MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: Where are multiple universes, and where is this universe expanding into?

Date: Wed Sep 6 19:51:42 2000
Posted By: Matthew Buynoski, Senior Member Technical Staff,Advanced Micro Devices
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 966035789.As

Let's start off with a reference; read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. He discusses some of these matters, and has a far better grasp of them than does this particular Mad Scientist.

Let me take a shot at it, however. You can approach the "mulitiple universes" thing in several ways:

On the matter of the expanding universe, though, you must realize that your thinking is (my interpretation based on your comments) constrained by a Euclidian view of space. The universe is not "expanding into" anything, so far as we know. It is expanding, but since we are "inside" of it, we can not see or observe (so far...people have proposed experiments looking for tightly bound dimensions) anything "outside." The analogy is made of the surface of a balloon. The surface of such a balloon is a finite, yet unbounded area (that is, a two-dimensional creature living on the surface can find no edges, beginning, or end to it). Blow up the balloon and that same two-dimensional creature will see its two-dimensional universe expanding. Whether our 4-dimensional space-time is expanding into some N- dimensional space (N > 4) is an active topic in current theory (e.g. string theories, etc) but is hardly a well-established theory with lots of supporting evidence.

[This subject is discussed at length in the sci.astro FAQ and references therein as well. Moderator]

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