Airlinerfreak
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Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Tue Mar 08, 2005 3:04 pm

I have found in the discussion boards that we have very intelligent people on this discussion form so i decided to ask these brilliant minds a question or two. How does space expand into nothing? If you talk to scientists, they will say that space is ever expanding, and I say into what? Also thinking about just how large it is and how amazing it is. Just recently there was a piece of iron caught in the orbit of a black hole and it was traveling at 20,000 miles persecond. That is basically around the world in a second. Also to think that the speed of electromagnetic light in a vacuum otherwise known as space is 186,000 mp/h is just an astronomical thought. Do any of your brilliant minds have any thought on what I have just recited?
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Tue Mar 08, 2005 3:06 pm

Quoting Airlinerfreak (reply 0):
Also to think that the speed of electromagnetic light in a vacuum otherwise known as space is 186,000 mp/h


The speed of light is ~186,000 miles per SECOND not per hour for starters...

Greg

[Edited 2005-03-08 07:07:16]
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Springbok747
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Tue Mar 08, 2005 3:28 pm

The speed of light is 299,792,458 m/s.

Back to the topic though, if the Big Bang theory is correct, then everything including time, began from nothing. So, I guess space can expand into nothing.

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Klaus
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Tue Mar 08, 2005 3:38 pm

The everyday notion of something expanding can´t quite cope with the idea that space itself was expanding... so there´s nothing "outside" space could expand into.


Space is assumed to be cyclically finite - similar to our earth´s surface, "just" with an expanding four-dimensional sphere consequently having an expanding three-dimensional surface, as far as I understand...
 
flyf15
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Tue Mar 08, 2005 3:41 pm

The real answer is that....nobody knows what space is expanding into. You'll find that when you start asking questions like that, ones that involve "What if" or "But, how?" or anything along those lines....the answer is almost always going to be "nobody knows."

Although a lot is known in astronomy/astrophyics, it is one of the areas of science where we for the most part have no real clue for most of the answers. Lots of theories, but most of them nowhere near being proved.

A lot of this may never be solved or proved. Humans are pretty good at what we can do, but we have some severe limitations. We can't picture the idea of infinity in the physical world, we can't picture 4+ dimensional space, etc.
 
lehpron
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:48 pm

Think of a sheet of rubber with ink dots all over it. As the sheet is stretched in all directions the dots appear to spread apart, if the sheet is continually stretched the distance from each of the dots grows into infinity. If say we had a density, of so many dots per unit square, as the sheet continues to stretch the density drops since the sheet is getting larger and the number of dots stay the same. Doing so to infinity the density goes to zero.

This is how space will expand into nothing, the local space density over 4D drops to zero, everything in the universe becomes practically negligible when compared to the vastness of space. Nothing is not a region or a number, it is a result.

Does that help?
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Rj111
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:55 pm

Doing so to infinity the density goes to zero.

The density could get very close to zero but could never be zero, unless all the dots are removed.
 
lehpron
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:09 pm

Quoting RJ111 (reply 6):
The density could get very close to zero but could never be zero, unless all the dots are removed.


Okay, the density as the sheet approaches infinity approaches zero, how's that? For all practical purposes, we will consider significant figures, just that right now we are insignificant in comparison.

The universe has a density though it has been dropping ever since the supposed 'big bang'. I dont believe in the big bang, it implies time started at some point in the past. I see it as a cyclical expansion-contraction deal.

Not unlike the rubber sheet example, space is like an explosion on Earth surface, it will go out until the energy that kept it moving outwards has depleted and it begins to collapse. On Earth explosive charges form mushroom clouds, this is proof that the expansion crontracted but the whole system rose because it was a lighter pressure than that of surface air pressure.

Space is already a vaccum, right now since the universe is still expanding, there is enough energy to continue expanding, soon (galatically) I feel the vaccum of space will suck it back into itself. I believe when compared to galatic time, the universe just went off and we are just "debris". Big grin
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theCoz
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:01 am

Just to add my .02, many scientists recently beleieved that the universe would continually expand until gravity eventually took over and caused the universe to collapse back into itself. Recently they discovered evidence that there is a stronger force than gravity that is causing the universe to expand more and more quickly, hence putting a monkey wrench into the idea that the universe would eventually fall back into itself.

As far as what it expands into, I have only heard that the theoretical medium through which light travels is known as ether. The basis of this is due to the fact that light often bahaves with the properties of a wave. Because it often behaves as a wave, there must be some medium through which it travels. I guess that's why they came up with ether.

I don't know much more beyond that.
 
Klaus
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 12:32 am

TheCoz: Recently they discovered evidence that there is a stronger force than gravity that is causing the universe to expand more and more quickly, hence putting a monkey wrench into the idea that the universe would eventually fall back into itself.

That would be the postulated dark energy which so far has not been observed directly but appears to be "necessary" to explain certain observations.


TheCoz: As far as what it expands into, I have only heard that the theoretical medium through which light travels is known as ether.

Unless a lot has changed since I checked last time, that idea has not survived Einstein´s theory of relativity. If there was such a thing, it would follow that the speed of light would depend on whether you´d be "at rest" with the ether or if you´d be "moving" against it. But the theory of relativity states - and has been consistent with observations so far - that the speed of light does not change with acceleration to a different (relative) speed; Ergo it doesn´t look as if there was an ether as a necessary medium for electromagnetic radiation (which includes visible light).
 
lehpron
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:15 am

Keep in mind our known universe model is less than 500 years old, being that time we started to look to the heavens for answers to some questions. That may be a long time but considering how old this planet is, it will probably be a long time before we come up with some of all the answers.

In calculus when we integrate a function with no limits, we add a constant. We do not know if it is there, just when we take the derivative, constants go away. If we continue to integrate, that constant becomes variable and we add another contant, etc. Again, best to assume a constant even if it turned out to be zero. The problem with modern science is that people assume constants are zero beforehand and shoot down any theory that claims to prove against accepted theories with ignorance. As if they were religious zealots, you know what I mean? We can't assume we know it all, science is not ever meant to be good enough so we can stop. Just about every aspect of science is attacked by this business model that everything has to be practical and has to make money.  Yeah sure
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backfire
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:27 am

You're probably making a basic error by assuming that space needs to expand "into" anything.

You have to think four-dimensionally. Space is expanding - but you can't assume that there's an area "outside" space.
 
travelin man
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:38 am

I'm currently reading a fantastic book about this very subject called "The Fabric of the Cosmos" by Brian Greene. It explains the relationship between time and space and how our current understanding of the universe came to be. I highly recommend it.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 9):
Unless a lot has changed since I checked last time, that idea has not survived Einstein´s theory of relativity. If there was such a thing, it would follow that the speed of light would depend on whether you´d be "at rest" with the ether or if you´d be "moving" against it. But the theory of relativity states - and has been consistent with observations so far - that the speed of light does not change with acceleration to a different (relative) speed; Ergo it doesn´t look as if there was an ether as a necessary medium for electromagnetic radiation (which includes visible light).


From what I've read, Klaus (or should I say Einstein) is correct in this. I'm just getting into the chapters on quantum mechanics, where theoretically particles that are miles and miles apart can be linked together.

As I said, interesting stuff.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:42 am

Don´t forget that the edge of our universe is where our observations stop. All our laws of physics are only defined within our universe. Nobody has a clue what actually happens beyond our universe or before it existed.

Jan
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Airlinerfreak
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:48 pm

Also pertaining to space somewhat, does anybody believe in life beyond Earth? With a thing so big as outerspace, I would have to think that there would have to be some form of life outhere whether it be people like us or guys dressed in these weird suits with green heads. Any opinions?
 
lekohawk
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:15 pm

Yes, there is life off of Earth. It's so arrogant to think otherwise that it makes me ill.

As for the universe's expansion... you actually have to think more than four-dimensionally... Hawking's theories talk about dimensions up to something like the thirtieth. We only experience three in a physical way, and a fourth (time) in a somewhat less phsyical way. Dimensions exist in our universe that our outside of our capacity to experience.

As it's been explained to me... you can think of the universe we experience as a basketball. The basketball's surface (although curved) really only represents two dimensions - you can either travel pole-to-pole, or you can travel parallel to the equator (or some diagonal method, but that's just a combination of the other two). The third dimension of a basketball accounts for the empty space inside of it, which you can't travel through.

Nor can we travel off it's surface... but if the surface expands into the dimensions we don't experience, suddenly, the surface-iverse has gotten bigger. Nothingness, is, in this case, a somewhat subjective term.

Now... push a pin through the basketball. BLACKHOLE, Baby! A topic for another thread.

Somewhat of a simplification, to be sure... but I hope it helps.
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tbar220
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:18 pm



Quoting Travelin man (Reply 12):
'm currently reading a fantastic book about this very subject called "The Fabric of the Cosmos" by Brian Greene. It explains the relationship between time and space and how our current understanding of the universe came to be. I highly recommend it.

Does one have to be scietifically inclined on the matter to enjoy this book? Or can someone like me who has little background on this subject still enjoy it?
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seb146
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RE: Space, Expanding Into Nothing?

Thu Mar 10, 2005 4:45 pm

Here are my theories:

Everything is moving. Period. Expanding is not a term to be used in infinity because where is the center of infinity.

Is there life out there? Yes. It is foolish to believe in an infinite area we are the only ones. It is also foolish to believe those other life forms are oxygen breathing and carbon based. How about ammonia breathing and lithium based?

To borrow from Douglas Adams:

Space is infinite. There are a finite number of planets that can be inhabited. When you divide any number into infinity it comes as close to zero as makes no odds so any person you happen to encounter is a figment of your imagination.

But seriously, I believe the other two points.

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