Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Shape of the Universe

Well since this blog is called "Standing in Front of the Universe" I guess it should be appropriate to start it off by talking about that.

But before that let me explain my knowledge of these subjects. If you read my profile thing I have said that I am a college student, at the current age of 19. However this college is DigiPen which is a small school dedicated to video games. So all my knowledge about basic rudimentary physics like kinematics and circuits and stuff like that came from high school, the more higher level stuff I just learned about from reading books mostly. So I'm not some kid at Havard learning from one of the founders of string theory or something and allot of the stuff I might talk about is my own opinions or theories. So if you disagree with something I say or think I'm wrong just say something cause either I can explain what I meant or learn something new which is always fun.

Kay lets start this... I guess I can start explaining the dimensions of the universe and it's shape n stuff. I think everybody in the world can understand that there are three spatial dimensions, you know the directions that we can move our selves physically, Up-Down, Left-Right, and Frontwards-Backwards. Now these three axis' don't point in a particular direction, it's just that three spatial coordinates are needed to define a unique point in space. If I want to say where my house was I would give you the longitude, latitude and the altitude, and you would know exactly where my house is (not that I am going to). And using these coordinates one could get the unique location anywhere in the universe theoretically. But of course there is nothing special about the earth, which took us humans a decent amount of time to find out, so there is no reason to make the center of the earth the origin, the point where the three coordinates would be 0, 0, 0 which actually wouldn't be the center of the earth since 0 altitude is sea level but u get my point, of the universe. This brings me to my next point  that took humanity a while to realize as well, that spatial coordinates are essentially relative to what you measuring.

So anyone can can essentially make any coordinate system they would like. I could make my house the origin of my coordinate system and set my three axis' to be East-West, North-South, and Up-Down, so I can say my house would be (0,0,0) (0 feet East of my house, 0 feet North of my House and 0 feet above my house) while my friends house would be (100, -200, 10) (100 feet East, of my house, 200 feet south of my house, and 10 feet above my house) and no one could argue with me. At a single point there is no magic coordinate number that describes it it's only this far away relative from some other object that you're measuring.

So now we move to the next dimension, time. Hopefully now in our modern age almost one hundred years after Einstein's discovery of time as another dimension most of us can see how time can be a dimension. An easy way to explain is if I want to meet some one and I just give them the spatial coordinates (most normally given as an address) the will come only to get frustrated by the fact that I was not there since I came an hour later since I forgot to give them the time that I would be there. So to give someone a proper position I would be I need to give them four coordinates, three spatial and one time-al (itza word). So now we know that the world is four dimensional. What is the differences between space and time? Are theres more spatial and more time dimensions? Are there even other types of dimensions? Ah-ah-ah little ones. I shall explain, or hope to explain that later.

Now that we know that time is a dimension we can see that it also applies to the same rules as space. In respect to aligning our axis there is not much room since time is one dimensional, forwards in time and backwards in time. But the position of our origin can be moved to any when we want it. Most people describe time as the years starting 2011 years 43 days days ago because some really nice guy was lived at that time. But as I said there is nothing special about that time(although I'm sure many would disagree but ima not  go into that kinda stuff (at least not in this post)). No one can argue about the Jewish calender that sets it's origin many thousands ( about 3 ) before the Christian one. But no one can argue with them and there are many calenders used by numerous civilizations across the earth.  Once again it's just a nice point that many people can use reference against. Any one can say that they just ate breakfast about 4 minutes ago or that they got married 3 years after meeting each other.

With just these rules (and a few others that I'll talk about later) Einstein and some other scientists that you wouldn't remember ( cause you know, I totally remember there names) came up with special relativity, general relativity, subatomic physics, and string theory. So if you're going in your bed going "well this is all obvious" i just want you to know that time it took for humanity to realize these truths and the implications they eventually brought with them.

Now Ima go talk about something a little less obvious and something I heard on TV allot but they never really explained it well and I had to think about it for a while to understand what they where trying to say. For thousands of years ever since the dawn of humanity trying to figure out what was up above beyond our reach, we always thought that the earth was the center of the Universe. I mean, given the times it's undoubtable that even the most wise being then would come to that assumption. But over time Copernicus,  Kepler, and Galileo showed that we are definitely not the center of the solar system, then we saw that we wear no where near the center of the galaxy, and now we know that there are numerous amounts galaxies in the Universe. AND some scientists theorize there might be an infinite amount of Universes!?!? Where will it end!?

Any ways, well if the earth isn't there center of the universe that doesn't mean there isn't one, I mean the universe started out as a single point in space so why can't we go there and just call that the center, if everything blew up in equal directions from that point the only logical thing is that that is the center right? Well in a way yes but kinda no? What? Exactly!

This is where the people on the tube and in some books try to explain the exact shape of the universe but didn't completely explain what they meant. According to Einsteins theory of relativity the math showed that the universe should be continuously expanding in all directions and even though Einstein didn't like that idea Hubble showed that the universe really was expanding (I won't go into how he showed that now since it's not really integral to my story but if some one wants to I can explain in the comments). Hubble showed that that every galaxy was moving away from us in every direction and the farther the galaxy was from us the farther it was moving away. AHA! So our galaxy is at least the center galaxy! Booyah! MILKY WAY! MILKY WAY! Hey now don't get carried away. To explain whats happening the balloon analogy works well. If you take a balloon and draw a bunch of dots on a balloon and blow it up(with your breath preferably not explosives) you'll see that each dot is moving away from each other as the "Space"(balloon) expands and the farther away two dots are the faster they move away from each other.

And here is where the people on the TV always stopped explaining. Every time I saw this I'm like "But the balloon has a center!!!" But how I imagined is that the balloon was some filled thing that there where stars n galaxies inside of it since we live in a 3d space and balloon s are 3d but the tricky thing is is that the Universe isn't a 3D balloon but a four dimensional balloon and all of the galaxies and stars and planets and us are stuck on the out side of it. Just like how a 3 dimensional balloon has a 2D surface the Universal Balloon has a 3dimensional balloon on it. I know it's tricky to imagine but once again our aged ancestors thought the world to be a 2dimensional plane with edges that you can fall off of the we thought that the universe was just  3 dimensional with boundaries that we have know idea what could be beyond.

So techniquely there is a center of the universe but since we are stuck on the edge of the universe we can't go up or down. Imagine it like the earth if it had no mountains or valleys, perfectly flat. It is a 3 dimensional object but every point that we can go to (the surface of the earth) can be described by 2 points (essentially longitude and latitude). What this means is that we live in a 3D  world with no boundaries, just like if you went straight west for a long time and you tried your best not to turn in any direction you would end up in the same point even though all your measurement s said you went in a perfectly straight line. This also implies to our 4 dimensional balloon if I went straight and didn't turn up-down, or left-right, in the slightest possible way no matter what space wont end and I would come back to the same point as when I left.

However the is an edge of universe and there is a center of the universe it's just perpendicular to all the three axis'; left-right, up-down, and forwards-backwards(i said frontwards before right? that was weird), so we will never be able to go past the edge or towards the center, at least with our understanding of the universe. And we would have no Idea what it would mean to do such a thing. If you saw someone go one of these directions you would just see them disappear in front of your very eyes! But now this leads to more questions: is this other dimension time? Is it another space dimension? IS IT A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF DIMENSION?!?!?! For that you will have to subscribe to my blog! Or just wait until i can actually answer that question myself or most likely when I have a weird discussion about it to myself and i just put my thoughts onto this blog.

And hopefully this gives me a bit of credibility to my blog since as of current I only have to followers, my friend and my self and this is my first actual post.

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