Surely If you had a super fast space ship that was so fast it was faster than the speed of space growth! you would come to the end! but if you got to the endwhat would be behind it? maybe a big white nothing! but then it would be something! because a white nothing is white which is something! Oh dear cannot find answer!! brain overload !! what do you think?
In a bit
I think the whole "the universe never ends" concept came about because it is much much much larger than our scope. It's hard to imagine something without an end but as of now, we have no way of knowing where the limits are. If you think about it, just out planet is gigantic. So imagine you're out there in space, looking at the massive sphere that is our planet. Every degree that you turn puts you in front of a completely new part of the universe, one that was not visible from your original position, just one degree of rotation away. So, now, imagine that what you are seeing is our galaxy alone. That others exist out there as well. Not just one, many others. So that's where the infinite universe sprouts from.
According to the latest physics theories, space is curved. It never ends because if you go far enough, you will wind up right back where you started.
Imagine the surface of a ball. No matter what direction you go in walking along the surface of a ball, you will never hit an end to the ground. You can walk indefinately. You'll just wind up passing the same places over and over. Kind of like on the Flintstones when Fred drives his car.
But what happens if you jump off the ball?
You can't, because that in the ball analogy you are a 2 dimension being. There is no dimension in your world that travels off the ball.
It starts to get confusing there...
I just wrote an Astronomy final today – that the question is about the universe is kind of funny!
Unfortunately I don't have answer that is simpler than Greg's . . .
aagh I used to drive myself absolutely insane when I was about 7 or something trying to work it out. I used to ask my parents the same thing, there has to be something beause even a white space is something etc. At that age I thought everything had to have an answer so I would get very frustrated and upset that there was no explanation.
I just try not to think about that sort of thing now.
Yeah, I like the idea that it would just end up looping around somehow. I think it's probably like the earth - originally people thought you could fall of the edge, but now everyone knows you'll just end up going round and round. Who knows though
Hmmm. parallel universe anyone???
Greg's reply is the Einsteinian view--Special Theory of Relativity, I believe.
Nowadays, the big questions are not just about space, but also about time. I think it's Steven Hawking's view that time can travel backwards, not just forward--but that it can't do both in the same universe. So shopgirl's question on parallel universes becomes quite germane. And if there are parallel universes, I guess space does become infinite--since traveling there would be like "jumping off of the ball".