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The Universe - Open and Closed issue

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posted on May, 16 2006 @ 08:55 AM
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First, to bring anyone not familiar with this subject up to speed...
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Imagine you are 2-dimension, a square perhaps, and that you live in a - correspondinly - 2-dimensional universe. You would have width, and length, but absolutely no height. You would go about your flat life with your flat friends and your flat business, all the while trapped on your 2-dimensional plane of existance.

You have no concept of "up" or "down". These notions don't even exist to you. There's absolutely nothing in your field of experience that can even help you grasp the notion. It's a direction that intersects your existance at a right angle, but which you can have no hope of "pointing" in the direction of. Above and below are meaningless concepts.

However, this up and down do yet exist - invisible and altogether alien as they would be to you.

But let's say that your universe is not actually 2-dimensional. It may be, seemingly, 2-dimensional physically, but on the absolute grandest of scales your universe wraps around itself to form a giant sphere. You would have no clue it's a sphere because you're so tiny, and because you can't see or touch or point or sense this "3rd dimension" - so to you it appears that the universe goes on to infinite in every direction. But if you could somehow mark your exact position in the cosmos, and you began travelling in a PERFECTLY straight line, then eventually you would somehow return back to where you began.

Furthermore, let's pretend this isn't just a sphere, but a balloon - expanding. From your flat surface, everything in the universe appears to be flying away from you. Light from far away objects is red-shifted, because the galaxy it's from actually is receding (2-dimensionally) away from you at an incredible pace.

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This is what astrophysicists think is happening. However, to make it apply for us, you just need to take that example, and shift every dimension up by 1. We are 3-dimensional creatures living in an, otherwise unknown to us, 4-dimensional universe.
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How does the universe fold upon itself? Through gravity. Or, as it should more properly be said, gravity is the cause of the universe folding upon itself. Let's go back to our 2-dimensional concepts. You have a sheet of paper, which is space in your apparently 2-d universe. Put this paper on a bowl, and put something in the middle of the paper. See how this causes the paper to bend? If you were to roll something along this paper, it would fall inwards towards the middle of the bend. This is what gravity is - it's the curvature of space and time in a way that makes it look like things are attracted to each other - when in reality it's just space-time being bent.

So, you often hear about the universe expanding forever, or contracting and destroying itself. The question astrophysicists are looking to answer is whether the universe is

Open

or

Closed?

If the universe is closed, it means that at the moment of inception, the universe had enough mass to close in on itself. It's a balloon that's expanding. Eventually it will slow down, stop, and begin contracting. The simple way of putting it is that, in this universe, if you draw a big enough equilateral triangle, it's angles must add up to MORE than 180 degrees - because the space must curve back in upon itself.

However, if the universe is open, that means it could look like any unconfined 4-d object. One that is often pictured is a "saddle" universe, with space time warping and curving forever, but space will become infinite. The simple way of putting it for this is that, if you draw the same triangle as before, it's angles must add up to LESS than 180 degrees - because the space must be free of interacting with other space.

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However, I recently had an idea

What if the universe is both OPEN and CLOSED at the same time?

We tend to picture the closed universe as being the OUTSIDE surface of an expanding balloon. What if, perhaps, it's the inside surface? In this universe, the triangle would APPEAR to have a triangle with sides less than 180 degrees, but space would be connected.

I wonder what kind of differences this would have to a closed universe, if any?




posted on May, 16 2006 @ 09:41 AM
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Yarium, another good piece.
The best example I've read of scientists trying to explain a forth (or more if super string is your bag and I think, for now, it's mine) dimension is the following. I thought you were going to include it when you mentioned a sheet of paper.

Let's say we have a flat earth in a flat universe consisting of just two dimensions.
Some flat-earthers are having a cook-out in the back yard of a neighbor.

Let's say that one of the party is a physicist who accepts his two dimensional universe.

Let's say that some three dimensional jokester (most likely an experimentalist physicist like the brilliant Leon Lederman) takes a pencil and very carefully inserts the pencil through the paper taking care to avoid the flat earthers and their property.

The flat earthers will stand around the growing hole in their yard, planet, universe, mouths agape looking on in confounded amazement as the hole grows wider and wider.

They will not see the pencil as it is in a third dimension and therefore no more visible to them than the forth dimension, (space-time concept), is to us.

The cook-out finally comes to an end but the physicist remains observing the now stable hole. If he is a theorist he will begin to postulate answers. If he is an experimentalist, he will begin to build models based upon his or some theorist ideas.

Forget 10 dimensions, that will give bible thumpers a migraine.
sayswho



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by Yarium
What if the universe is both OPEN and CLOSED at the same time?

We tend to picture the closed universe as being the OUTSIDE surface of an expanding balloon. What if, perhaps, it's the inside surface? In this universe, the triangle would APPEAR to have a triangle with sides less than 180 degrees, but space would be connected.

Yarium,
The portion of your post that I bolded is not correct.

The triangle you describe would still have angles that sum to more than 180 degrees. Consider a clear balloon. Draw the triangle on the outside. Now go inside the balloon and look out. Trace the outer triangle onto the inner surface of the balloon to see that it's the same triangle.

The "saddle shape" you described is what is necessary for a triangle with angles that sum to less than 180 degrees (hyperbolic surface.) This is also called positive curvature (the other is negative.)

Harte



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 07:04 PM
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Imagine theoretical quantum folk have no more idea about what it is about than Euclid and Aristotle....imagine they perhaps know 1 % more............confusing place we live in....with few answers to the fundamental questions.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 01:01 AM
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Yarium, I never did higher maths or physics in school (although I would have like to now that I look back on it), but your explanations on a subject I love to theorize about make total sense to me. As aways you provide clear and comprehendable explanations to a very complex subject. You never show any bias. Are you a teacher? You should be


This paper explanation (or the rubber sheet one) was the thing that helped me 'comprehend' the 4th dimension and gravity. My opinion on the universe is that it is 'closed' like the balloon. Why? I don't know, it just sounds more 'right'. Now, the issue of the accelerated expansion is very weird. If we take the balloon model, its as if the air going into the balloon is constantly increasing in flow rate. Faster and faster and faster. If it continues to increase in speed like this, there must only be 2 possible outcomes. It reaches infinity (therefore the universe cannot be closed) or it 'POPS!' I don't know which one is more scary! LOL.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 07:24 AM
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Thanks Toasty! I really appreciate that
. I always try to remain clear of bias - the truth has no moral obligation to conform to what I want it to be.

Actually Toasty, I'm not a teacher. I'm kind of a rogue scholar. I know a lot about a number of cool scientific things, because I enjoy knowledge and the flexibility it allows my mind to flew. In fact, my "hero" worship as a kid, and now, has not been Albert Einstein or Sir Edwin Hubble - but is Carl Sagan.

en.wikipedia.org...

If ever you have the chance, take a look at his series "Cosmos". It's a wonderful exploration of what we know, and how we came to know it. I myself have actually bought the full 7-disc set for DVD. It's amazing.

And Harte, thank you for pointing out the error in my thought there - yeah, it would still add up to more than 180. I guess I wasn't thinking clearly there.

Still, I wonder if it would have any change on things, being on the outside or inside of this cosmic, 4-d balloon. Or, since the balloon is transparent, if we simply exist on this plane in the 4th dimension, neither on the inside or outside, simply somewhere in the middle.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:51 AM
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Originally posted by YariumWhat if the universe is both OPEN and CLOSED at the same time?

We tend to picture the closed universe as being the OUTSIDE surface of an expanding balloon. What if, perhaps, it's the inside surface?


Your better example would be the Klein bottle, where the inside is simultaneously the outside. That, however, involves folding the universe through another dimension.

In any case, there's lots of mathematical research on compact manifolds and universes. There's models of the universe considered as Klein bottles and other complex shapes (page of examples here) :
www.physics.ncsu.edu...

For those of you who aren't familiar with Klein bottles (and variations), here's a great page:
plus.maths.org...

Wikipedia also added something about the alice universe. Haven't explored it yet, but I add that as fuel to your curiosity (wicked me!) :
en.wikipedia.org...

For those who are still curious, here's a basic article on universes and manifolds:
www.nsf.gov...



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by Yarium
Still, I wonder if it would have any change on things, being on the outside or inside of this cosmic, 4-d balloon. Or, since the balloon is transparent, if we simply exist on this plane in the 4th dimension, neither on the inside or outside, simply somewhere in the middle.


Yarium,

I'm no expert, but I would say that the best way to think about it is that we are embedded in the surface of the "balloon." There's no direction we can point to that is toward the "inside" of the balloon, nor toward the "outside."

Technically, if we're trying to relate our 3-d universe (yes, I know it's really 4-d) to a 2-d surface existence, we should probably think of ourselves as characters in a comic strip. Except we must be in perpetual profile (we can't look "out of the page" toward the "reader," we can't even turn our heads in that direction - to us, it is not a direction.) One disgusting thought is that, in 3-d we are all toruses (tori?) in that we have a hole all the way through us like a doughnut. But in 2-d, there can be no passageway through the entity, any such "hole" would actually divide the person into two different unconnected parts. This leads to the question, How does this 2-d person eat and digest (and eventually eliminate) food? There can be only one opening to any inner chamber, so it must function both for intake and outflow.



Originally posted by Byrd...Your better example would be the Klein bottle, where the inside is simultaneously the outside. That, however, involves folding the universe through another dimension.

In any case, there's lots of mathematical research on compact manifolds and universes. There's models of the universe considered as Klein bottles and other complex shapes...


Byrd,
I thought you told me you weren't that mathematical. Your post certainly indicates otherwise.


Harte



posted on May, 19 2006 @ 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by HarteByrd,
I thought you told me you weren't that mathematical. Your post certainly indicates otherwise.


Harte


I'm not. I did, however, marry a mathemetician (yay! Love them mathemeticians!)

For my next degree, I do need to learn to do some math for myself, including some pretty complex things (one of a series of publications I plan (not my dissertation unless they reject my original topic) is mathematical modeling of the flow of messages on Internet and a linguistic theory (with mathematical modeling) on what gets responded to and how fast and so forth. This means working with some of the math mentioned on the Numb3rs tv show.

I can read and understand the weird stuff (like dimensions and topology)... but I only understand the formula gibberish very poorly and with a lot of work. And if presented a question using them, I can't apply it.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 01:14 AM
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I don't understand this thing about a closed Universe. Why would we be on some sort of surface like a balloon. How will the balloon surface have formed ?

What I understand is the essential difference between the closed model and open model you talk about is.
In the closed model, the majority of mass concentration is in the centre of the Universe, leading to a circular fold, that forms a spherical Universe.
In the open model, the mass in the Universe is equally distributed, leading in average to a flat picture of spacetime.
Now if I am right. I think there could be another model. A doughnut shaped universe. In this Universe the majority of mass will be concentrated on the boundaries of the Universe.



posted on May, 22 2006 @ 03:41 AM
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Actually having thought of it again. My previous models are not right because they do not represent a dynamic Universe.



posted on May, 23 2006 @ 08:05 PM
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I believe the universe model will prove to be an open universe. Please bear with me while I go through a description of what I think the universe model looks like.

If you were to show a cross-section of the universe it would appear something like a Maltese Cross.

The smaller center of the Maltese Cross would consist of an ellipse. As observers we are standing outside of the universe as it is cut open to see its parts. We observe the two horizontal arms representing planetary (universe) space and the two vertical arms representing empty (reservoir) space. All four arms are of a finite thickness. Between these four arms are quiescent midspace zones which grow increasingly larger the further out from the center one travels.

If we as observer turn around we could see the out-section of space cut away and note that universe space shaded out into an unusual type of space called mid-space zones (between the four arms making the shape of a Maltese Cross) which has now “turned up” and encapsulated the space circulating within the four arms.

Midspace zones probably have no electronic matter in them and would act as buffers to the motions of universe space and the circulation of reservoir space. Nothing could travel through midspace zones as they are not dimensional in the usual sense of height, width, depth, up, or down, or with time. One could not take measurements in it even if one could theoretically be in them.

Reservoir space is empty space flowing back to the center ellipse. If the ellipse could be viewed as a little longer than it is high, reservoir space would stream into the right end of the ellipse. I have no idea what the mechanism may be that would allow universe space to re-emerge on the left end of the ellipse (north), but the space pressure coming out of the north end is greater going out than reservoir space going in the south end. Outgoing space is being “pushed” or driven whereas incoming space is much like water filling a puddle to go no further. This is probably how the universe is able to always have a true reference to north/south (if one could measure space pressures) and by synthesis, what is true east/west.

By this theoretical model of how the universe is designed, we could also say that the circulation of space from what is called “reservoir” to “universe” space, causes space itself to be in motion. It is presently in an expansive phase, but balance of these motions should lead us to expect that there is an opposite phase of inward pressure that would cause the universe to contract. Man has not existed long enough to witness or analyze these epochal space motions.

The diameter of universe space is presently finite (but nearly infinite to the human mind) while it is contained within the quiescent, and non-reactive midspace zones much as blood is contained and flows in veins and artery walls. These midspace zones are, in volume, much thicker and deeper than the universe space we live. Universe space likely becomes less dense towards the edges and one may be unable to tell the difference between it and the encapsulating quiescent zone around it. I speculate that the midspace zones, once at the edge of universe space, do not contract with the inward phase of space motion, but they are pushed outward by the expansion cycle.

It is also probably true that these midspace zones act like a straight jacket which prevents the universe from tearing itself apart from the motions of space, and the cataclysmic activities of stars and nebula in the universe space arms.

Continued next part -



posted on May, 23 2006 @ 08:07 PM
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continued from above . . .


To those who can envisage dimensional objects well, take the cross section described and wrap the arms and midspace zones into a concentric ellipse about the central ellipse itself. The structure becomes a balloon that over vast amounts of time blows itself up and then lets itself down through space respiration. The center ellipse never moves or changes volume and is the reference point for space and time. This envisions I believe the mechanical structure that is the cosmic creation.

Of course, no being could view the cosmos from this perspective since to be outside of it to see it would mean that the observer was superior to space and time and all the dimensions and motions contained in the object being viewed. Yet I think we will someday have the scientific discoveries to confirm the basic structure of the material cosmos as described above even though we are destined to always observe this mechanism from within.

The structure here as describe is an open universe design, because the universe has the means to endlessly grow through the evolution of space zone expansion with an attendant balancing of space through a period of contraction. Absolute expansion is a guess as to its reality destiny, but if the idea of the midspace zones holding the limit of the last expansion is true, then the next expansion period will move beyond the present boundaries, and probably forever.

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