Does the existence of a continuum make the concept of a "beginning" and "ending" pointless?
In regards to the idea that the universe consists of more than just the 4 dimensions of space and time. If there is at least an additional dimension of space OR time beyond the main 4, then our traditional ideas of a linear beginning or ending to EITHER of them would have to go right out the window, would it??
Yes or No? and why?
ps to Dr. R -- But, when you start accepting the existence of "other Universes", then it would seem necessary to exapnd out definition of "THE UNIVERSE"....since the Universe by definition is literally EVERYTHING.
"Other Universes" is like saying the known universe is but one unit out of many in an even larger more exotic "universe".
- Dr. RLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
A function may on be continuous between two endpoints. "Beginning" and "ending" refer to time, which is one of the four dimensions that inflated to create our particular universe. Our particular universe, then, can be said to have a beginning and and end (either relativistic or thermodynamic). Other universes in a greater multiverse would have them too. The point is that beginnings and endings and even the space-time metric (way of measuring things) itself are regional properties; they cannot be applied to a multiverse since it transcends such concepts. Asking whether the multiverse has a beginning or end is like asking, "what is the color of the Pythagorean theorem?"
Reply to PS: In cosmological circles the word "universe" these days generally refers to the continuous unbounded simply connected space-time manifold that was once taken for granted to be "everything" in big bang theory. To include the possibility of other such universes (infinite in number) disjoint from ours, the term "multiverse" was coined to mean "everything". The other universes would all have there own self-contained time lines with there own beginnings and endings. It wouldn't make sense to ask where another universe's beginning occurred before or after ours, since to do so presumes the same time-line can be applied to both. That's what I meant when I say the multiverse, if it exists, would transcend time (and space, for that matter). For this reason, physicists are starting to think that the "theory of everything" will not include space-time has a fundamental concept. Heady stuff indeed.
- Chug-a-LugLv 71 decade ago
Sure, all our previous conceptions of "reality" would require significant adjustments. Why? Because our current concept of "reality" is based on empirical evidence. If that evidence were to change in ways you describe then we'd have no choice other than to adjust our views of "reality." Quantum physics and particularly string theory are nudging science in that direction right now.
- chasseLv 44 years ago
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- rbarcLv 41 decade ago
There is no beginning and no end. Just transitions.