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The universe

  1. Apr 6, 2009 #1
    this will probably sound stupid :)
    we see that everything in our universe goes from a massive scale (galaxies,solar systems,stars, planets) to medium scale (organisms and objects such as trees, mountains, etc) to a small scale (cells, atoms) to a quantum scale (electrons, protons, quarks(?) etc)
    so here is my question. could there be another series of scales?! where our universe would be on the quantum part of it? just how our sun is imense to us but pales in comparison to other stars? could the universe just be a speck that is part of something unimaginably larger?and i'm not talking about parallel universes.
    do modern theories rule this possibility out?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2009 #2
    hmmm, interesting question.

    Well, there is one theory which implies that the universe is one of many. it's called the "Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics". Basically what it says is that everything that happens in our lives is simply one possibility of a whole wave form that is our life, but that all the other possibilities are actualizing too, only in a different "branch of reality" or world. Example: In the life I am living today, i walk down the stairs. In another life/possibilty i live, i would walk up the stairs, but my two beings are in different branches of reality.

    I'm not sure if that helped or not, but that's the only theory that I am aware of. Then again, I'm new to physics too so that's probably why!
  4. Apr 7, 2009 #3
    As noted, the many worlds interpretation, while speculative, is a possibility. And if it is correct it likely leads to an infinite number of universes, each of which might spawn every conceivable (quantum) alternative....in which case our own vast universe would be virtually hidden and insignificant beyond our ability to understand....
  5. Apr 8, 2009 #4
    that isn't what i meant. i was talking about something else. if it's possible that another "universe" could exist that engulfs our own (our universe is part of it) in which ours is only the size of, let's say, an atom in comparison.

    how an atom is unimaginably small compared to our universe- our universe would be unimaginably small compared to this bigger one.

    ex: http://www.hyd-masti.com/2009/01/our-place-in-universe-relative-size.html
    (the universe is Pluto and the bigger universe is Antares)
  6. Apr 8, 2009 #5
    this seems self contradictory....engulfs implies some sort of interface, a detectable difference.....in any case I've never heard of our universe being part of another...for that, you'll have to define how one would determine or define such an interface....if the arm is part of the body, then the body includes the arm....

    if you are thinking about braneworld scenarios, another brane might engulf us but we haven't been "part of it" in formulations devised so far....those scenarios have a clear and distinct interface....often gravity is the only 'force' which might pass between...electromagnetic radiation (light), for example, cannot....
  7. Apr 8, 2009 #6
    i'm saying that our universer would be like a cell in a body. but not necesarily interacting with the body itself. just a very tiny part of it. and the "body" would be itself in an even bigger universe and that universe would then be a "cell" in a body etc. like those russian dolls that fit into each other but just on an unimaginably large scale.
  8. Apr 8, 2009 #7
    i think i understand what you mean. haha sort of like a dr. seuss "horton hears a who" kind of thing in which we are the little speck of dust? i guess there is no way to know. i guess it's possible, but the "many worlds interpretation" is really the only theory i know which states that we are only one of many universes.
  9. Apr 9, 2009 #8
    I don't understand what you mean by word "engulfs", you are talking about other universe and not "black hole" that can "engulf" something into it.
    So, as there is atom, say of hydrogen, but we also have Osmium, Ununbium, and they are much bigger (in atomic weight) but they do not engulf hydrogen, or helium.
    Also in the link you provided, though we have Sun ,but it does not "engulf" out earth, nor does Antares does this to our sun. So, if on any scale we have some sort of other universe, it is not a likely case that it will come to engulf us.
    Yes, we can have other universe, as says the string and supersymmetry theories, but they don't tell that our universe will "eat up" the smaller ones, or the bigger will "engulf" us.
  10. Apr 9, 2009 #9
    ok. "engulfs" was the wrong word. i meant to say our universe is part of an even bigger one. it's inside it, not engulfed by it. and the atom part is just to give u an image. it could be an atom, a cell, an apple...that doesn't matter. the size of it does. think of the size of an atom that's in our universe compared to the universe itself. now think of that same atom, replace it with out universe.and our universe would be inside of an even bigger one.
  11. Apr 9, 2009 #10
    here's an even easier way to explain it. from left to right,starting with smaller object going to lkarger ones:
    quarks, leptons etc, then u have protons electrons photons, then atoms, cells then multicelled organisms, then planets,stars ...solar system, galaxies....then the universe.
    my question is: how do we know the universe is the end of the scale? why can't there be something after it? even bigger. and not just other universes? but A LOT bigger. how a star is compared to an atom in size. why can't there be something that dwarfs even the size of the universe? is it possible in theory or is there some law that prevents it?
  12. Apr 9, 2009 #11
    Now, you got that.
    Yeah there is a possibility.
    Infact there are theories, or say results of some theories that says there are universe, not only equal to ours but bigger than it.
    All versions of string theory says that there are other "parallel universe", the supersymmetry theory, the M theory (which is both a extension and unification of different versions of string theory) not only allows it, but says it does happen.
    Infact according to Brane theory, it may be possible that our whole universe is just a brane in 11th dimension, that has acquired enough energy to grow to such a large scale.
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