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The universe does not expand into anywhere, it is expanding everywhere at every moment. The Newtonian view assumes instant communication of the gravitational field. In such a case, one could pose that the kinetic energy of all the matter in the universe speeding off in all directions is equally balanced by gravitational potential energy that would bind all matter together. I suppose this works when the universe was very close to the size of a singularity. However, the force of gravity travels at the limited speed of light by force carriers called gravitons. So by the time a graviton travels from one side of the universe to the particles on the other side, the particles on the other side have traveled even further away. This would make the gravitational force of a particle felt by particles on the other side of the universe seem weaker than in the pure Newtonian scheme. This is like slowly reducing the force of gravity as the universe expands. Wouldn't this have the tendency to make the particles fly apart more rapidly since you are slowly eliminating the opposition of gravity? Or at least it might help ensure that the universe expands forever.

If we throw in a particle horizon where some particles have not yet even felt the gravitational force of other particles very distant from us, this could contribute to expansion. The expansion rate is accelerating, however, which requires some new form of energy we currently know next to nothing about. Hence, it is called "dark energy," and accounts for about 75% of the total mass/energy of the universe.

It is possible our universe has an event horizon where more and more distant objects are accelerated to the speed where we will never again see them or feel their gravitational force.

The term "expanding universe" is not really the best choice of words, because it does imply expansion INTO something. The universe is, by definition, EVERYTHING that exists. So there is nothing outside of the universe however big or small you conceive it to be.

The term "expansion" in this case is meant to imply that there is new space being created between sub-atomic particles throughout the universe as a result of the force from a "Big Bang" being (temporarily) stronger than the pull of gravity. Many different theoretical models have been proposed, but the leading model at the present time is known as the "hot inflationary big bang." The evidence for the big bang consists primarily of galactic red shifts, which increase with distance, and the cosmic background radiation which permeates interstellar space--the so-called 3° K microwave temperature.

AnswerIt all started with Albert Einstein's theory of relativity. The theory showed that the universe could expand or contract, which opened the door to the Big Bang theory.

Hubble's redshift is an indicator that the universe is in equilibrium between the centripetal force of gravity mg= mv^2/R=mMG/R^2 and the centrifugal force due to velocity -mcDel.v= -mcv/R cos(v). Conservation of energy causes these forces to be equal and mV^2/R=mcv/R cos(v) gives:

v/c=cos(v)=z the redshift.

At v=c the cos(v) is 1 and the mass is traveling radially. The larger the velocity, the larger the redshift v/c = cos(v).

The redshift is the consequence of the Conservation of Gravitational Energy or the Boundary of energy or the Limit of energy or the Continuity of energy, etc, in short the first derivative of the energy set to zero, the Invariant Condition.

This can be derived by revising Newton's Gravity theory E= -mMG/R by adding the vector energy mcv giving E= -mMG/R + mcv, this is I call the Quaternion Gravitational Energy as it is the sum of a real and vector energy, ala William Rowan Hamilton's Quaternions.

Einstein adopted Newton's Gravitational energy and had to add the "cosmological constant to account for the centrifugal force, or the fact the fact the universe had not collapsed due to Newton's Gravity.

The so-called "dark energy" is the vector kinetic energy given by mcv. Today we could call the gravitational Energy E= -mu/R + mcv the 4-vector energy momentum

P = E + pc= E + mvc.

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The observational evidence is such that we see "stuff" of similar type, at similar distances "back in time", in all the directions we can look. A steady increase in metalicity as we approach our own age, CMBR temperatures similar to the "Hubble shift" and so on. Distant objects are anomalously large, as if they were being magnified by the size of the Universe they were in. This means that the most simple theory that does not require that we are in a "special place", is that all those other places see exactly the same thing we do.

This means that there was no pre-existing empty space, the "Big Bang" really was no sort of Bang, and the distance between "super clusters" is increasing with time... what scientists call "gravitationally bound systems".

ANSWER

On a vast scale, the space between structures in the Universe is increasing and the rate of increase is accelerating. This is supported by the best available observational evidence. The Universe is a self-contained, unbounded system. There is no external frame of reference to give meaning to the idea of its expanding into some "where."

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โˆ™ 2010-08-31 14:51:05
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