Saturday, May 26, 2007

Does the Universe Have an Edge?

clipped from

No. That's the simple answer. And I recommend you stop there and be satisfied, because as soon as you dig deeper, you'll be as confused as the average cosmologist.

You're still reading. Okay, here goes: Imagine ants crawling on a balloon. They can crawl forever and never reach an edge; at best, they might return to where they started. Of course now you're thinking, "Hey, if I'm inside the balloon and I head outward, I will hit it and that'll sure seem like an edge." Thing is, the balloon is expanding so rapidly that you'll never get there. And even if you did, those same wacky cosmologists that dreamed up the ants-on-a-balloon explanation say they have no clue whether there is more of our universe (or more universes) beyond the limits of the observable one.

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