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We Do Not Know That

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Posted by Clerk on June 25, 2004 11:02:55 UTC

There is a limit beyond which we cannot see, due to the finite speed of light in combination with both the expanding universe and the big bang. Right now the big bang is limiting. As we look out in space, we also look back in time and we cannot see beyond the beginning of time. But in a few billion years the expansion rate will be the limiling factor. So we have no idea except from theory what lies beyond those distance limits in space.

Solutions to General Relativity have one variety where the universe is finite but non-ending in the sense that if you go (at infinite speed) in one direction, you will return from the opposite direction, like going round the surface of the earth, but in 3-d rather than 2-d.

But normally continuous means that space is not discrete, that there are points that are infinitisimally close to each other. This leads to infinities or singularities in some theories of physics, suggesting that space is discrete rather than continuous.

J

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