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The Paradox of an Infinite Universe

Is the universe finite or infinite? If finite, what shape is it and how does that shape influence its overall size and properties? If it’s infinite, what meaning of “expanding” can be applied to it? I don’t know if this video provides any satisfying answers, but even being able to ponder these questions is thrilling.

Infinity gets much weirder though. As you travel with your spaceship in a straight line, you find new galaxies, stars and planets, new wonders, new weird stuff, probably new aliens and new lifeforms stranger than you could ever imagine. But after a long time, you might find the most special thing in the universe: Yourself. An exact copy of you watching this video right now.

How can that be? Well, everything in existence is made of a finite amount of different particles. And a finite number of different particles can only be combined in a finite number of ways. That number may be so large that it feels like infinity to our brains โ€” but it is not really. If you have finite options to build things, but infinite space that is full of things in all directions forever, then it makes sense that by pure chance, there will likely be repetition.

Discussion  2 comments

Kim D.

Perhaps the coolest concept I'll encounter this year. Just WOW.

Stephen L Rutledge

I realized this in 1969 when I first dropped acid.

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