Regarding the creation of the universe and the current model: Is it assumed that the universe, at the time of creation was finite in size (or at least more finite than it is now) prior to the rapid expansion, or was the protoexistance finite in size in an infinite universe? So, did the universe AND its contents expand, or did a collection of mass within the universe expand, creating the physicality we know today? I have seen the expansion explained like a balloon. However, if this were true, would not most mass be on the 'outside' of the balloon? Is there content in the middle of the universe, or is there a hollow center that is getting bigger as we get further from the center? I've read that asking about the center is impossible, and that the universe has infinite shape, but if that's true can we say we're expanding? Would there not be an origin point, or is that one of the problems that a physics-uneducated person like myself would be unable to grasp (re: Plato's allegory of the cave). Can we not use red shift in order to determine the relative center of this expansion? I understand that we observe red shift based upon where we're standing, but should we not be able to calculate from all that where the overall center is? Where are we in regards to this? Was expansion more like bread dough? Did the pre-expansion material tear? Was that tearing uneven, that left behind general emptiness in some spots and densely clumped matter in others that led to our original star nurseries? Are galaxies considered expanding or collapsing? I've heard that there's supposed to be black holes in the center, so is this local mass "going down the drain" or is this mass being spun off from the center? Is it both? Do we consider galaxies to be generally "on par" with each other in the creation of more complex atomic structures, or do we expect each birth/nova/collapse/rebirth cycle of stellar material to continually generate more complex material, and that individually from galaxy to galaxy? Second to last, is it possible, in the same way that we view time against the overall amazingness of deep time, that this initial universal expansion was just one bubble in an even larger sea of expanding pockets that we have yet to get close enough to see the evidence of? Not getting into dimensions, but is our universe just one in an entire "hyper-universe" of immense activity, that we can't directly "observe" in the same way that our tiny blip of existence fits in the concepts of deep time? Finally and most importantly, where should I be aiming myself educationally in order to learn the answers to these questions, and to ask even more?