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What is the total energy of the universe?

  1. Dec 15, 2011 #1
    I'm confused as to what scientists agree on, since I've read many answers. Is the total energy of the universe less than, equal to, or greater than zero?
    Is the universe open, flat, or closed? (I'm not sure if this is the exact same question as the previous)
    Is this a debate within the scientific community?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2011 #2
    To the best of my knowledge, the leading cosmological theory is that of a closed universe that wraps back onto itself or "finite but without boundaries."
  4. Dec 15, 2011 #3


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    As far as we can tell, it's flat. The shape of the universe is determined by the density of the universe. Inflationary theory predicts a density close to the critical density, ie, it is very close to flat.

    ETA: Locally speaking, of course.
  5. Dec 17, 2011 #4
    IIRC the accepted shape of the universe is flat, not closed.
  6. Dec 17, 2011 #5
    I think the most popular theory right now is a flat, zero energy universe, though this has not proved and may not be provable.
  7. Dec 17, 2011 #6

    [I wouldn't bet my life on it! I have a suspicion that with 96% of energy and matter "dark", meaning of currently unknown type, we have a lot more to learn.]
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