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What is the importance of 'out of this world' discussions

  1. Mar 9, 2012 #1
    Hello everyone,

    Usually, I think a lot about topics like, what's beyond our observable universe?, or could there be something inside an atom?, I have tried to understand string theory.

    But, when I told some of my ideas about the universe to my physics lecturer, he asked me to think about something which is more useful and relavent to the world today.

    That's why I wanted to know, how is thinking about topics like 'what's outside the universe', useful and relavent to the world today?

    It would be helpful if I get the answer as quickly as possible. Thankyou.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2012 #2


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    It depends how do you define your universe. :-)

    If a universe is all that exists, there cannot be anything outside it.
  4. Mar 10, 2012 #3
    First of all thankyou for the reply,
    But, actually what i meant by my question was,

    For example, the big bang theory gave us an idea on how the universe was born. But this type of an idea is different from the type of idea (for example:- an invention of something like a car) which helped the human race practicall. In the same way how does theories like the big bang theory etc help the human race practically. How is it relavent to the world today?
  5. Mar 10, 2012 #4

    Its all out of curiosity! Are'nt you curious to know how the Universe began? It might not be of much relevence to the general public, but in the hands of scientists, it can be used as a tool to understand the universe better, our earth better and infact even understand the very concept on human race, better.

    Studying these concepts answers many questions, pertaining to science, that otherwise could have never been answered. Theories like the Quantum Theory and String Theory, help us to understand the working of the universe, and compare it with the working of an atom, etc.

    Lets take the example of a quantum computer, in order to create one, we need to understand the quantum theory. Quantum Computers, are faster than the fastest supercomputers by 10,000 times! I am sure you'd want one in the future.

    Every "Out of the world" theories have their applications, in places where you would never expect them to. Hence, its not that these theories do not have any relevance, infact they explain the very existence of mankind, and can even help us predict the future. Thats how we came up with the Big Crunch theory!

    Anyway, enjoy science, appreciate the beauty of the Universe, and celebrate every moment of your life, by simply asking questions:)

  6. Mar 10, 2012 #5


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    I guess curiosity should be your driving force behind learning maths and physics.

    I must emphasize that even the big bang model has holes in it, our picture of the universe is always incomplete and my hunch is that it will always be as such.

    Does it help me to know that everything started with a bang, not really, I can concieve a lot of other possible ways for the universe to begin, a car with a chauffeur will help me alot more.

    But people who get into science don't really care about what's practical, we want to find the truth.
    Engineers on the other hand will apply your science eventually (hopefully).

    That said, every now and then big experiments lead to some ingenuity in technology, take the internet as one of them, this was developed by a cern physicist (the WWW) to communicate fastly information, and see how we benefited from this.
  7. Mar 10, 2012 #6
    Thanks a lot for the reply.

    i was really expecting for such an answer. Now as i got a satisfactory reason, i can confidently ask more and more questions.

    Once again, Thankyou
  8. Mar 15, 2012 #7
    What a nice response, math_way. Thanks for that sentiment.
  9. Mar 15, 2012 #8
    Another wonderful response, MathematicalPhysicist.
  10. Mar 15, 2012 #9
    Thank you bobc2! Its my pleasure!:)
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