Hello, I may be young but I am very interested in physics
and the universe, in the many books I have read, there seem to 2 common
theories of the universe that seem both to be true.
The first is that the universe is infinite, and the second is that the
universe is expanding, but how can it be possible for both to be true, if
the universe is infinite how can it be expanding, if the universe is
expanding, how can it be infinite?, I believe I have found a solution.
In geometry class we were discussing non-Euclidean geometry and the
subject came to someone, I cant remember his name, that had a theory that
in a finite circular plane, if that existed, as someone moved away from
the center, they would, as well as the temperature, decrease, so as a
person moved away from the center, the size relative to something outside
of the plane would change, but they could never tell as units of
measurements would also change.
I believe, that if this concept was taken into a 3 dimensional sphere,
that we could conclude both theories to be true.
Please allow me to explain.
The first theory, the universe is infinite, is somewhat true in this case,
although the space would be finite for objects outside of it, It would
seem infinite to us because as all other things away from it would get
smaller. This idea came to me from a puzzle I once did
It gave me a small square about an inch length, and asked me a way to
draw a figure in that space that would be infinite. Simply, I drew a
rectangle with one side left open, and with that open side, i had a line
that would go up and down in a sharp wave such as the hospital heart rate
machines. The wave length, would be divided in half each time, therefore
The part of the universe expanding has to do with space-time. The Sphere,
is expanding as time goes along. This shows means to go back in time, one
must somehow go to the core of the sphere, where not only are the sizes
and temperatures larger, is the starting point of our universe (big bang).
The future is also possible by somehow moving towards the outer portions
of the sphere.
In case you are confused with the 2 different ways, I speak of the circle,
consider the different properties, physical is one, and time is another,
just as in our current belief method
Under this system, wormholes could exist. For example, think outside the
box, If you, instead of a sphere, construct a non-regular figure, as in
hyperbolic geometry, the sides of this could touch each other, connecting
2 different points in space and time. such as in 2 hyperbolic funnels back
to back in a free-form shape with touching sides.
I also believe all of our physical laws can theoretically still work
correctly in this system. I have not discovered any proof against this and
am looking for feedback.
Questions such as you raise are maddening for two reasons. The first is
that the questions are profoundly simple, but the answers (those that
exist) are profoundly complicated. As your thinking has already led you,
the answers are going to be expressed mathematically, so a detailed
understanding without a solid math foundation is not possible. On the
other hand, the "flavor" of the explanation cannot wait until all the
mathematical tools are in hand. The compromise is to read, read, read.
When the math "gets in the way" put it aside and jump to the result
trusting that those with a larger mathematical "tool box" have checked out
the result and in time you too will be able to open that "box". What I
mean is that you do not have to be an automobile mechanic or an expert in
the internal combustion engine to know how to drive or even know a lot
about how a car works.
There are a lot of very well written books that address the questions
you ask better than I can, even if space permitted. Two books that come to
mind are "The Left Hand of Creation" by John Barrow and Joseph Silk and
"Stephen Hawking's Universe" by David Filkin. One hurdle that you seem to
have overcome that often causes young minds to turn off is you have no fear
of "thinking out of the box" as you put it, and tossing out intuition. The
Cosmos is not intuitive!
So my best advice to you is to read as much as you can and absorb what
your math skills allow at your level of exposure. And of course study as
much math as possible because the best explanations we have of the Universe
ultimately are expressed in mathematical terms because it is the language
that allows us to check the results. Good reading!
Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives
Update: June 2012