When will the universe end? Not for at least 2.8 billion years

Feb 29, 2016

Photo credit: Mina De La O/Getty

By New Scientist

We’re safe for now. The way the universe is expanding, it won’t be tearing itself apart for at least a few billion years.

For those of you only now discovering that such an end was a possibility, here’s a little background. Observations of stars and galaxies indicate that the universe is expanding, and at an increasing rate. Assuming that acceleration stays constant, eventually the stars will die out, everything will drift apart, and the universe will cool into an eternal “heat death”.

But that’s not the only possibility. The acceleration is thought to be due to dark energy, mysterious stuff that permeates the entire universe. If the total amount of dark energy is increasing, the acceleration will also increase, eventually to the point where the very fabric of space-time tears itself apart and the cosmos pops out of existence.

One prediction puts this hypothetical “big rip” scenario 22 billion years in the future. But could it happen sooner? To find out, Diego Sáez-Gómez at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and his colleagues modelled a variety of scenarios and used the latest expansion data to calculate a likely timeline. The data involved nearby galaxies, supernovae and ripples in the density of matter known as baryon acoustic oscillations, all of which are used to measure dark energy.

The team found that the earliest a big rip can occur is at 1.2 times the current age of the universe, which works out to be around 2.8 billion years from now. “We’re safe,” says Sáez-Gómez.


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101 comments on “When will the universe end? Not for at least 2.8 billion years

  • The team found that the earliest a big rip can occur is at 1.2 times the current age of the universe, which works out to be around 2.8 billion years from now.

    This figure of 2.8billion looks ridiculous!



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  • I have a feeling that for most of us it will end (for all purposes practical to you and me) much sooner than that.

    But, seriously, what does it even mean for the universe to “end”? “Pops out of existence”!? This is just ridiculous.

    The universe, by definition, always has and always will exist, in one form or another.



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  • PeacePecan #4
    Feb 29, 2016 at 7:10 am

    The universe, by definition, always has and always will exist, in one form or another.

    Not according to some reputable scientific theories.

    The Big-Bang Theory states it came into existence with an inflating energy bubble which eventually condensed into atoms.

    @OP – eventually the stars will die out, everything will drift apart, and the universe will cool into an eternal “heat death”.

    This is a theory that the universe will eventually reach thermodynamic equilibrium (maximum entropy).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe

    The heat death of the universe is a historically suggested theory of the ultimate fate of the universe in which the universe has diminished to a state of no thermodynamic free energy and therefore can no longer sustain processes that consume energy (including computation and life). Heat death does not imply any particular absolute temperature; it only requires that temperature differences or other processes may no longer be exploited to perform work. In the language of physics, this is when the universe reaches thermodynamic equilibrium (maximum entropy). The hypothesis of heat death stems from the ideas of William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, who in the 1850s took the theory of heat as mechanical energy loss in nature (as embodied in the first two laws of thermodynamics) and extrapolated it to larger processes on a universal scale.



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  • Is it wrong to say the universe evolved with the Big Bang just being part of it? If the Big Bang was the very start of it then I can see a way to an end of the universe but if its an evolution then it will further evolve in another state extinction being objective (If thats the right way to put it?). And, can this be a game changer? Looks very much like brain connections I’ve seen animated! I haven’t got the skill to put it all together but this and quantum entanglement has me thinking.



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  • 8
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    @peacepecan #6

    There may well have been a “big bang”…

    Uhhh no. There definitely was a Big Bang. It’s no longer a hypothesis, science has demonstrated that to a point to which it is now considered a scientific theory and everything we have observed since Georges Lemaitre first came up with the idea has kept re-enforcing that theory. So to use the word “may” in this context denotes a misconception or an incomplete understanding of the Big Bang theory.

    ….but it didn’t mark the beginning of the universe.

    Well it marked the beginning of OUR universe. Now are there OTHER universes? Many astrophysicists consider this to be a likely possibility.

    There is (has been, and will be) much more to the universe than that.

    That sounds a lot like wishful thinking and speculation on things neither you or anybody else on this planet can state with a reasonable degree of certainty. The bottom line is that pretending to know is exactly the mindset of religion and the exact opposite of the true quest for knowledge.



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  • PeacePecan #6
    Feb 29, 2016 at 10:53 am

    came into existence

    Existence is a feature of the universe, part of its definition.

    The source of the energy is unknown, but the Big-Bang Theory clearly defines the stages and changes which led to the formation of the Universe.

    There may well have been a “big bang”, but it didn’t mark the beginning of the universe – it simply marked the beginning of the “universe as we [think we] know it”.

    There was no “universe” before time zero.

    There is (has been, and will be) much more to the universe than that.

    I think this is just wishful thinking.
    The structure of the Universe from the period of inflation onward is clearly defined, with an absence of structure prior to that phase!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_formation_of_the_Universe
    This is a timeline of the formation and subsequent evolution of the Universe from the Big Bang 13.799 ± 0.021 billion years ago to the present day. Times are measured from the moment of the Big Bang.

    There is much which is unknown, but that does not negate evidence of what is known.



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  • Well it marked the beginning of OUR universe. Now are there OTHER universes?

    It appears that we are using different definitions of the word “universe”. As I understand it, “OUR” universe is, was, will always, and can only be the ONLY universe. That’s what universe means. The concept of “multiple universes” (existing concurrently) is an oxymoron, and the term “multiverse” is nonsense.

    Whatever we discover (beyond theorizing), it will be a clearer, fuller definition of what the universe actually is.

    Aside from the fact that the question is nonsense, there is no way of ever being certain that any other universe exists (as there certainly is with the one we inhabit), and if there were, once discovered, it would then magically become a part of the known (“OUR”) universe.

    That sounds a lot like wishful thinking and speculation…

    I have no particular reason to “wish” my statement is true. It’s an intuition based on my pitiful life experience.

    @alan4discussion #9

    The source of the energy is unknown…

    Well, whatever the source may have been, it was the universe. Otherwise, nothing makes sense.



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  • PeacePecan #11
    Feb 29, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    It appears that we are using different definitions of the word “universe”. As I understand it, “OUR” universe is, was, will always, and can only be the ONLY universe.

    You seem to have picked up some ideas from rather old refuted notions of the Universe such as the “Steady State Theory”!

    That’s what universe means.

    No! In astronomy it means the physical structure of space-time, stars and galaxies which arose from the Big-Bang.

    The concept of “multiple universes” (existing concurrently) is an oxymoron, and the term “multiverse” is nonsense.

    Not at all! We do not know the source of the energy which triggered the Big-Bang, so it is quite possible that other Big-Bangs have triggered the formation of other universes.

    Aside from the fact that the question is nonsense, there is no way of ever being certain that any other universe exists (as there certainly is with the one we inhabit), and if there were, once discovered, it would then magically become a part of the known (“OUR”) universe.

    There is no more reason to assume that any independently generated universes are part of our Universe, than assuming that independently formed galaxies are part of our Milky Way Galaxy.

    Well, whatever the source may have been, it was the universe. Otherwise, nothing makes sense.

    It may not make sense to you, if you assume that the word “universe” means “everything possibly in existence”, but in astronomy and cosmology, it means “the physical expanding structure of space-time, galaxies, stars and planets”.

    http://www.space.com/16042-cosmology.html

    Cosmology is the branch of astronomy involving the origin and evolution of the universe, from the Big Bang to today and on into the future. According to NASA, the definition of cosmology is “the scientific study of the large scale properties of the universe as a whole.”

    Cosmologists puzzle over exotic concepts like string theory, dark matter and dark energy and whether there is one universe or many (sometimes called the multiverse). While other aspects astronomy deal with individual objects and phenomena or collections of objects, cosmology spans the entire universe from birth to death, with a boatload of mysteries at every stage.



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  • @alan4discussion #12

    …picked up some ideas from rather old refuted notions of the Universe such as the “Steady State Theory”!

    No. I simply insist on maintaining a sensible, no-nonsense meaning of the word. Apparently, using the word to mean the totality of existence (whatever that may turn out to be as we go on discovering new stuff) just doesn’t cut it for some folks, but it’s sufficient for me, and adding the possibility of other “versions” of what we are able to observe as our “cosmos” doesn’t really change anything. Discover that there’s more to it, and it’s still the universe, just more well-defined. We don’t need to invent a system of “multiverses” to more fully define the universe.

    …so it is quite possible that other Big-Bangs have triggered the formation of other universes.

    A “Big Bang” is a feature of the universe. It is analogous to a stage in a life-cycle. It’s nonsense to speak of “other Big-Bangs” forming “other universes”. Any “other Big-Bangs” (if possible) can only occur in the one and only universe.

    There is no more reason to assume that any independently generated universes are part of our Universe, than assuming that independently formed galaxies are part of our Milky Way Galaxy.

    An “independently generated universe” distinct from the one and only universe is nonsense. For it to make sense requires redefinition of the word “universe”, which I have already rejected.

    …if you assume that the word “universe” means “everything possibly in existence”, but in astronomy and cosmology, it means “the physical expanding structure of space-time, galaxies, stars and planets”.

    I do assume that definition, and I see no reason to assume there exists anything other than “the physical expanding structure of space-time, galaxies, stars and planets” (as well as any other such things which may be discovered in the future).



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  • 14
    Pinball1970 says:

    @olli And, can this be a game changer? Looks very much like brain connections I’ve seen animated!

    Great link Olgun with some amazing images and mind boggling hypotheses.

    There is a discussion forum at the end of the article which I read to gain some insight on the science, which unfortunately for me, is a little out of reach.

    Suffice to say it appears the rules for debate on here yield better results than other sites.

    Its nice to be reminded now again!



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  • 15
    Pinball1970 says:

    @peacepecan
    Hi Peace.
    As outlandish as it sounds the multi verse hypotheses is not just a quantum quirk or a sci fi possibility

    Inflation theory developed by Alan Guth have models that have multiverses as part of the frame work, most of the models require them in fact.

    A few predictions from Inflation have already panned out including small fluctuations in the CMBR and gravitational waves

    Both of these phenomena were thought impossible to detect or just not there at all.

    It may be impossible to see how scientists could add the multi verse to that list, but I would not rule it out just yet.

    Did they figure out what that large blue dot on the CMBR was?



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  • PeacePecan #13
    Mar 1, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    An “independently generated universe” distinct from the one and only universe is nonsense. For it to make sense requires redefinition of the word “universe”, which I have already rejected.

    What you are saying, is that your argument is semantic and about definitions of words, , rather than based on research in cosmology or physics!

    if you assume that the word “universe” means “everything possibly in existence”, but in astronomy and cosmology, it means “the physical expanding structure of space-time, galaxies, stars and planets”.

    I do assume that definition, and I see no reason to assume there exists anything other than “the physical expanding structure of space-time, galaxies, stars and planets” (as well as any other such things which may be discovered in the future).

    Your personal choice of an assumed definition, is not an evidenced basis for rejecting the possibilities of other universes existing as distinct and separate entities. (The flat Earthists of ancient times, made similar claims about the assumed non-existence of other worlds)

    Nor is it a basis for ruling out the possibilities of the existence of other universes containing space-time, galaxies, stars and planets. Until evidence is available, we cannot assume or deny such possibilities.

    but in astronomy and cosmology, it means “the physical expanding structure of space-time, galaxies, stars and planets”

    This is the evidenced basis of the structured forces, physical material, and energy, called our Universe, for as far as we can see it.



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  • 17
    Pinball1970 says:

    @Peacepecan

    Don’t get bogged down talking about terms is my advice PP, you miss all the good stuff.

    For how not to do it see my refs to Ollis link

    We can use just two terms, Universe, everything there is and observable universe, everything that is possible to observe regardless of our limited technology.

    Multiverses are a possibility so at some point we may be able to add a third.

    All the rest….



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  • 18
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion
    The source of the energy is unknown, but the Big-Bang Theory clearly defines the stages and changes which led to the formation of the Universe.

    Unfortunately, not the case for the early universe. There is no Big Bang Theory for those critical first stages of the big bang. The farthest back physicists have gotten is the electro-weak period.



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  • @Pinball

    I am with you in not understanding that much but one of the things I remember about the Big Bang was the discovery of background radiation that was accidentally found when calibrating a dish. They said it was the only explanation because the radiation was still there when they pointed into ’empty’ space. The link says there is no empty space, as such.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #18
    Mar 2, 2016 at 10:14 am

    @alan4discussion

    The source of the energy is unknown, but the Big-Bang Theory clearly defines the stages and changes which led to the formation of the Universe.

    Unfortunately, not the case for the early universe. There is no Big Bang Theory for those critical first stages of the big bang. The farthest back physicists have gotten is the electro-weak period.

    That is indeed what I said in this earlier comment when I mentioned the inflating energy bubble and the earlier unknowns.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/02/when-will-the-universe-end-not-for-at-least-2-8-billion-years/#li-comment-199112-The Big-Bang Theory states it came into existence with an inflating energy bubble which eventually condensed into atoms.



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  • @alan4discussion #16

    What you are saying, is that your argument is semantic and about definitions of words…

    Yes, that is pretty much it. I reject the re-definition of the word universe. It isn’t necessary.

    Your personal choice of an assumed definition, is not an evidenced basis for rejecting the possibilities of other universes existing as distinct and separate entities.

    This is a mischaracterization of my position. I don’t reject the possibility that there is more to the universe than what we can “see”. If it’s “there”, it is part of the universe. The definition of the word should change as new information dictates.

    I suspect you will have trouble with this analogy, but here goes: If you lived in a large house that you believed had only four rooms, because that’s all you’d ever been able to observe, and then one day you come up with the idea that there are probably more rooms (perhaps because it helps you to explain some puzzling mystery about your house), do you start referring to these new rooms as “other houses”, or “multi-houses”? (I wouldn’t.) It seems much more sensible to me to change your conception (definition) of your house to include these new rooms, especially if you have reliable evidence that they exist. Your house is not what you once thought it was. It is still your house. The universe is not what we thought it was. It is still the universe.



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  • PeacePecan #21
    Mar 2, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    @alan4discussion #16
    What you are saying, is that your argument is semantic and about definitions of words

    Yes, that is pretty much it. I reject the re-definition of the word universe. It isn’t necessary.

    You can’t support a rational argument about material entities, by choosing one definition rather than another.

    Your personal choice of an assumed definition, is not an evidenced basis for rejecting the possibilities of other universes existing as distinct and separate entities.

    This is a mischaracterization of my position. I don’t reject the possibility that there is more to the universe than what we can “see”.

    Not at all! I did not dispute that there is more to the Universe than the OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE which we can see, but your position was disputing the possibility of multiple universes (OR multiverse).

    If it’s “there”, it is part of the universe. The definition of the word should change as new information dictates.

    It has changed, as words do when used in specialist subject areas and particular contexts. That is why I gave you the astronomers’ and cosmologists’ definitions, as used in various theories.

    Here are the five most plausible scientific theories suggesting we live in a multiverse: –
    http://www.space.com/18811-multiple-universes-5-theories.html

    I suspect you will have trouble with this analogy, but here goes: If you lived in a large house that you believed had only four rooms, because that’s all you’d ever been able to observe, and then one day you come up with the idea that there are probably more rooms … . ..

    I have no difficulty with the analogy, and no problem recognising the possibility of more rooms.
    What you are denying is the possibility of more houses or more villages!



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  • @alan4discussion #22

    You can’t support a rational argument about material entities, by choosing one definition rather than another.

    That’s funny! That’s exactly what you are doing.

    I did not dispute that there is more to the Universe than the OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE which we can see, but your position was disputing the possibility of multiple universes (OR multiverse).

    Observations are made with more than eyes. If mathematical computations suggest that the universe is more complex than we once thought, then all we need to do is refine the definition of the word. My position is that the word universe is sufficient. Inventing a new word to take its place is unnecessary, and in this case, nonsensical.

    Here are the five most plausible scientific theories suggesting we live in a multiverse…

    Correction: “Here are the five most plausible scientific theories suggesting we live in a universe that is much more complex than we used to think“.

    I have no beef with the theories, and understanding them (or not) has no bearing on my rejection of the terms they may use. My issue is with re-defining a word that was sufficient to cover whatever the theories suggest. “Multiple universes” or “a multiverse” is nonsense. It adds unnecessary complexity.

    What you are denying is the possibility of more houses or more villages!

    It’s an analogy, for goodness sake! Obviously there are many instances of actual houses which exist in actual collections, etc., etc. all the way up to the actual universe. In the analogy, “house” stands for “universe”. Universe means all there is (as far as we “know”). If a house is “all there is” (as far as you “know”), and you discover one day that it’s actually more than you once believed (hey, I never saw that door before – wonder where it goes – apparently there’s more to this “house” than I thought), you don’t need to invent a new word to stand for “all there is – and then some”. “All there is” is actually bigger and more complex than you thought it was. It’s still “all there is” (as far as we “know”).

    I understand that you don’t agree with my definition. Nothing you have said convinces me that it’s necessary to accept yours.



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  • PeacePecan #23
    Mar 3, 2016 at 10:49 am

    You can’t support a rational argument about material entities, by choosing one definition rather than another.

    That’s funny! That’s exactly what you are doing.

    No! I gave links to hypotheses and theories which are based on science and calculations. Not personal preconceived notion incorporated in definitions.

    I did not dispute that there is more to the Universe than the OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE which we can see, but your position was disputing the possibility of multiple universes (OR multiverse).

    Observations are made with more than eyes.

    The term “OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE” has nothing to do with eyes as such. It defines the limit of POSSIBLE observation at the present time due to the limitations of the speed of light. Light from any parts of the Universe beyond this are unobservable, until the light reaches us (if it does), at some time in the future. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observable_universe

    If mathematical computations suggest that the universe is more complex than we once thought, then all we need to do is refine the definition of the word.

    The calculations, inductions and deductions on which the linked theories are based are about possible other universes beyond ours.

    My position is that the word universe is sufficient.

    Your position is that you are doggedly asserting your preconceptions of what what you define as a universe is not subject to possible updates in the light of new objective hypotheses and theories.

    Inventing a new word to take its place is unnecessary, and in this case, nonsensical.

    You would need to produce some evidence refuting the work of the physicists and cosmologists I have linked.
    Stating that they are all nonsensical because of your personal incredulity, or defined preconceptions, is not evidenced reasoning!

    I understand that you don’t agree with my definition. Nothing you have said convinces me that it’s necessary to accept yours.

    The physics of universe(s), is not dependent on who understands it, or who believes it!

    Here are the five most plausible scientific theories suggesting we live in a multiverse: – –multiple-universes-5-theories.

    Correction: “Here are the five most plausible scientific theories suggesting we live in a universe that is much more complex than we used to think“.

    If you think you can “correct” the work of the linked cosmologists, please give a scientific explanation doing so.
    Asserting that the term “multiple” really means “single” is not science!



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  • PeacePecan #21
    Mar 2, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    @#16 – What you are saying, is that your argument is semantic and about definitions of words

    Yes, that is pretty much it. I reject the re-definition of the word universe.

    You can’t make valid claims about cosmology by arbitrarily rejecting the definitions used by cosmologists, by being fixated on cherry-picking ones you like from dictionaries, or by preferring the definite to the indefinite article!

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/universe

    universe
    [S] everything that ​exists, ​especially all ​physical ​matter, ​including all the ​stars, ​planets, ​galaxies, etc. in ​space:
    Is there ​intelligent ​life ​elsewhere in the universe?

    [C] a universe that could be ​imagined to ​exist ​outside ​our own:
    Scientists have ​speculated about the ​possibility of ​parallel universes.

    It isn’t necessary.

    What isn’t necessary for considering proposed concepts and theories?

    If you refuse to acknowledge and use the language of cosmology in a cosmological discussion, you will be talking to yourself – not to scientists or cosmologists!
    The range of relevant dictionary definitions is perfectly clear!



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  • Alan4discussion #22
    Mar 2, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    I did not dispute that there is more to the Universe than the OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE which we can see,

    Of course, we can’t even see all of the Observable Universe, because at present our technology is not good enough to reach out to that boundary of possible observation, which is determined by the age of the Universe and the speed of light.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35721734

    Hubble sets new cosmic distance record
    The Hubble Space Telescope has spied the most distant galaxy yet.

    It is so far away that the light from this extremely faint collection of stars, catalogued as GN-z11, has taken some 13.4 billion years to reach us.

    Or to put that another way – Hubble sees the galaxy as it was just 400 million years after the Big Bang.

    Astronomers say they are confident about the measurement because they have been able to tease apart and analyse the object’s light.

    Such spectroscopic assessments are difficult to perform on the most far-flung sources, but if it can be done it produces the most reliable distance estimates.

    The details of the discovery will appear shortly in an edition of the Astrophysical Journal.

    “This really represents the pinnacle of Hubble’s exploration of galaxies across cosmic history,” said Yale University, US, astronomer Pascal Oesch, the lead author on the study.

    “Hubble has proven once again, even after almost 26 years in space, just how special it is.

    “When the telescope was launched we were investigating galaxies a little over half-way back in cosmic history. Now, we’re going 97% of the way back. It really is a tremendous achievement,” he told BBC News.



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  • @alan4discussion #24, 25, 26 (!!)

    Your position is that you are doggedly asserting your preconceptions of what what [sic] you define as a universe is not subject to possible updates in the light of new objective hypotheses and theories.

    No. As I have stated more than once already (doggedly, apparently), I have no issue whatsoever with “possible updates in the light of new objective hypotheses and theories”. This is about inventing new words that are unnecessary and nonsensical.

    You can’t make valid claims about cosmology by arbitrarily rejecting the definitions used by cosmologists, by being fixated on cherry-picking ones you like from dictionaries, or by preferring the definite to the indefinite article!

    I haven’t made any claims about cosmology, and my rejection of the definition is not arbitrary. I’ve already explained my reasoning.

    The physics of universe(s), is not dependent on who understands it, or who believes it!

    Something we agree on!

    If you think you can “correct” the work of the linked cosmologists, please give a scientific explanation doing so. Asserting that the term “multiple” really means “single” is not science!

    The work of the cosmologists doesn’t require correcting (not by me, in any case). I’ve never asserted that “multiple” means “single”. I’ve asserted that the word “multiverse” (or the concept of “multiple universes”) is nonsensical and oxymoronic as well as unnecessary given that the word “universe” already exists to do the job.

    If you refuse to acknowledge and use the language of cosmology in a cosmological discussion, you will be talking to yourself – not to scientists or cosmologists!

    Thanks for your concern, but please don’t worry so much about me. Clearly, I’m not alone in this, as the discussion in this article (for example) shows:

    http://www.space.com/31465-is-our-universe-just-one-of-many-in-a-multiverse.html

    Please be sure to scroll down to the “Dissenting Voices” section.

    Scientists created the neologism “multiverse,” Linde continued, “because we found that what we had called ‘the universe’ can be divided into extremely large regions, which may have different laws of physics.

    My preference (as I’ve stated, doggedly) would have been to come up with a new term for the “large regions” that ‘the universe” can apparently be divided into.

    Not every cosmologist is a full convert to the multiverse.

    But even if I were alone in this, I’d be just fine.



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  • PeacePecan #28
    Mar 4, 2016 at 6:30 am

    Not every cosmologist is a full convert to the multiverse.

    I’m not a convert to various multiverse/ multi universe hypotheses, but that does not mean I accept your semantic based claim, that they are all invalid “nonsense”!

    As I have stated more than once already (doggedly, apparently), I have no issue whatsoever with “possible updates in the light of new objective hypotheses and theories”. This is about inventing new words that are unnecessary and nonsensical.

    Apparently you have, or you would not be describing cosmologists’ claims which have some basis in physics, as “nonsense”, simply because you do not understand them.

    This is about inventing new words that are unnecessary and nonsensical.

    No!
    It is about moving on from old obsolete meanings, which no longer fit with modern knowledge in the light of new discoveries. I have given you a link to a reputable dictionary, which quotes the old 19th century meaning and the new 21st century one.

    You can’t make valid claims about cosmology by arbitrarily rejecting the definitions used by cosmologists, by being fixated on cherry-picking ones you like from dictionaries, or by preferring the definite to the indefinite article!

    I haven’t made any claims about cosmology,

    You have claimed that everything is included in one universe, and that a whole list of scientific hypotheses are “nonsense”.
    In order to rationally justify such a claim, you need to point out which aspects of the physics in such hypotheses are incorrect!

    and my rejection of the definition is not arbitrary. I’ve already explained my reasoning.

    All you have explained, is that you are using an antiquated definition from before the time modern technologies, greatly added to scientific knowledge of the physics and the scale of our Universe, and simply dispute and ignore the use of thee plural “universes” on the space and dictionary links.

    As I have said before, questions about physics, are not determined by semantics! They are determined by observations, measuring and reasoning based on those measurements and observations!

    My preference (as I’ve stated, doggedly) would have been toarising in come up with a new term for the “large regions” that ‘the universe” can apparently be divided into.

    Your personal preference for one hypothesis or one definition, is not a rational basis for dismissing all others (or calling them nonsense), without producing any refutation of the physics on which they are based.

    If there are duplicate universes arising from independent bag-bangs, it makes sense to recognise them as separate universes.



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  • 31
    Pinball1970 says:

    @blue-bird-2

    They are being gentlemen about it at least.

    It does not matter what you call it guys, it big, very big or as one author put it

    “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”



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  • I phoned my estate agent today and tried to get an extra £60,000 on my house. I told them that I had another room in the house. They of course asked me the size. I said I have no idea as no one can enter the room without disappearing never to return. They said I couldn’t really claim it as an extra bedroom but could sell it open aspect box room with possibilities.



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  • @alan4discussion #30

    …various multiverse/ multi universe hypotheses, but that does not mean I accept your semantic based claim, that they are all invalid “nonsense”!

    I have claimed that the word is nonsense, not the hypotheses.

    …or you would not be describing cosmologists’ claims which have some basis in physics, as “nonsense”, simply because you do not understand them.

    I have described the word as nonsense, not the cosmologists’ claims. I understand the claims well enough to do this.

    It is about moving on from old obsolete meanings, which no longer fit with modern knowledge in the light of new discoveries.

    I have no problem “moving on” from obsolete meanings. I have done so. As we have learned more about “the universe”, rather than invent a new word, I have allowed the meaning of the existing word to grow and change along with new information. And apparently there are others, at least as qualified as me and you, who also believe that this is an appropriate approach.

    You have claimed that everything is included in one universe, and that a whole list of scientific hypotheses are “nonsense”.

    I have claimed that the word “multiverse” is nonsense, not the hypotheses. I maintain that the word “universe” is sufficient to stand for whatever these hypotheses describe. To use the word “universe” to mean a subset of something that is somehow greater or beyond is where the nonsense comes in.

    …you need to point out which aspects of the physics in such hypotheses are incorrect

    I’ve pointed out that the introduction of a new word is unnecessary and the word itself is nonsensical.

    …you are using an antiquated definition from before the time modern technologies, greatly added to scientific knowledge of the physics and the scale of our Universe, and simply dispute and ignore the use of thee plural “universes” on the space and dictionary links.

    Actually, I’m not using an antiquated definition. I’ve suggested that the definition needs to be updated to reflect our new understanding of what the universe is. And yes, I do dispute, but no, I do not ignore, the use of the word multiverse.

    …questions about physics, are not determined by semantics!

    This is a question about words and meanings.

    If there are duplicate universes arising from independent bag-bangs [sic], it makes sense to recognise them as separate universes.

    If you are ending your argument with that statement, then you clearly have not understood a thing I’ve said.

    Given that the word universe means “all that there is” (as far as we know), then your beginning assumption of “duplicate universes” and whatever follows from it is nonsense.



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  • @olli #32

    I told them that I had another room in the house.

    Good move. If you had told them that you had a “duplicate house” (you know, it’s one of the many possible “multihouses” that exist out there) they would have hung up on you.



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  • @ PP

    If our universe is spherical (closed) and named so, another universe is another bubble, then are you saying that space that they are contained in is the real Universe with many bubbles in? A multibublesverse.



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  • PeacePecan #33
    Mar 4, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I have claimed that the word “multiverse” is nonsense, not the hypotheses. I maintain that the word “universe” is sufficient to stand for whatever these hypotheses describe. To use the word “universe” to mean a subset of something that is somehow greater or beyond is where the nonsense comes in.

    When we are discussing our universe arising from the big bang, it makes no sense to try to include other universes arising from other big bangs in that model because of preconceptions of semantics.

    Scientists create precisely defined terms all the time to deal unambiguously with specialist issues.

    Again, you simply come back to doggedly adhering to an antiquated definition of a word, which dates back to the time when all humans knew about , was a small part of our single observable universe.

    Throughout recorded history, cosmologies and cosmogonies, including scientific models, have been proposed to explain observations of the Universe. The earliest quantitative geocentric models were developed by ancient Greek philosophers and Indian philosophers.[14][15] Over the centuries, more precise astronomical observations led to Nicolaus Copernicus’s heliocentric model of the Solar System and Johannes Kepler’s improvement on that model with elliptical orbits, which was eventually explained by Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity. Further observational improvements led to the realization that the Solar System is located in a galaxy composed of billions of stars, the Milky Way. It was subsequently discovered that our galaxy is just one of many. On the largest scales, it is assumed that the distribution of galaxies is uniform and the same in all directions, meaning that the Universe has neither an edge nor a center. Observations of the distribution of these galaxies and their spectral lines have led to many of the theories of modern physical cosmology. The discovery in the early 20th century that galaxies are systematically redshifted suggested that the Universe is expanding, and the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation suggested that the Universe had a beginning.[16] Finally, observations in the late 1990s indicated the rate of the expansion of the Universe is increasing[17] indicating that the majority of energy is most likely in an unknown form called dark energy. The majority of mass in the universe also appears to exist in an unknown form, called dark matter.

    The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model describing the development of the Universe. Space and time were created in the Big Bang, and these were imbued with a fixed amount of energy and matter; as space expands, the density of that matter and energy decreases. After the initial expansion, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow the formation first of subatomic particles and later of simple atoms. Giant clouds of these primordial elements later coalesced through gravity to form stars. Assuming that the prevailing model is correct, the age of the Universe is measured to be 13.799±0.021 billion years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universe

    The early descriptions presented “The Universe” as our Solar-System. Then as part of our galaxy! Then as part of OUR observable Universe.
    It was defined as: “Everything (which was known at the time) to exist”!

    That does not automatically mean that that primitive definition, can continue to be meaningfully carried over into modern studies, as the possibilities of multiple big-bangs are considered, now knowledge has expanded.
    The matter and energy of our Universe is derived from the big-bang.
    We do not know what other energy sources or structures may have arisen, or may be going to arise.
    Various models have been suggested based on the present scientific understandings, but it is important to use clear language which is unambiguous!
    We should not confuse what is generally known as “Our Universe”, – arising from our big-bang, with other possible cosmological structures beyond the limits of the matter and energy within our structure of space-time, galaxies stars and planets.



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  • Olgun #35
    Mar 4, 2016 at 11:20 am

    If our universe is spherical (closed) and named so, another universe is another bubble, then are you saying that space that they are contained in is the real Universe with many bubbles in? A multibublesverse.

    When the OP talks about the speculated “Big-Rip”, it is clearly talking about “our bubble”, – not some larger structure or multiple bubbles!

    @OP – The team found that the earliest a big rip can occur is at 1.2 times the current age of the universe, which works out to be around 2.8 billion years from now.



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  • @olli #35

    If our universe is spherical (closed) and named so, another universe is another bubble, then are you saying that space that they are contained in is the real Universe with many bubbles in? A multibublesverse.

    Yes. And I’m saying that it’s unnecessary to invent a word like “multibub[b]lesverse”, unless it is offered as a “cutesy” synonym, as it were, to help describe our current conception of what the universe is.

    Thank you for understanding me.



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  • @PP

    I understand you but that can’t be right. If our bubble is the universe we have named as a constituent part of multiverses then another name is needed for the surrounding ‘area’ and then for other areas of the entire picture. We are getting very near the turtles on turtles ‘theory’ when each turtle needs to be defined. So I agree with Alan in that our universe has been named, baptised, christened etc……as the universe and if there is more than one of those then it can be described as multiple and if they are in another bubble as a who;e then that too needs to be defined. You cannot have all parts using the same name. It helps nothing.



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  • @alan4discussion #36

    The early descriptions presented “The Universe” as our Solar-System. Then as part of our galaxy! Then as part of OUR observable Universe.
    It was defined as: “Everything (which was known at the time) to exist”!

    In other words, once upon a time universe meant “our solar system”. Then we realized there was more to it. Yes, not only have we discovered that there is an entire galaxy of stars, planets, other objects, and empty space relatively close to us, but there are many, many more of these galaxies “out there” in the further reaches of the universe (as we know it). The definition of universe as “Everything (which was known at the time) to exist” doesn’t need to change to accommodate the new information. No matter what additional “stuff” we discover (or hypothesize), it’s still the universe. If a new term needs to be invented, it should be a term for “our piece” (the part that experienced a “big bang” more than 13 billion years ago) of this larger and possibly-much-more-complex-than-we-used-to-think universe.

    Perhaps we could call our part a “federation” (of galaxies)! (Or see below for another idea.)

    …it is important to use clear language which is unambiguous!

    It certainly is. (And un-nonsensical would also help.)

    From the link I posted earlier:

    As cosmologist George Ellis told me, “I don’t like the word ‘multiverse.’ I like the idea ‘universe.'” He said he prefers to talk about “one universe with many different expanding domains,” because to him, the “universe,” by definition, is every physical thing that exists. Moreover, he stresses the basic problem of other domains of space-time. “Because we cannot see them,” he said, “we can’t prove anything about them.”

    [Paul] Davies’ critique of the multiverse goes deeper. To explain the universe, he rejects “outside explanations,” he said.
    “I suppose, for me, the main problem [with a multiverse] is that what we’re trying to do is explain why the universe is as it is by appealing to something outside of it,” Davies told me. “In this case, an infinite number of multiple universes outside of our universe is used as the explanation for our universe.”
    Then Davies makes his damning comparison. “To me, multiverse explanations are no better than traditional religion, which appeals to an unseen, unexplained God — a God that is outside of the universe — to explain the universe. In fact, I think both explanations — multiverse and God — are pretty much equivalent.” To Davies, this equivalence is not a compliment.



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  • @olli #39

    I understand you…

    Apparently not…

    If our bubble is the universe…

    If there are “bubbles” (hypothetically, one of which is the thing we have historically referred to as “the universe” or more recently “our universe”, which experienced a “big bang” 13.7 billion years ago), then the collection of “bubbles” is the universe.

    …then another name is needed for the surrounding ‘area’ and then for other areas of the entire picture.

    The “surrounding area”, if it represents all that there is, already has a name: universe. Another name is needed for the thing we used to think was the entire universe (what you called a “bubble” above). If it is discovered that there are additional “surrounding areas”, then the word universe will apply to the entire collection of those, and we’ll have to come up with a word for those “surrounding areas”.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    …our universe has been named, baptised, christened etc……as the universe…

    The meaning of the word universe has changed with each new discovery about it. Until, that is, someone lost sight of the purpose of the word and decided that it made sense to coin a new word that effectively means the same thing, only bigger and more complex, as if the word universe couldn’t handle the additional size and complexity.

    …if there is more than one of those…

    There is only one universe. The only question is what it consists of.

    You cannot have all parts using the same name. It helps nothing.

    The universe (which some have taken to calling a multiverse) already has a name, so there’s no reason to give it a new one. It’s precisely the parts that make up the universe (as we know it) which need new names.



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  • PeacePecan #40
    Mar 4, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    The definition of universe as “Everything (which was known at the time) to exist” doesn’t need to change to accommodate the new information. No matter what additional “stuff” we discover (or hypothesize), it’s still the universe.

    No it is not part of what has traditionally been referred to as “the Universe”. Anything “outside” the space-time, matter and energy bubble of the big-bang, is NOT part of that space-time continuum!

    If a new term needs to be invented, it should be a term for “our piece” (the part that experienced a “big bang” more than 13 billion years ago) of this larger and possibly-much-more-complex-than-we-used-to-think universe.

    I can see no good reason to invent a new name for the existing previously named “Universe”, simply so that you can adhere to an antiquated definition which you choose to include and apply, to an entirely different “area” beyond the boundaries of our space time continuum and which is no part of it!
    Whatever is out there, it is NOT part of our space-time continuum which arose from the big-bang, and which has been known for centuries as “The Universe”!

    The space-time continuum containing Earth, has been known as “The Universe”, since the “Catholic ‘Universal’ Church” was celebrating angels dancing on celestial spheres over a Flat Earth as all that was known, – and then back some to the Greeks and earlier!



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  • @PP

    If I set a student a question and asked them to label all the parts in a diagram that represented all the constituent parts of multiple universes in a space and they came back with a circle around the hole thing labeled ‘Universe”, I think they would have to go back and think about it. Your whole argument is set on expanding the word and then relabelling the smaller parts. One ‘small’ part is our universe with possible other universes existing in another space. Our understanding is a bottom up understanding and we knew of things from a smaller picture so they get named in that way. We cannot now say we use the same name for a larger but fragmented part. Evolution not devolution. Universe has become multiverse but I have no idea if someone has bothered to name the space in between the multiple universes but Megaverse would suit if you can’t come up with a more creative name?



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  • @alan4discussion #42

    Anything “outside” the space-time, matter and energy bubble of the big-bang, is NOT part of that space-time continuum!

    Correct. But it is part of the universe (which some have taken to calling “the multiverse”). For it to exist, it would have to be.

    …so that you can adhere to an antiquated definition…

    I’m not the one adhering to an antiquated definition. I have advocated allowing the definition (what the word “universe” means) to change as we learn more about the thing that the word stands for. If you understand nothing else of what I’ve written here, please try really, really hard to understand that what I’m doing is insisting that the word “universe” gets redefined, automatically, unavoidably, as we learn more about what the universe actually is, and that it is a mistake to fix that definition at some point in time. There is no need for the word “multiverse”. It is redundant. (And, to make matters worse, it is an oxymoron.) There is a need for a new word to stand for the thing we used to think was all there was, because now we know better.



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  • @olli #43

    If I set a student a question and asked them to label all the parts in a diagram that represented all the constituent parts of multiple universes in a space and they came back with a circle around the hole thing labeled ‘Universe”, I think they would have to go back and think about it.

    I agree. Although the label would have been correct, the student would have failed to label any “constituent parts of multiple universes in a space”.

    Your whole argument is set on expanding the word and then relabelling the smaller parts.

    Correct.

    Our understanding is a bottom up understanding and we knew of things from a smaller picture so they get named in that way.

    I agree with you, but this is only true when we are “looking up” to levels of complexity that are larger than us, so that we cannot start at “the top”. However, when we “look down” to smaller things, we generally name the larger things first (because that’s what we see first), and those names generally stick. Then as we pull those things apart and discover the subcomponents, we give them new names. The trouble with the word “universe” is that it was invented to stand for “all that there is” (as far as we know). When “all that there is” becomes “more than we thought it was” (as far as we now know), it is still “all that there is” (as far as we know). The word still works. We don’t need a new one to stand for that. If what we once thought was “all that there is” turns out to be just a small part of “all that we now think there is”, then we need to give that thing a new word.



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  • PeacePecan #44
    Mar 4, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Anything “outside” the space-time, matter and energy bubble of the big-bang, is NOT part of that space-time continuum!

    Correct. But it is part of the universe

    No it isn’t! “Outside” does not include any part of our big-bang generated universe.

    (which some have taken to calling “the multiverse”). For it to exist, it would have to be.

    I don’t think informed persons would seriously call a multiverse a universe.

    so that you can adhere to an antiquated definition

    I’m not the one adhering to an antiquated definition.

    In science, labelling words are to describe the underlying properties of entities. The entities are not modified to adapt to previously used definitions of words which no longer offer accurate descriptions!

    I have advocated allowing the definition (what the word “universe” means) to change as we learn more about the thing that the word stands for.

    No you have not! You have advocated including something entirely different in the original description of the space-time and material of our universe.
    I have to serious doubt that you have any understanding of the mechanisms of the big-bang or the nature of space-time, so perhaps it would be better to play catch-up before making dogmatic statements about choosing definitions which match the scientific evidence which you clearly do not understand.

    I gave you a Cambridge dictionary definition earlier which you have not accepted, so here is an Oxford one to add to it!

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/universe

    (the universe) All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos. The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies; it has been expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.

    You will note this does NOT include anything which is not matter, energy, or space-time, or which was not created by the Big-Bang!

    When we have a definition of a unicycle, all vehicles do not remain defined as a unicycle when we discover new ones with more wheels.
    Bicycles and tricycles are not unicycles, and multiverses are not universes.
    We recognise that everything is not all one lump as the ancients believed due to their ignorance. Each universe is proposed as a separate lump, remote from ours, and arising from big-bangs, each as a separate entity in its own bubble!!
    Multi-bubbles are not uni-bubbles!

    As I pointed out about your previous analogy, it is not credible to claim these are just have some new rooms added to your house, when you discover a new village ten miles down the road!



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  • PeacePecan #44
    Mar 4, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    It is really quite simple to understand. People thought the universe was everything they could see of it, which continued to be true for a while.

    Once its origins were understood and the basics of its nature explained, we knew it had an age, properties, and measurements.
    We also learned that all existing matter, energy and space-time, generated by the Big-Bang was contained within our (one) universe.

    There is no need for the word “multiverse”. It is redundant.

    This is just a silly repeated assertion.
    If other Big-Bangs have created other space-time continuums, then these are new universes remote from ours.

    (And, to make matters worse, it is an oxymoron.)

    That is just silly asserted repetition!

    There is a need for a new word to stand for the thing we used to think was all there was,

    We only thought that there was everything in the bubble generated by the Big-Bang. Once we moved up a scale, that was no longer the presupposed “everything” in one universe.

    because now we know better.

    Some of us know better, but I’m afraid you only think you know better than the published science and the published dictionaries, and hence are bogged down in irrelevant obsolete semantics!

    Next you will be telling me all universities are offering joint education services, because they have “UNI” in the name!



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  • @PP

    It makes no difference whether you go bigger or smaller. You name an atom and then when you find them, you name each part seperately. When you draw a diagram you add to it so each part is recognisable not rename everything. It is a progressive step by step process rather than the confusing mess your suggestion would create.



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  • @alan4discussion #46, 47

    “Outside” does not include any part of our big-bang generated universe.

    That’s true only if you use the word “universe” the way you use it. I don’t use it that way because I reject that definition. What you are calling a multiverse (or is it the multiverse? – it’s so unclear) is what I call the universe.

    I don’t think informed persons would seriously call a multiverse a universe.

    I would think informed persons would call the universe the universe. If they prefer to use the term multiverse to refer to the universe, so be it. I think it’s unnecessary and nonsensical.

    In science, labelling words are to describe the underlying properties of entities. The entities are not modified to adapt to previously used definitions of words which no longer offer accurate descriptions!

    Correct. The word “universe” is used to describe “all that there is (as far as we know)”. “All that there is (as far as we know)” is about as accurate as one can get. It not only works today, but it will continue to work no matter how much more we come to know about “all that there is”..

    You have advocated including something entirely different in the original description of the space-time and material of our universe.

    No, I have not.

    You will note this does NOT include anything which is not matter, energy, or space-time, or which was not created by the Big-Bang!

    And you will note that “anything that is not matter, energy or space-time, or which was not created by the Big-Bang” would still be included in “all that there is” (as far as we know).

    When we have a definition of a unicycle, all vehicles do not remain defined as a unicycle when we discover new ones with more wheels.

    This is not a useful analogy; in fact it is completely misleading and I’m surprised you don’t see it.. The prefix “uni” in this word refers to a part of the whole (the wheel). The prefix is not meant to suggest that it is the one, the only of “its kind” that exists, as the prefix does mean in the word “universe”.

    Multi-bubbles are not uni-bubbles!

    Correct. If “multi-bubbles” exist, it would be more sensible to refer to them as “foam”. The extents of this “foam” would be called the universe.

    As I pointed out about your previous analogy, it is not credible to claim these are just have some new rooms added to your house, when you discover a new village ten miles down the road!

    In my analogy (an obvious simplification for illustrative purposes), the house, like the universe, is assumed to be “all there is (as far as we know)”. There is no “new village down the road”. (And, if anything beyond the house were ever discovered to exist, it would become a part of the “house”, because in my analogy, the word “house” is used to mean “all there is (as far as we know)”.

    If other Big-Bangs have created other space-time continuums, then these are new universes remote from ours.

    No. If there are “other space-time continuums”, then the universe is different than we thought it was before we discovered this fact. Not only does it consist of the “space-time continuum” that we exist in, but, hey, there are others! Wow, what an amazing universe this is turning out to be! Maybe we could come up with a new word to stand for these “space-time continuums”, including our own, which we used to think was all there is, and which seem to be populating this much more interesting and wondrous universe.

    We only thought that there was everything in the bubble generated by the Big-Bang. Once we moved up a scale, that was no longer the presupposed “everything” in one universe.

    Exactly! The universe is not what we once thought it was. There is more to “everything” than we thought.

    Next you will be telling me all universities are offering joint education services, because they have “UNI” in the name!

    No, I won’t be telling you that. But, since you mention it, that’s not a bad analogy. If a university adds another college or degree to its “repertoire” (making the university different, bigger, more complex than we knew it to be before) do we stop calling it a university? We don’t, because the word still works. We don’t need to introduce the concept of “multiuniversities” to cover this. University has it covered.



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  • 50
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion
    @peacepecan

    PP – “There is no need for the word “multiverse”. It is redundant. ”

    A4d – “This is just a silly repeated assertion.”

    When Edwin Hubble measured the distance to the farthest distant “nebulae” he called them “island universes”.

    Thus, there is precedent for considering “universe” to mean all that exists, and to expand that meaning as our understanding of the expanse of existence expands, since shortly after Hubble’s measurements the notion of “island universe” was dropped, and all the galaxies and all of known space became “the universe”.

    So, if we continue this precedent then multiverse is indeed redundant, and we should expand our definition of universe, and stop calling our local big bang “the universe”, just as we stopped calling our local galaxy “the universe” once we realized ours is not the only one.

    But, if for some reason, one wishes to halt this process of expansion of the understanding of what is in all that exists and calling it “the universe”, and instead call our big bang “the universe” then multiverse is not redundant.

    But why stop with multiverse? I mean, as long as we are speculating on the unevidenced we may as well speculate a multi-multiverse, and a multi-multi-multiverse, ad infinitum.

    I prefer the post Edwin Hubble precedent of always keeping the word “universe” to mean “all of existence” and to stop calling our big bang “the universe” just as we stopped calling our galaxy “the universe” thanks to Edwin Hubble.



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  • @olli #48

    It makes no difference whether you go bigger or smaller.

    Well, yes it does. But the point I was hoping you would pick up on is that when it comes to inventing a word to stand for “the biggest of all possible things”, we should not stop using it to stand for that just because “the biggest of all possible things” got bigger or changed in some other way. If the word “universe” ever meant “all that there is (as far as we know)”, it should always mean that, regardless of how much farther we eventually come to know.



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  • Olgun #52
    Mar 4, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    So what do we call the universe that is universally recognised?
    Remembering the diagram and our own bubble.

    We call it our Universe!

    We call any additional systems the Cosmos of multiverses!

    http://www.britannica.com/science/multiverse

    Multiverse, a hypothetical collection of potentially diverse observable universes, each of which would comprise everything that is experimentally accessible by a connected community of observers. The observable known universe, which is accessible to telescopes, is about 90 billion light-years across. However, this universe would constitute just a small or even infinitesimal subset of the multiverse. The multiverse idea has arisen in many versions, primarily in cosmology, quantum mechanics, and philosophy, and often asserts the actual physical existence of different potential configurations or histories of the known observable universe.

    One useful way to classify multiverse models is by the degree to which the universes proposed by the model are connected—that is, by the degree to which they are part of a single system described by a well-defined physical and mathematical framework, generally with a common origin and possibly even interacting with one another.

    We don’t need new words! Those familiar with the subject already know the terminology of cosmology!



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  • Stardusty Psyche #50
    Mar 4, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    When Edwin Hubble measured the distance to the farthest distant “nebulae” he called them “island universes”.

    That was his mistake, which was corrected when they were confirmed as galaxies, not universes.

    Thus, there is precedent for considering “universe” to mean all that exists, and to expand that meaning as our understanding of the expanse of existence expands, since shortly after Hubble’s measurements the notion of “island universe” was dropped, and all the galaxies and all of known space became “the universe”.

    Indeed all known space-time is known as “THE UNIVERSE” but once we reach the boundaries of space-time, matter, and energy, generated by our Big Bang, it only describes “all that exists from the Big-Bang expansion”. Beyond that, we are looking at something quite different!

    I prefer the post Edwin Hubble precedent of always keeping the word “universe” to mean “all of existence” and to stop calling our big bang “the universe” just as we stopped calling our galaxy “the universe” thanks to Edwin Hubble.

    I thought you just posted his quote about separate “island universes”, suggesting he thought there was more than one!

    As I explained earlier, the physics of the universe and descriptive labels, are not decided by personal preferences, they are decided on evidence-based calculations and deductions. (evaluated by a consensus of specialist peers).

    But why stop with multiverse? I mean, as long as we are speculating on the unevidenced we may as well speculate a multi-multiverse, and a multi-multi-multiverse, ad infinitum.

    The multiverse hypotheses are not totally “unevidenced”, so if the evidence and mathematics are found to support a wider concept of the cosmos, – why not?
    If they are refuted, they will be discarded, as is usual in science.
    Nobody knows the full scale of the cosmos – and never will know more, unless they investigate and think about it! (Using science and mathematics – not semantics).



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  • PeacePecan #49
    Mar 4, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    “Outside” does not include any part of our big-bang generated universe.

    That’s true only if you use the word “universe” the way you use it. I don’t use it that way because I reject that definition.

    The writers of scientific papers and dictionaries, are really not interested in whether you choose to reject the normal cosmological definition or not!

    PeacePecan #55- Mar 5, 2016 at 6:11 am

    So what do we call the universe that is universally recognised?
    Remembering the diagram and our own bubble.

    Oh, I don’t know. Got any ideas? ?

    You could try reading the Oxford Dictionary definition I gave you earlier!
    That is a common method of finding correct definitions!

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/universe
    .The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies; it has been expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.

    Another method, would to read the science/cosmology links provided, and note the use of the plural “universes” or the term “multiverse”! 🙂
    .. . or am I getting too technical?

    You could even go back to the Cambridge Dictionary I linked earlier, which explains in a third definition, that the term “universe” may be used to describe that which is contained within a particular context and does not necessarily have to be expanded to the maximum macro-scale!

    Cambridge Dictionary – UNIVERSE:
    [S] the ​world, or the ​world that you are ​familiar with:
    His ​family is his ​whole universe (= everything that is ​important to him).



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  • 59
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion #54

    SP – “When Edwin Hubble measured the distance to the farthest distant “nebulae” he called them “island universes”. ”

    That was his mistake, which was corrected when they were confirmed as galaxies, not universes.

    Indeed, a mistake to think the limits of our present observation is a universe and when we discover or hypothesize of other such structures to call them additional universes.

    Rather, we ought to keep the definition of “universe” to always mean “all of existence” and expand our ideas of what the entirety of existence is composed of.

    Rather than the grammatically awkward notion of a multiverse of universes we ought to refer to a universe of at least 1 but potentially many big bangs.

    I thought you just posted his quote about separate “island universes”, suggesting he thought there was more than one!

    Yes, thanks to Edwin Hubble we gained the technical knowledge of the distances to other galaxies as well as the distance/speed relationship. Hubble himself used the grammatically awkward term of “island universes” early in the process of his work because it was commonly believed that our galaxy was the universe, but thanks to his work we shed our notion that our galaxy is the universe, and we ought now shed our notion that our big bang is necessarily the universe.

    once we reach the boundaries of space-time, matter, and energy, generated by our Big Bang, it only describes “all that exists from the Big-Bang expansion”. Beyond that, we are looking at something quite different!

    Speculation. We have no evidence or theories to describe

    “space-time, matter, and energy, generated by our Big Bang”

    We have no established physics prior to the electroweak epoch. The origin of space-time, matter, and energy are speculative at this time and have not been shown in any way to have been “generated by our Big Bang”

    The multiverse hypotheses are not totally “unevidenced”

    Really? Please send me the link to the observational evidence for the so called multiverse. Ok, how about an actual set of equations that describe what the multiverse is made of and how a big bang arises from it and has at least one solution that leads to our big bang?

    And please do not send me some arm waving nonsense about something from nothing. I can write 0 = 1 but it doesn’t mean anything other than I am capable of restating the gibberish others push off as science.



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  • 60
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion
    You could try reading the Oxford Dictionary definition I gave you earlier!
    That is a common method of finding correct definitions!

    universe
    Pronunciation: /ˈjuːnɪvəːs/
    Definition of universe in English:
    noun
    1 (the universe) All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos.

    Hoisted on your own petard much?

    If matter and space exist in another big bang it is part of the universe, it is part of the cosmos.

    The universe is the cosmos, all of it, by your own source.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #59
    Mar 5, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    SP – “When Edwin Hubble measured the distance to the farthest distant “nebulae” he called them “island universes”. ”

    That was his mistake, which was corrected when they were confirmed as galaxies, not universes.

    Indeed, a mistake to think the limits of our present observation is a universe

    Hubble’s mistake was to initially confuse nebulae, galaxies and universes. It has nothing to do with the separate limitations of present human technologies, the limits setting the boundaries of the OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE, or the limits of the physical universe generated by the big bang!

    and when we discover or hypothesize of other such structures to call them additional universes.

    .. . .and none of Hubble’s discoveries, should be conflated with multiverse hypotheses.

    Rather, we ought to keep the definition of “universe” to always mean “all of existence”

    That is a semantic notion, based on the confused notions previously listed. We have defined boundaries of our universe.
    We do not know the extent or nature of “all of existence” other than that!

    and expand our ideas of what the entirety of existence is composed of.

    That is precisely what multiverse hypotheses are trying to do using mathematical projections.

    Rather than the grammatically awkward notion of a multiverse of universes we ought to refer to a universe of at least 1 but potentially many big bangs.

    There is nothing awkward about distinguishing our universe generated by our Big Bang from a hypothetical potential multiverse of other universes independently created.

    I thought you just posted his quote about separate “island universes”, suggesting he thought there was more than one!

    Yes, thanks to Edwin Hubble we gained the technical knowledge of the distances to other galaxies as well as the distance/speed relationship. Hubble himself used the grammatically awkward term of “island universes” early in the process of his work, but thanks to his work we shed our notion that our galaxy is the universe,

    Hubble had various incorrect opinions which have since been corrected, but he did invaluable research in expanding our view of the universe as a collection of distributed galaxies.

    https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Hubble

    and we ought now shed our notion that our big bang is necessarily the universe.

    That is a non-sequitur! – and is pure supposition which fails to recognise the limits of our universe!

    *once we reach the boundaries of space-time, matter, and energy, generated by our Big Bang, it only describes “all that exists from the Big-Bang expansion”. Beyond that, we are looking at something quite different!

    Speculation. We have no evidence or theories to describe

    “space-time, matter, and energy, generated by our Big Bang”

    That is nonsense! The whole of our universe is composed of matter and energy from the Big-Bang!

    No theories????? – The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the universe from the earliest known periods through its subsequent large-scale evolution.
    There is also experimental work on quantum physics!

    We have no established physics prior to the electroweak epoch. The origin of space-time, matter, and energy are speculative at this time and have not been shown in any way to have been “generated by our Big Bang”

    Whatever is unknown about the early seconds of the Big-Bang, the generation and evolution of the universe from the period of inflation onward, is mapped out in terms of time, energy, and atoms condensing to form matter!

    The multiverse hypotheses are not totally “unevidenced”

    Really? Please send me the link to the observational evidence for the so called multiverse.

    These are highly speculative and hypothetical. They are based on other complex work on theoretical physics and mathematics, but may well be refuted by new evidence.

    Until they are confirmed or refuted, I see know reason to pretend they are part of our universe for which we have substantial evidence and defined parameters.

    As I explained at – Alan4discussion #30 – Mar 4, 2016 at 8:48 am I am sceptical about multiverse hypotheses, (but keep an open mind because of the complexity of the issues).

    @30 – I’m not a convert to various multiverse/ multi universe hypotheses,

    . . .but that does not mean I accept semantic based claims about our universe, based on antiquated definitions, or personal incredulity.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #60
    Mar 5, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    1 (the universe) All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos.

    Hoisted on your own petard much?

    Nope! I am talking science, not semantics!

    Dictionary writers try to cover the full spectrum of definitions.

    You have evidence of “space” / “Space-time” outside the boundaries of our universe? – Even if there is space-time from speculated other Big-Bangs, that says nothing about the gaps between universes! Anything beyond the appox. 10 billion light year diameter of our universe, is not “space” as we know it!

    Of course if we give up silly semantics and quote-mining, it is obvious from the rest of the definition on my link, that this was referring to the context of our Big-Bang generated universe giving its approximate size, age, and content!

    1 (the universe) All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos.
    .The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies; it has been expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.

    If matter and space exist in another big bang it is part of the universe, it is part of the cosmos.

    The universe is the cosmos, all of it, by your own source.

    Nope! It is by your misinterpretation and misunderstanding of my source.

    I have suggested the more inclusive term “cosmos” to distinguish it from specifically our universe, when trying to rationally discuss physical features of the universe, but I am aware of possible misunderstandings in doing so.

    While cosmologists study the physics of the generation and functioning of the universe(s?) galaxies, and star systems, I am aware the that the Russian word “cosmos” (KOCMOC) means “space”, leaving possible ambiguities.



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  • 65
    Pinball1970 says:

    So many terms and discussions of them I have totally forgotten the point of the OP.

    I think there was some physics in there somewhere..



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  • Alan4discussion #62
    Mar 5, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    It’s getting to be a long thread, so I will link back to a previous post of mine for clarification.

    SP – Indeed, a mistake to think the limits of our present observation is a universe

    You will see from the link below, that astronomers and cosmologists do not do that! They are quite clear about the three separate boundaries.

    Hubble’s mistake was to initially confuse nebulae, galaxies and universes.
    It has nothing to do with the separate limitations of present human technologies, the limits setting the boundaries of the OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE, or the limits of the physical universe generated by the big bang!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/02/when-will-the-universe-end-not-for-at-least-2-8-billion-years/#li-comment-199309

    Of course, we can’t even see all of the Observable Universe, because at present our technology is not good enough to reach out to that boundary of possible observation, which is determined by the age of the Universe and the speed of light.

    The Hubble Space Telescope has spied the most distant galaxy yet.

    It is so far away that the light from this extremely faint collection of stars, catalogued as GN-z11, has taken some 13.4 billion years to reach us.

    Or to put that another way – Hubble sees the galaxy as it was just 400 million years after the Big Bang.

    “When the telescope was launched we were investigating galaxies a little over half-way back in cosmic history. Now, we’re going 97% of the way back. It really is a tremendous achievement,” he told BBC News.



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  • 67
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion
    Of course if we give up silly semantics and quote-mining, it is obvious from the rest of the definition on my link, that this was referring to the context of our Big-Bang generated universe giving its approximate size, age, and content!

    1 (the universe) All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos.
    .The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies; it has been expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.

    Your quoted source undermines your own position.

    But, actually, there is no god of English. There are no English language authorities. But there are some conventions that are fairly broadly accepted.

    The first definition in a dictionary is the strongest, the most direct, the most common in the opinion of the author. Further words after the primary definition are typically an attempt at explanation by use of synonyms, use in context, generally reflecting common ideas of the day, The universe is believed to be which, in science, are often found later to be incorrect or inaccurate.

    The first definition, the strong and simple definition of the word itself, strongly contradicts the very point you are attempting to make. Your own source contradicts you.

    If the existence of other big bangs is ever scientifically established then to be consistent the Oxford dictionary should keep its primary definition but modify its attempt at explanatory elaboration.

    While cosmologists study the physics of the generation and functioning of the universe(s?) galaxies, and star systems, I am aware the that the Russian word “cosmos” (KOCMOC) means “space”, leaving possible ambiguities

    Your own source contradicts you, again. The primary synonym for “universe” is “cosmos” by your own cited source.

    The multiverse hypotheses are not totally “unevidenced”

    SP – ” Really? Please send me the link to the observational evidence for the so called multiverse.”

    These are highly speculative and hypothetical. They are based on other complex work on theoretical physics and mathematics, but may well be refuted by new evidence.

    Like I said, totally lacking in evidence.

    SP “Speculation. We have no evidence or theories to describe
    “space-time, matter, and energy, generated by our Big Bang””

    That is nonsense! The whole of our universe is composed of matter and energy from the Big-Bang!

    There is no evidence the big bang somehow “generated” any matter/energy. Everything we know about physics tells us matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed.

    I know, we have Krauss running around telling us that 0 = 1. I suppose that sells books to the credulous, but it is nothing remotely resembling science and there certainly is no evidence whatsoever for “something from nothing”.



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  • 68
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @olli #61
    So what do we [call] each bubble that might or might not exist then SP.

    Yes, interesting question, sorry, I don’t have a catchy term to coin here. Apparently “galaxy” comes from “milk”, of course a reference to the cloudy band of stars in the night sky.
    gal·ax·y
    ˈɡaləksē/
    Origin
    late Middle English (originally referring to the Milky Way): via Old French from medieval Latin galaxia, from Greek galaxias (kuklos ) ‘milky (vault),’ from gala, galakt- ‘milk.’

    Maybe there is a cool sounding word in Greek or Latin for bubble, or expansion, or explosion, or bang, or spawn?



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  • Stardusty Psyche #67
    Mar 5, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    Your quoted source undermines your own position.

    It doesn’t! It is a dictionary, which as I explained, is quoting common and ancient usages in addition to scientific terminology.

    But, actually, there is no god of English. There are no English language authorities. But there are some conventions that are fairly broadly accepted.

    Correct.

    The universe is believed to be which, in science, are often found later to be incorrect or inaccurate.

    This is just gratuitous doubt-mongering. The 3 boundaries I have pointed out are physical and well evidenced, not semantic!

    You seem more interested in “winning” some semantic nit-picking contest, than in agreeing on scientific answers!

    multiverse

    Like I said, totally lacking in evidence.

    But not lacking the possibility of evidence! – hence the speculative discussion on the possibilities of known physics occurring outside of our universe..

    SP “Speculation. We have no evidence or theories to describe
    “space-time, matter, and energy, generated by our Big Bang””

    That is nonsense! The whole of our universe is composed of matter and energy from the Big-Bang!

    There is no evidence the big bang somehow “generated” any matter/energy. Everything we know about physics tells us matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed.

    When we talk about “generating electricity”, or generating heat, we are not talking about conjuring energy out of thin air! We are talking about transforming one source of energy into another. Similarly in the Big-Bang, energy is transformed from quantum “particles”, generating atoms etc. as it expands to form the universe.

    I know, we have Krauss running around telling us that 0 = 1. I suppose that sells books to the credulous, but it is nothing remotely resembling science and there certainly is no evidence whatsoever for “something from nothing”.

    The source of the energy for the Big-Bang is unknown, but Krauss is reasonably speculating that as matter and anti-matter annihilate each other on colliding, (+1)+(-1)+0, the process may be reversible by some means, or as a side effect of some other reaction.



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  • SP 68

    Well at least you went there. Lets retrospectively change all the names just to make your point. You claim a name for something you say might not be there and screw what we know it to be. A rediculous amount of time and space ( 🙂 I. Our universe) spent on backing up a silly assertion made. The equivalent of Pinochios growing nose.



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  • @olli #61

    So what do we [call] each bubble that might or might not exist then SP.

    I know you weren’t asking me, but how about this: if the universe is like a collection of bubbles, a sort of “foam”, which could also be thought of as “suds”, then how’s about we refer to our little “bubble” as a Separate Universal Domain (which could be abbreviated SUD!).



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  • @ PP

    I did ask you somewhere PP. maybe on the other thread?

    What is the point? If you are going to name something then name that which has not been named. We did not know of multiverses when we named our universe so as things grow you name the new not rename the old. We still don’t know for sure so what happens when it’s all wrong? We rename everything again? Rediculous way to carry on.



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  • @olli #73

    If you are going to name something then name that which has not been named.

    Exactly.

    What is the point?

    The answer is contained in previous comments. I’m sorry that you (and others, apparently) don’t understand the argument. (And I’m thankful for those who do.) I’ve done “my best (for now)”. But if it turns out that at some later time I’m able to do better, then that will become “my best”, and I will continue to refer to it as “my best”, even though it may be better than what “my best” is now.

    Thanks for participating.



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  • @ PP

    I understand and appreciate but your best grows along with the universe and does not become something else. The universe growing at or near the speed of light (A little faster than your best I think? 😉 ). A caterpillar is not a butterfly. A Universe is not a multiverse or a megaverse.



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  • @ olli #75

    Again, I’m sorry, but based on those comments, it appears that you don’t understand. It also appears that I am currently unable to help you understand, so this is my last comment to you on this subject in this discussion thread.

    Thanks, again.



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  • PeacePecan #76
    Mar 6, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Again, I’m sorry, but based on those comments, it appears that you don’t understand. It also appears that I am currently unable to help you understand, so this is my last comment to you on this subject in this discussion thread.

    The problem appears to be that you don’t understand the physics or the astronomy, so are just playing with fanciful words which do not connect to the material reality!
    I understand what you are saying quite clearly, but also understand that your words do not describe the features of our universe or recognise its boundaries.
    Scientific descriptions are not simply plucked out of the air or made up by linguists!



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  • 79
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion

    SP “Your quoted source undermines your own position. ”

    It doesn’t! It is a dictionary, which as I explained,

    Ok, Alan, that is equivalent to stating “sez you” as a retort. The first line of the definition you provided clearly defines the “universe” to mean ” All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos.”

    By your own source “universe” means the whole of existence.

    By your own source “universe” and “cosmos” are synonyms.

    Just coming back with “It doesn’t” is a meaningless response.

    Krauss is reasonably speculating that as matter and anti-matter annihilate each other on colliding, (+1)+(-1)+0, the process may be reversible by some means,

    I think you meant
    (+1)+(-1)=0
    By simple arithmetic, you are correct of course. But that is not any kind of accurate representation of a matter/antimatter “annihilation”. The word “annihilate” is unfortunate because it leads to the misconception you have demonstrated here, that the particles somehow disappear from existence and become 0, leading to the notion that 0 could somehow spontaneously give rise to the particles in a “reasonable speculation” that “the process may be reversible by some means”.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that when matter and antimatter collide matter/energy are conserved. Nothing is created or destroyed. A gamma photon or other products are the result.

    For the process to be reversed to produce a big bang one would first need a very great many gamma photons, not 0.

    We have no theories of any viable sort that describe the destruction of matter/energy to 0, and therefore no reasonable speculations of reversing any such reaction to create matter/energy from 0.

    This whole notion of something from nothing is mere arm waving and equivocation on the meaning of the word “nothing”.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #79
    Mar 6, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I think you meant
    (+1)+(-1)=0

    Yes – Sorry about the typo.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that when matter and antimatter collide matter/energy are conserved. Nothing is created or destroyed. A gamma photon or other products are the result.

    For the process to be reversed to produce a big bang one would first need a very great many gamma photons, not 0.

    We simply do not know what inputs, fields, or forces, may have been involved.
    We do know that absolute “nothing” does not exist in our universe! (There is radiation, gravity, etc. everywhere throughout space-time)

    The theoretical physicist and cosmologist Professor Krauss’s position is explained here:-

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_M._Krauss#Scientific_work



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  • SP #79

    It is not a question of matter and antimatter anihilating, this would merely turn stuff into energy. It is that the positive energy of stuff-times-C-squared (stuff being mostly dark matter, matter then just a teeny bit of anti-matter) is probably balanced exactly by all the negative (potential) energy of the gravitational fields. The Universe, in other words, appears “flat”. It will not “bounce” into a big-crunch, nor will it expand forever.

    Flatness is given by the Cosmological Curvature parameter-

    Results of the Planck mission released in 2015 show the cosmological curvature parameter, ΩK, to be 0.000±0.005, coincident with a flat universe.

    This carelful balance of energy and matter is a strong indicator that the universe is net nothing.



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  • The linked definition in question:-
    1 (the universe) All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos.
    The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies; it has been expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.

    Stardusty Psyche #79
    Mar 6, 2016 at 9:49 am

    The first line of the definition you provided clearly defines the “universe” to mean ” All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos.”

    By your own source “universe” means the whole of existence.

    You seem to fail to understand the difference between, “All existing matter and space ” (ie. the products of the big-bang”) and, “the whole of existence” – whatever that may mean and which you are suggesting means something more!

    I have already explained this @64.

    @64 – .You have evidence of “space” / “Space-time” outside the boundaries of our universe? – Even if there is space-time from speculated other Big-Bangs, that says nothing about the gaps between universes! Anything beyond the appox. 10 billion light year diameter of our universe, is not “space” as we know it!

    Of course if we give up silly semantics and quote-mining, it is obvious from the rest of the definition on my link, that this was referring to the context of our Big-Bang generated universe giving its approximate size, age, and content!

    By your own source “universe” and “cosmos” are synonyms.

    I explained earlier that the use of “cosmos” is ambiguous.

    Why are you so determined not to understand cosmology?



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  • 83
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @alan4discussion
    “All existing matter and space ” (ie. the products of the big-bang”)

    Why do you limit your thinking such that all existing matter and space must be in our big bang.? Rather unimaginative of you I should say.

    I mean, that’s what the so-called multiverse is all about, right? The notion that there can be matter and space that is not a part of our big bang, rather, resides in a conceivably vast number of big bangs.

    By this notion, the “products of “the” big bang” ( conceivably a misnomer for our big bang) are just a tiny bit of Oxford’s “All existing matter and space ”.

    “Universe” has traditionally meant all of existence. As our understanding of all of existence expanded over the years, all new discoveries have by tradition been folded into the umbrella term of “universe”. That tradition makes good sense to me.

    For some reason you want to stop this traditional process rather arbitrarily at our big bang. I think that is grammatically a bad idea.

    In truth, I don’t care all that much about what the Oxford dictionary says. Even though it is my favorite dictionary, it is not the ultimate authority on English. There is no such authority. There is no god of our language.

    It’s just that you continually cite sources in your arguments that actually contain assertions against your arguments. Why do you continually do so?



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  • 84
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @olli
    This carelful balance of energy and matter is a strong indicator that the universe is net nothing.

    Funny, I feel like something!

    I know, there is a lot of arm waving silliness “out there” about the net energy of the universe as zero. Supposedly there is this mysterious thing called “negative energy” that balances “positive energy” so this woo version of cosmology yields a zero energy universe.

    Energy and mass are equivalent.
    E=mc^2
    This is also a restatement of conservation.

    There is no such thing as negative mass, or negative energy. Potential energy expressions use a sign convention to work out gravitational systems models.

    If we follow the notion of an increasingly expansive universe then we seem to have more energy than is good for us and we are rapidly heading toward an expansive oblivion.

    But, according to the article cited, we have at least 2.8 billion years to ponder our fate! I was worried there for a minute 🙂

    Krauss can equivocate about the word “nothing” to sell books to the credulous but please do excuse me if I do not buy woo.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #83
    Mar 6, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    @alan4discussion – “All existing matter and space ” (ie. the products of the big-bang”)

    Why do you limit your thinking such that all existing matter and space must be in our big bang.?

    All the matter in our universe began as condensing (hydrogen and helium) atoms in the inflating energy bubble of our universe.
    Do you propose some other source of matter not arising from the Big-Bang(s)?

    I asked you if you had evidence, that the known products of the Big-Bang (matter, microwave background radiation, space-time, gravity{property of the mass of those atoms} etc.), would exist beyond the frontiers of the expansion front of our inflating universe which arose from the Big-Bang?

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/02/when-will-the-universe-end-not-for-at-least-2-8-billion-years/#li-comment-199448

    You have only produced rhetoric and a reversed question in place of an answer!

    Rather unimaginative of you I should say.

    I am quoting the properties of our universe confirmed in cosmology and astrophysics, which have been identified and measured.
    I leave the fantasy imagination to you, until such time as you quote some scientific evidence or even the possibility of some evidence!

    The dictionary quotes were only introduced for the benefit of those preoccupied with semantics, and oblivious to the science, which appeared to be beyond their comprehension!



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  • SP #84

    I’m not a huge fan of Krauss and agree the equivocation over “nothing” is unedifying. But the guy was right over dark energy well ahead of the curve and the apparent flatness of the Universe undoubtedly has some significance.

    The construct of negative energy is an old (86 years!) and venerable one after it fell out of the Dirac equation solution and whilst there are many ways to view this, it is not in any way a resolved matter. Feynman’s time reversal accounts, with some work, may be right, but solutions to alleviate the problem of photon emission (say) building infinite negative energies might well be possible by, for instance, simply observing that this could be the runaway generative process that may happen (after some [local] zero barrier is crossed) once in a quantum while, the radiation becoming stuff. Anti-matter seemed like pure metaphysics, but as Karl Popper points out this is what great scientific hypotheses contain.



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  • Alan4discussion #86
    Mar 7, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I am quoting the properties of our universe confirmed in cosmology and astrophysics, which have been identified and measured.

    . . .Along with some which are inferred from evidence.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_the_universe

    In the first phase, the very earliest universe was so hot, or energetic, that initially no matter particles existed or could exist perhaps only fleetingly. According to prevailing scientific theories, at this time the distinct forces we see around us today were joined in one unified force. Space-time itself expanded during an inflationary epoch due to the immensity of the energies involved.

    In the second phase, the resulting quark–gluon plasma universe then cooled further, the current fundamental forces we know take their present forms through further symmetry breaking – notably the breaking of electroweak symmetry – and the full range of complex and composite particles we see around us today became possible, leading to a gravitationally dominated universe, the first neutral atoms (~ 80% hydrogen), and the cosmic microwave background radiation we can detect today. Modern high energy particle physics theories are satisfactory at these energy levels, and so physicists believe they have a good understanding of this and subsequent development of the fundamental universe around us.



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  • Pinball1970 #65
    Mar 5, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    So many terms and discussions of them I have totally forgotten the point of the OP.

    I think there was some physics in there somewhere..

    It does make a rational scientific discussion difficult, when after numerous posts and explanations, some commentators are still struggling to understand the cosmological terminology in the title of this New Scientist article!

    @OP – When will the universe end?
    We’re safe for now. The way the universe is expanding . . . . . . ,



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  • What Krauss is doing by saying that there are positive and negative energies and they add to nothing is a perfectly reasonable way to describe, using common language, perfectly reasonable formulations of matter and energy in the Einstein Field Equations. Plenty of cosmologists do this and speak in those terms. Alan Guth most prominent among them describes the positive energy of matter canceling with the negative energy of gravity. It is rough language but can be backed up by mathematically modifying the EFE to include a gravitational energy term (normally they do not).

    When this is done, one can get a zero energy universe out of it with as much stuff as you want balanced by this new gravitational term.

    The only legitimate complaint against this is that it is unnecessary. Sean Carroll argues that we should just tell people that in the EFE a dynamic space can impart energy to matter and take energy away. So in an expanding universe energy is not globally conserved and total energy of the universe is not well defined.

    Note that this revelation lends no comfort whatsoever to crackpots who insist on building perpetual motion or free energy machines. Total energy can be well defined for a local system and shown to be conserved.



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  • Bloody hell ! Should I be making my will ?

    Actually I was quite amused by Hitchens when he said the Andromeda galaxy is approaching our galaxy at some frightening speed, almost as if that meant the “end” in a few million / billion years. What boggles me is the distance between stars, so that galaxies can and do pass through each other with the occasional head on collision but otherwise only gravitational effects take over and distort both galaxies. Well documented in astronomy are “colliding” galaxies.

    As to the definition of “universe”, perhaps we should refer to Eric Idle, writer of A4D’s beloved Galaxy Song, ” Don’t ask me, I only wrote the song!”



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  • Mr DArcy #91
    Mar 7, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Actually I was quite amused by Hitchens when he said the Andromeda galaxy is approaching our galaxy at some frightening speed, almost as if that meant the “end” in a few million / billion years.

    Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies Collision Simulated | Video 1minute 16 seconds.
    Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have developed this simulation of the head-on collision of our Milky Way galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy. Estimated to occur in 4 billion years.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4disyKG7XtU



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  • 94
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @david-r-allen #85
    What’s your take on the increasing acceleration of the expansion of the universe. What do you think is responsible.

    We used to call that the sixty four thousand dollar question! I would be a very notable physicist indeed if I could answer that.

    Humanity is quit apparently lacking in some very fundamental knowledge of the true nature of our physical existence.

    The acceleration of expansion is a fairly recent discovery based on using supernova measurements as standard candles. That seems reasonable and the methodology has been reviewed thoroughly, but it should remain at least a consideration that we might be doing something fundamentally wrong in using that process.

    Or, there is something fundamentally wrong with the standard model, which so far has been highly successful in a very great many ways. “Dark” just means unknown and not emitting detectable electromagnetic radiation, so dark matter and dark energy have been asserted. Nobody knows what this mysterious 96% is, nor has a means been devised to detect or measure it in the lab.

    So, physics and cosmology are far from complete, and I find it quite premature to insist upon call our big bang a word that has been traditionally reserved for all of existence, and expanded in scope to fit all of existence every time our understand expands.



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  • 95
    Stardusty Psyche says:

    @northampton #90
    What Krauss is doing by saying that there are positive and negative energies and they add to nothing is a perfectly reasonable way to describe, using common language

    In other words, popularizing woo.

    EFE a dynamic space can impart energy to matter and take energy away.

    We don’t even know what space is. “Space imparts energy to matter” It might be nice to figure out what 96% of the universe is even made of before making that kind of assertion.

    Sean Carroll argues that we should just tell people that in the EFE a dynamic space can impart energy to matter and take energy away. So in an expanding universe energy is not globally conserved and total energy of the universe is not well defined.

    In other words “before we sell woo to the public we should get our stories straight”.

    Total energy can be well defined for a local system and shown to be conserved.

    This is particularly poor reasoning. Our local space is not special. If matter/energy is conserved in our local space, then it is conserved in a space 10 times as large and 10^10 times as large. If matter/energy can just poof into existence in a large space it can do so in a small space.

    One can dress up woo and sell it between the covers of a book authored by an otherwise respectable scientist, and it helps the sale if a number of technical terms are used in an authoritative sounding way. Chopra has made a fortune doing this and very sadly the “something from nothing” crowd has chosen to take a bite out of the woo apple as well.



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  • Stardusty Psyche #83
    Mar 6, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Alan4discussion – “All existing matter and space ” (ie. the products of the big-bang”)

    It’s just that you continually cite sources in your arguments that actually contain assertions against your arguments. Why do you continually do so?

    Really??? Is the cosmological definition so hard to understand?

    Cosmology: The Study of the Universe

    http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/

    Cosmology is the scientific study of the large scale properties of the universe as a whole. It endeavors to use the scientific method to understand the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the entire Universe. Like any field of science, cosmology involves the formation of theories or hypotheses about the universe which make specific predictions for phenomena that can be tested with observations. Depending on the outcome of the observations, the theories will need to be abandoned, revised or extended to accommodate the data. The prevailing theory about the origin and evolution of our Universe is the so-called Big Bang theory.

    This primer in cosmological concepts is organized as follows:

    The main concepts of the Big Bang theory are introduced in the first section with scant regard to actual observations.

    The second section discusses the classic tests of the Big Bang theory that make it so compelling as the most likely valid and accurate description of our universe.

    The third section discusses observations that highlight limitations of the Big Bang theory and point to a more detailed model of cosmology than the Big Bang theory alone provides. As discussed in the first section, the Big Bang theory predicts a range of possibilities for the structure and evolution of the universe.

    The final section discusses what constraints we can place on the nature of our universe based on current data, and indicates how WMAP furthers our understanding of cosmology.



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  • David R Allen @39on this other discussion sums it up quite nicely!
    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/03/no-big-bang-quantum-equation-predicts-universe-has-no-beginning/#li-comment-199516
    In summary, if you want to discuss something that is scientific, there are accepted standard definitions. This is so we know what we are talking about. If you want to write you own definitions for the universe, by all means do so, but to try and impose your personal definition on a scientific discussion, where the definitions are set by the standard science of the day, is a bit pointless.



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  • It seems there is a need to go back to basics!

    http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/universe.html

    UNIVERSE 101
    .Our Universe. . . .
    So far, we have only described the Big Bang model in general terms: on the largest scales we can observe, the universe appears nearly uniform, it is currently expanding, and there is strong evidence that it was hotter and denser in the past. Now we would like the answers to some more specific questions:
    ..
    What types of matter and energy fill the universe? How much of each?

    How rapidly is the universe expanding today?

    How old is the universe today?

    What is the overall shape of the universe? Open, flat, closed, or otherwise?

    How is the expansion changing with time?

    What is the ultimate fate of the universe?



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  • Moderator message

    Since comment #96 does in fact contain the cosmological definition of the term ‘universe’ and is also the sense in which the term is used in the OP, we would ask all users to now let the nit-picking over semantics drop. Further contributions to what we consider a dead-end subject will be removed. Comments on the content of the OP are of course still welcome.

    The mods



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  • @Stardusty Psyche #95

    In other words, popularizing woo.

    No, the point was there is physics behind those statements that makes them perfectly reasonable things to say. However difficult it is to translate into generally understandable phrases, the statements follow the physics. If you want no popularizing, the physics is to integrate the stress-energy-momentum tensor in the EFE into a Landau-Lifshitz psuedotensor and then use the field equations to derive a general relativistic stress-energy-momentum 4-vector to define conservation of energy in general relativity. This is not popularizing woo. This is General Relativity and it works.

    We don’t even know what space is. “Space imparts energy to matter” It might be nice to figure out what 96% of the universe is even made of before making that kind of assertion.

    That is the assertion of General Relativity. GR says matter and energy interacts with space-time dynamically. This is the whole point of GR. And again, GR works. Saying it doesn’t work or isn’t valid because you don’t know what space is makes no sense. I don’t know what gravity is but I can successfully launch functioning spacecraft and intricately coordinate satellites using precise laws of gravity. We do not need to know what things are to know how they work.

    In other words “before we sell woo to the public we should get our stories straight”.

    They (Krauss and Carroll for example) are telling the same story. The argument is over what language to use. Or which method to solve an equation. Carroll is disagreeing about delivery, not necessarily content.

    This is particularly poor reasoning. Our local space is not special. If matter/energy is conserved in our local space, then it is conserved in a space 10 times as large and 10^10 times as large. If matter/energy can just poof into existence in a large space it can do so in a small space.

    A couple of points:
    One, our local space is distinguishable from the larger space around it, i.e. the solar system does not behave like the galaxy and our galaxy is not well modeled by the rules that govern larger swaths of galactic clusters. In other words cosmological principles do not apply locally and local principles do not necessarily apply cosmologically or will likely emerge as very different looking laws.

    Two, all conservation is local. If conservation laws were truly global then a star in our galaxy could just disappear so long as an equal amount of energy content (say a star just like it) came into being in the Andromeda galaxy. Rules on cosmological scales are not the same because the conditions are not the same (see 1.) In particular on cosmological scales GR says space is dynamic (expanding in our case). Further, GR says energy conservation is not guaranteed in a dynamic space and total energy is not well defined.

    This can be seen by two cosmological effects: The cosmological redshift of light. All light traveling through the universe is stretched by the changing scale of space (says the equations backed up by observations, I am not claiming to know exactly what space is). Longer wavelength light (redder using our common language) has lower energy. This is happening to all light traveling through the universe. So all light is loosing energy in an expanding universe.

    Dark energy: Dark energy seems to behave like a vacuum energy with within about a percent or so of measurements. This means space has an energy content, however small. But space is expanding. There is more of it all the time. So the dark energy content is getting larger and larger.

    Those effects only matter over cosmological scales and both violate conservation of energy in basic GR. That is because GR does not in general guarantee energy is conserved. Only locally.



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