me. They are more practical. Plus they don't fry my brain trying to conceptualize something as abstract as the universe.

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  • Well you could say the universe is finite by saying "it's not part of the universe if it can't be observed". In that case the boundary of our universe is light from the big bang, so it's like all the new galaxies are being born before our eyes. We basically know less about the history of galaxies the farther we look. And from the perspective of that galaxy at a later age, our galaxy is one of the young ones. And that galaxy can see others we can't see, but that doesn't matter because by the time they tell us about it (light signal), we could already observe it ourselves. It's an interesting kind of symmetry, but it's a better representation than thinking of an infinite number of galaxies existing at any given time.

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  • I can't imagine it. We percieve it to be infinite and our best scientists theorize it to be although they believe there is a finite number of things in the universe but they don't actually know for sure.

    I'm just an homosapien living on the earth and listening to everyone else's discoveries. Basically I don't know shit and whatever the universe is or isn't inside, I have no concept of just like a cat or a dog has no concept of things like astronauts or computers.

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  • Yeah, the Universe is infinite. But I try not to think of it, though. It freaks me out! :P

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    • Yeah, I get that. It's pretty easy to ignore. Sometimes I wonder if we focus on the answers to those unanswered questions, how revealing the exploration and results will be.

    • You bet! It seems fascinating and frightening at the same time!

  • I conceptualize the universe in a pretty simple way. Smaller things will always be in bigger things. So basically just how explained. A solar system fits into a bigger one, and that bigger one fits into an even bigger one. There is no stopping anything from being inside of something.

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    • Hmm.. Is there a lower boundary on how small something can be?

    • I cannot say for sure since science is not that advanced yet but since the universe expands infinitely bigger, it can be assumed that it also expands opposite. In other words, it expands infinitely smaller.

  • well the leading theory is that the universe is like a balloon and we all live on the surface.

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    • But a balloon exists within an environment - what about the universe?

    • lots of balloons lol. look up m theory

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