Beyond the Universe
It is human to be curious. It is human to be plagued forever with the overwhelming desire to know what lies beyond.
What is on the other side of the hill?
What lies over the ocean?
What exists on the far and hidden side of the moon?
As the centuries have passed, we have moved over every hill on Earth, and crossed over every ocean.We have taken our cameras to the hidden side of the moon and much farther than that, too. We have even taken close-up photographs of distant Saturn.
Our great light-telescopes and radio-telescopes have probed outward for a billion light-years and more, until (we strongly suspect) our instruments have brought us to very nearly the utmost distance we can see.
We believe, in other words, that the universe is finite, that it stretches out only so far. And, if that is so, how can we avoid asking ourselves: What lies beyond the universe?
It would be easy to answer, 'We don't know," and end this chapter right now.
How unsatisfying that would be, however. Surely we might talk about the matter for a while and do a little thinking about it. If, at the end, we must still say "We don't know," we may at least have the benefit of having placed the problem in perspective a little.We may end by knowing a little more about how and why it is that we don't know.
At any rate, we can try.
One of the problems about trying to decide what is outside the universe is that the universe is so large. The most distant objects we have detected are