I have questions…

Specifically, questions about the universe.

Right, so the universe is expanding. Current theory and available data suggests this.

My question, a question I’ve had for about 20 years, is, what is the universe expanding in to?

This is another of my ‘brain won’t shut off’ thoughts.

I was trying to visualise it all last night but I struggled with something. When people refer to ‘the universe’ do they mean the mass and energy created in the Big Bang, that now forms the galaxies of the universe? Or are they referring to everything, all that is?

I tried to come up with a way to visualise what I mean and I’m struggling. The best I’ve got so far is a balloon. At Big Bang, the singularity of energy that ‘exploded’ to produce all the energy and matter in the universe, is represented by a flaccid balloon. It starts to inflate and expands as air is forced into it, representing the expansion of the universe. There’s lots of energy produced, formation of stars, dark energy etc.

Now, what is that balloon expanding into?

Is there a reality outside of the universe, a box the balloon is expanding into? If there is, does the ‘box’ grow to fit the ever expanding balloon, or is there a limit that the balloon will reach? And what is the nature of that box? And, if we continue the analogy, will the balloon burst at some point in time, stretched to breaking point by the mass and energy that makes it?

Say there isn’t a ‘box’, what is there? Does something come into being with the expansion of the universe into that space? What is the nature of that space?

It’s all so confusing!

My confusion was added to when I read an article in New Scientist a few years ago about bubble universes. What’s in the space between?

See, this is why I never got anywhere as a scientist, my brain gets distracted by probably pointless questions that others have probably already answered. In the other hand, it does provide me with inspiration for writing. Got something bubbling away.

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