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Model of the Universe

  1. Jul 28, 2005 #1
    Model of the Universe (I)

    Hello, I am a student who just graduated out of high school, and I have only been introduced to theoretical physics by books such as Kaku's "Hyperspace" and Greene's "The Elegant Universe" (both of which I did not fully comprehend, especially in the chapters concerning symmetry). There is a certain model of the universe that I have always thought to be true (and assumed to be what Kaku/Greene/modern physicists took for an accepted theory as well), but I now have my doubts on whether what I have been thinking is what the modern theory is.

    Consider us residents of Flatland: two-dimensional beings living on a plane, whether truly "flat" or curved. I imagined that we lived as Flatlanders upon the surface of a sphere. This sphere is the universe, and is growing in radius (due to the expansion from the big bang). In terms of polar coordinates, I see that us Flatlanders can change our angles: theta and phi (and a third angle in reality, since we're three-dimensional), but we cannot change our radius, which I translate as time. We move forward in time because we are part of the forward movement in time initiated by the Big Bang. (I had always thought that if the universe were to collapse, then time would go backwards, since the radial 4th dimension would collapse inwards as well.) This also means the center of the universe does not exist except at the very beginning of time; for where can one find a "center" on the surface of a sphere? This model also gives rise to a "Hall-of-Mirrors" effect, which I recently read was not accepted by the physics community. [Though I described this universe in terms of two dimensions, the correct way of describing my model would be to say that we live upon the surface-volume of a hyperspherical universe that expands in radius. In addition, I realize that the universe, if this theory is correct, is not a perfect hypersphere: it must be very distorted.]

    First, I am certain that this is not a new model of the universe. It must be quite common, whether it is the accepted model or a misconception among persons like I. For some reason, perhaps due to a lack of skills in utilizing Google, I cannot find a good resource that describes what I have described to you (if what I described made any sense at all).

    What is the name or title of the model I described? Is it accurate in anyway? If not, then is there a resource from which I could learn exactly why it is not a feasible postulate?

    If my description was not quite understandable, please let me know, and I will try again by building the model step-by-step.

    Thank you for your time.

    - Andrew Cheong -
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2005
  2. jcsd
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