The Edge of an Infinite Universe
- Published: 03 April 2019
- Have you ever asked “what is beyond the edge of the universe?” And have you ever been told that an infinite universe that has no edge? You were told wrong. In a sense. We can define a boundary to an infinite universe, at least mathematically. And it turns out that boundary may be as real or even more real than the universe it contains.
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Hosted by Matt O'Dowd
Written by Matt O'Dowd
Graphics by Aaron Halevy
Directing by Andrew Kornhaber
Our universe may be infinite. In order to wrap our puny human minds around such a notion we like to come up with boundaries. For example we have the “observable universe” – that patch that we can see, and beyond which light has not yet had time to reach us. It’s boundary is called the particle horizon. Beyond it there exists at a minimum of thousands and possibly infinitely more regions just as large. Our observable universe is like a tiny patch of land in a vast plain. We define its horizon like we might build a little picket fence around our little patch – meaningless from the point of view of the plain, but it makes our patch feel more homey and us less crushingly insignificant.
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