Page 1 of 1 [ 7 posts ] 

squonk
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Age: 57
Gender: Male
Posts: 763
Location: UK

03 Feb 2011, 7:19 am

It can never be explained. When I was little, I tried to imagine outer space, closing my eyes and thinking that somehow, it must end some place. Maybe we are in a great big box, or a big tank, like it's square and that ultimately you would reach one side or another eventually.

I have no idea how this all works; I simply can't imagine how space never ends. Similarly, if we look at the internet, that all started somewhere, on one computer that linked to another and another. I'm trying to make an analogy but it's not very good I know. Do any others have thoughts on this?



Descartes
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Apr 2008
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 6,149
Location: Arlington, Texas

03 Feb 2011, 8:15 am

Are you talking about where space physically ends, or when space ends?

If it's the former, then it might help to think of the universe in terms of planet earth - that is, spherical. One cannot reach the end of earth, you would merely go around it. The same concept can be applied to space.

If you're talking about the latter, the universe will ultimately end. Whether or not it will bring about the beginnings of a new universe is merely conjecture.


_________________
What fresh hell is this?


Tensu
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,661
Location: Nixa, MO, USA

03 Feb 2011, 8:31 am

Descartes wrote:
Are you talking about where space physically ends, or when space ends?

If it's the former, then it might help to think of the universe in terms of planet earth - that is, spherical. One cannot reach the end of earth, you would merely go around it. The same concept can be applied to space.


But on earth gravity constantly pulls us towards the core. In space, we do not have this problem. Thus if the universe has an end and one could build a ship fast enough, you could reach that end.



ryan93
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,315
Location: Galway, Ireland

03 Feb 2011, 8:45 am

Quote:
But on earth gravity constantly pulls us towards the core. In space, we do not have this problem. Thus if the universe has an end and one could build a ship fast enough, you could reach that end.


Faster than light travel is impossible. Isn't space non-euclidean anyway? It's probably possible that you will loop back around to your starting position if you go in a straight line forever.

I find infinity easy to visualise, although I always imagined that infinities can be in ratios to each other.


_________________
The scientist only imposes two things, namely truth and sincerity, imposes them upon himself and upon other scientists - Erwin Schrodinger

Member of the WP Strident Atheists


squonk
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Age: 57
Gender: Male
Posts: 763
Location: UK

03 Feb 2011, 9:04 am

Descartes wrote:
Are you talking about where space physically ends, or when space ends?



Good question! Both, really.



Tensu
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,661
Location: Nixa, MO, USA

03 Feb 2011, 9:19 am

ryan93 wrote:
Faster than light travel is impossible.


Nobody is saying it isn't.



ryan93
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,315
Location: Galway, Ireland

03 Feb 2011, 11:00 am

Quote:
Nobody is saying it isn't.


I figured you were implying it in the below.

The universe is supposedly expanding faster than the speed of light (or everything in the universe is shrinking at a rate which makes the distances between galaxies appear to expand faster than the speed of light). So there probably wouldn't be a way to reach the end. And again, I imagine it is non-euclidean, it probably has no boundary.

Quote:
Thus if the universe has an end and one could build a ship fast enough, you could reach that end.


_________________
The scientist only imposes two things, namely truth and sincerity, imposes them upon himself and upon other scientists - Erwin Schrodinger

Member of the WP Strident Atheists