What Space Does the Universe Occupy?

In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of what space the universe occupies. It is concluded that the universe is everything there is and there is no evidence of anything outside of it. The discussion also touches on the idea of philosophical inquiry versus scientific inquiry. The conversation ends with an understanding that according to our best models, the sequence stops at spacetime, which is believed to be infinite in extent.
  • #1
HailSagan
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2
Greetings, all. Please forgive my ignorance, but this is a question which has been on my mind for many years:

What space does the universe occupy?

To clarify what I mean: I'm in a building which is in the city of Hillsboro, which is the county of Washington, which is in the state of Oregon, which is in the United States, which is on the North American continent, which is on earth, which is in our local solar system which is in the Milky Way Galaxy which is in the universe which is in...?

I realize there is likely no definitive answer to this question and likely that there never will be but does anyone who is more intelligent than I have any thoughts on this admittedly obscure question?
 
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  • #2
It isn't in anything. The universe is everything there is. More precisely, there's no evidence of anything outside it and all of our models work to remarkable accuracy on that basis.
 
  • #3
Ibix said:
It isn't in anything. The universe is everything there is. More precisely, there's no evidence of anything outside it and all of our models work to remarkable accuracy on that basis.
Thank you for your reply. I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around this concept and would like to followup with further questions but I can't think of a way of doing it without leaving the realm of scientific inquiry and entering that of philosophical inquiry. That being the case, I'll leave it at my thanks for your reply.

PS: I see this thread was moved to a different sub-forum; apologies to the mods for posting in the wrong location.
 
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  • #4
Well, look at it this way: if the universe is inside something, what's that inside? And what's that inside? And...? It's either turtles all the way down, or the sequence stops somewhere. As far as we're aware, the sequence stops at spacetime. And that's not unreasonable - our best models suggest that spacetime is infinite in extent, so it's kinda hard to have anything outside it.
 
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  • #5
Thank you, explaining it in that way makes it much to easier to grasp.
 
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Related to What Space Does the Universe Occupy?

1. What is the universe?

The universe is the vast expanse of space and all matter and energy within it. It includes all galaxies, stars, planets, and other celestial bodies.

2. Is the universe infinite?

The universe is currently believed to be infinite in size. However, this is still a topic of debate among scientists and some theories suggest that the universe may be finite.

3. Does the universe have a center?

No, the universe does not have a specific center. It is constantly expanding and all points in the universe are moving away from each other, making it impossible to determine a central point.

4. What is the shape of the universe?

The shape of the universe is also a topic of debate among scientists. Some theories suggest that it is flat, while others suggest a curved or even a donut-like shape. The true shape of the universe is still unknown.

5. What is outside the universe?

It is currently unknown what exists outside the universe. Some theories suggest that there may be multiple universes or a multiverse, but there is no concrete evidence to support these ideas.

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