Q:

If space stopped expanding and was static, could the speed of light change to 0 in order to avoid a paradox in which you could "escape the universe"?
Thank you very much.

- Donald (age 14)

New York, NY

- Donald (age 14)

New York, NY

A:

Donald- that's an intriguing original question.

The part about a static universe is kind of a big "if", since that's not the way our particular universe is heading. Still, we can answer in general. The types of geometry usually considered for universes of our general type are open (infinite) or closed (finite). In the open case light can keep going forever without leaving the universe. In the closed case (think of the surface of a ball for a 2D analog) it will ultimately loop back around, going through the same universe infinitely many times.

Mike W.

The part about a static universe is kind of a big "if", since that's not the way our particular universe is heading. Still, we can answer in general. The types of geometry usually considered for universes of our general type are open (infinite) or closed (finite). In the open case light can keep going forever without leaving the universe. In the closed case (think of the surface of a ball for a 2D analog) it will ultimately loop back around, going through the same universe infinitely many times.

Mike W.

*(published on 09/20/2011)*