What is the total energy of the universe?

  • Thread starter physixer
  • Start date
  • #1
7
0
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?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
247
1
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."
 
  • #3
e.bar.goum
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
953
390
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.
 
  • #4
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."

IIRC the accepted shape of the universe is flat, not closed.
 
  • #5
869
61
I think the most popular theory right now is a flat, zero energy universe, though this has not proved and may not be provable.
 
  • #6
5,607
40
The zero-energy universe hypothesis states that the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero. When the energy of the universe is considered from a pseudo-tensor point of view, zero values are obtained in the resulting calculations.[1] The amount of positive energy in the form of matter is exactly canceled out by the negative energy in the form of gravity.[2][3]

A gravitational field has negative energy. Matter has positive energy. The two values cancel out provided the universe is completely flat.[not in citation given] In that case the universe has zero energy and can theoretically last forever.[6

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-energy_universe

[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.]
 

Related Threads on What is the total energy of the universe?

Replies
3
Views
2K
Replies
0
Views
16K
Replies
5
Views
12K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
4K
Replies
26
Views
3K
Replies
11
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
6K
Replies
15
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
5K
Top