the-universe-is-flat-discovering-the-topology-of-the-universe

The Universe is Flat? Discovering the Topology of the Universe

Whenever we talk about the expanding Universe, everyone wants to know how this is going to end. Sure, they say, the fact that most of the galaxies we can see are speeding away from us in all directions is really interesting. Sure, they say, the Big Bang makes sense, in that everything was closer together billions of years ago. space science and space universe science space

But how does it end? Does this go on forever? Do galaxies eventually slow down, come to a stop, and then hurtle back together in a Big Crunch? Will we get a non-stop cycle of Big Bangs, forever and ever? space science and space universe science space

Illustration of the Big Bang Theory space science and space universe science space
The Big Bang Theory: A history of the Universe starting from a singularity and expanding ever since. Credit: grandunificationtheory.com space science and space universe science space

We’ve done a bunch of articles on many different aspects of this question, and the current conclusion astronomers have reached is that because the Universe is flat, it’s never going to collapse in on itself and start another Big Bang. space science and space universe science space

But wait, what does it mean to say that the Universe is “flat”? Why is that important, and how do we even know? space science and space universe science space

Before we can get started talking about the flatness of the Universe, we need to talk about flatness in general. What does it mean to say that something is flat? space science and space universe science space

If you’re in a square room and walk around the corners, you’ll return to your starting point having made 4 90-degree turns. You can say that your room is flat. This is Euclidian geometry. space science and space universe science space

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