Re: poly: Open vs closed universe

From: Hal Finney <>
Date: Fri Feb 27 1998 - 09:51:35 PST

Carl Feynman, <>, writes:
> What's motivating this work is the desire to investigate something very
> unlikely, which if it turned out to be true, would be an amazing surprise.
> It's a long shot, but if the universe turned out to be folded into itself,
> it would be a major discovery. The chance of making such a discovery is
> quite enough to motivate one or two astronomers, out of the 5000 practicing
> today, to spend a year or so on this work. It doesn't need a philosophical
> prejudice on the part of that astronomer, much less among all astronomers
> in general.

Okay, but it did not seem that anyone was working on this back when
the universe was thought to be closed. It seems that the discovery
of an infinite universe has played a role in motivating this new work.
Maybe there's some technical reason why topological wraparounds are more
plausible in a negatively curved universe than a positive one?

You can also look at it in Kuhnian terms. It's possible that the earlier
paradigm of an inflationary universe was suppressing this kind of work,
which goes outside that model. With the new discoveries forcing a
reappraisal of inflation, competing ideas can now flourish until a new
paradigm gets established.

Received on Fri Feb 27 18:53:40 1998

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 07 2006 - 14:45:30 PST