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I was wondering?

  1. Dec 19, 2003 #1
    First of all let me say hello to all. I dont know if this is the place to post this but I'm new "very new". I am a laymen and don't know much about all that is posted on this site,but I have a great interest in trying to understand it. So I was wondering if there is anyone out there that can tell me something in laymens terms. Well the thing I would like help with is "containment". SO I'll as the question like this, there is water and the water is in a cup "contained" and the cup is on a table and the table in the room,room in house,house in town ect.(you get the idea)till you get out to planet in solar system ,solar system in galaxy,galaxy in local group ect. when you get out to all "contained in the universe what contains it for to me it seems that the law of the universe is to be contianed so it to must be contained. It seems to be the law to the universe to at less this laymen. In advance thanks to anyone thats out there that was willing to help me trying to understand this problem, and remember to be nice for I'm a real rookie when it comes to all this and I'm just trying to learn.:smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2003 #2
    What exactly is your question???

  4. Dec 19, 2003 #3
    It seems to me that all in the universe is contained inside something else what contains the universe? Even if there is many universe's it to has to be inside something else and if not how is it possible for it to contain itself?
  5. Dec 19, 2003 #4


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    Having said "everything in the universe is contained in something" (which is certainly true- everything in the universe is at least contained in the universe!) it does not follow that the universe itself must be contained in anything. You seem to have defined the universe as "that which contains everything" and so it cannot be contained in anything!
  6. Dec 19, 2003 #5
    If Lord Russell were a cosmologist ...

  7. Dec 19, 2003 #6
    what i'm saying is the knowen universe is inside the big black box what ever that box maybe? Let me say that this is cool to find a forum like this to answer my questions. just remember that I'm new to all this and I want a better understanding. thanks to all that have the patiance for this new guy
  8. Dec 19, 2003 #7
    Are you asking what physical thing constitutes the "boundary" within which the universe is "contained"? Could it not just fizzel out to zero at the edges with no observably distinctive boundary?
  9. Dec 19, 2003 #8
    As much as I would like to answer your question or, at least, see it answered, I seriously doubt you will have it answered on this site or any other site.

  10. Dec 21, 2003 #9


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    Hello Im also new to this stuff but this is a question Ive had for a long time now and I think it has something to do with the theme.
    question: if the universe is expanding, something must be doing the oppossite. also, if in billions of years the universe starts the big crunch something will expand...or at least there most be something left alone once the universe is gone... it might be the 6th dimension universe proposed but still, right now its supposed to be curled up to the planck length. I think Im getting confussed here.
    Is there anything 'outside' the universe?
    If you pour water in a container the air 'outside' the water will contract until the water uses all the space in the container... so does something like this happens with the universe?
  11. Dec 21, 2003 #10


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    How can you talk about "6th dimension universe" and "planck length" as if you knew some physics and then say something as clearly untrue as that? Air definitely does not "contract" and cannot be compressed simply by pouring water into a container.
  12. Dec 21, 2003 #11


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    Ok, when I sad I was new I meant I've read a bit about physics... and I consider my self new to the topic. but anyway I might have not been clear.
    As an analogy, air molecules might be displased by water molecules when water enters a container? or am I totally wrong?
    If Im right, does something similar happens in space when it expands. Is anything displased or is it just expanding into nothingness. Its not easy to grasp such an ephemiral concept, specially coming from a different field of study.
    Or when scientists say that the universe is expanding they mean its the stars and all the matter (any type of matter) in inside the universe expanding towards the 'blackness' of the universe.the opposite would be , for me, that everything including the blackness is expanding towards something.

    (and please do forget about the 6th dimesion and planck's length, I just had to many thing going on in my mind)

    Just to make it clear is the universe exapanding towards anything?
  13. Dec 28, 2003 #12
    Also new here -

    - was thinking about your question and the replies and it made me think of a theory I heard a while ago - which I may not have completely grasped - so I could be conveying it incorrectly here -

    - I think it's something like the theory of multiple universes or something - not sure - but it basically says that everything in our known universe that we can "see" is determined by light and the distance that light has travelled in the time since the "big bang".

    Therefor outside our known universe there may have been other "big bangs" - where if you were inside this other universe the objects you observe will depend upon the amount of time that light has been travelling within that universe.

    So I think this means that the areas outside our universe essentially already exist - but light hasn't had enough time to travel for us to be able to know they exist - so this is like the edge of our known universe - like there could be a star or galaxy ouside the boundries of our universe - but it's only outside the boundries of our universe because the light emminating from it hasn't travelled this far yet

    Hope that made a bit of sense - I think basically what I was trying to say is that our universe is sort of contained by time then basically

    Anyway as this my first post and pretty much one the first and only topics I have read here, I won't be at all surprised or dismayed if someone completely shoots that idea out of sky - I gave up Physics after GCSE anyway - note the distinct lack of Maths here
  14. Dec 28, 2003 #13
    Welcome aboard!

    This is one interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, often used by SciFi writers.

    Possible - but we can not know about 'outside our Universe'

    OUR Universe was created at Big Bang (most of us think!) If there are other Universes, they are outside of our own and can never be detected - it is nothing to do with light speed. Time and space for us was created at the BB.

    If you are prepared to think about what you read here, then NEVER be afraid to ask a question. :smile:
  15. Dec 29, 2003 #14


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    Welcome new members! Yes, feel free to pose any astronomy/cosmology questions here...simple or complex...don't worry about others with high post counts and PhD answers. All are welcome.

    Alertbay - That is one of those tough "ultimate" type questions. In one sense, the universe is "all that exists", so by definition, nothing can be outside of it (but we may need to drastically redefine what it IS as we keep finding more of it). In another sense, there may be other universes that are separate from this one or some kind of meta-universe which this one floats in...but there is no way to know as our evidence is limited to what we can detect in this universe. When you start reading about dark matter, dark energy, M-theory, and quantum mechanics, there are hints of other universes (or a big redefinition of what this universe is) but that kind of research is really just at its beginnings. Lots more to learn. For now, it's probably easiest & most accurate to acknowledge that this universe is boundless and say anything "outside" is unknown or may not even exist.
  16. Dec 29, 2003 #15
    Thanks for the welcome phobos, It's just when you look at what we see all things that we know come from something or are inside of something and that seems to be the rule but for example were did the atom come from so to cause the attraction to the big bang if this is how it started? From what I see since the atom all things have been building new things, being born and dieing and if this is natures way then does it not make sence that thats the nature of the universe. Maybe we need to know were the atom came from and why, then it might make more sence. I think something had to make the atom because since its birth it has been making things so if the atom was not created then we would not of become aware of the existence of the universe. Here is a model, All in the big black box no matter how big(universe/mega-universe)has been being born and dieing so to I think it to must do the sameand what ever made it is not a slave to the same laws of physics,what do you all think.:smile:
  17. Jan 8, 2004 #16
    The Multiverse Theory


    I just joined this forum last night, so this will be my first post.

    After reading questions in this topic from some new members about 'what is outside the universe' and 'containment', I decided to pull on my boots and wade right in with what I hope will be some "help":smile: to clarify things a bit.

    Please remember that this posting is based on theory, so therefore each reader will have his or her own amount of skepticism concerning it. So here goes...

    This is intended to be an abridged overview of the *theorized* multiverse system. Bear in mind, I have only given brief summaries of these types of universes and multiverses without intending to explain them in great detail. Also, there may be other multiverse types not explained here.

    First things first: We need to define the word universe, which is a complete set of objects (Stars, planets, beings) and physical laws. A multiverse is a complete set of universes, or a universe of universes, and a parallel universe is another universe contained within the same multiverse as other universes.

    Before the multiverse, there was nothing except for the uncertainty of the quantum principal, which became unstable and formed bubbles. These bubbles expanded rapidly (Big Bangs, Creation), each one of them a burgeoning universe, with Our universe being such a bubble, which in turn is contained within a much larger bubble of bubbles known as a multiverse.

    There are at least four types of multiverses: Level I, II, III, and IV. Level I multiverse structures are the simplest, as a Level I parallel universe is merely a region of space that is too far away to have been seen by us yet. This distance is approximately 42 billion light years (one light Eon, or lEon - my term), or the distance light has traveled since the Big Bang or Creation. The differences between the universes is in the arrangement of matter, so Level I parallel universes are basically the same as our universe.

    Level II multiverses contain Level I multiverses (think nesting) that may have different laws of physics than those of our multiverse or of other multiverses. For instance, the speed of light in all of the universes in our Level I multiverse, including our universe is, according to theory, the fastest that any physical object can travel. But in another Level I multiverse it's possible that objects can travel faster than the speed of light because the laws of physics may be different. The distances between the Level I multiverses within the larger Level II multiverse structure is mostly empty space and very vast.

    Level III multiverses are the most mysterious of all, as the Devil is in the details. It is at this level that quantum physics comes into play, where the finite details of each universe within the level II multiverse must be considered, such as the time/motion perception (simultaneity), alternate quantum realities (ergodicity), and personal universes.

    The Level IV multiverse is the most abstract of all, and therefore the opposite of the Level III multiverse. This is considered by some to be the ultimate bird's eye view of all the possibilities of creation, as the Level IV multiverse exists outside of space and time, with each universe looking like a static sculpture, neither moving or evolving. Each universe seen at this level would have a different shape, depending on the laws of physics within that particular universe, making the Level IV multiverse the most difficult to visualize.

    Scientific American 5/2003
    Visions by Michio Kaku
    A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram

  18. Jan 8, 2004 #17
    Which leaves you with nothing as the container. I look at the universe as the definition of nothing. The universe continues to expand because that definition is not complete. There is a contradiction here, but from our standpoint - The contradiction is an absolute necessity. I. E. The universe is contained by nothing, and nothing is defined by the universe. We can not establish differences without this contradiction.
  19. Jan 8, 2004 #18
    If there was nothing, how can all the matter in the universe come to be? for it started with the atom and grow from there but still the atom had to come from some were. I don't think the universe goes on for ever because it would go against the natural law of everthing else, all in it is born then die's so if it two is a part of the natural order of things then it to must have a life span and boundrys, I think that we just dont have the tools or the ability to see this yet. "nothing from nothing is nothing"?
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