The Edge of an Infinite Universe

  • Published: 03 April 2019
  • Have you ever asked “what is beyond the edge of the universe?” And have you ever been told that an infinite universe that has no edge? You were told wrong. In a sense. We can define a boundary to an infinite universe, at least mathematically. And it turns out that boundary may be as real or even more real than the universe it contains.

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    Hosted by Matt O'Dowd
    Written by Matt O'Dowd
    Graphics by Aaron Halevy
    Directing by Andrew Kornhaber

    Our universe may be infinite. In order to wrap our puny human minds around such a notion we like to come up with boundaries. For example we have the “observable universe” – that patch that we can see, and beyond which light has not yet had time to reach us. It’s boundary is called the particle horizon. Beyond it there exists at a minimum of thousands and possibly infinitely more regions just as large. Our observable universe is like a tiny patch of land in a vast plain. We define its horizon like we might build a little picket fence around our little patch – meaningless from the point of view of the plain, but it makes our patch feel more homey and us less crushingly insignificant.

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Comments • 3 547

  • Gary Oesterle
    Gary Oesterle  43 minutes back

    Like living forever in one direction.

    • Matthew Handley
      Matthew Handley  16 hours back

      Sweet show

      • Doug G
        Doug G  17 hours back

        Yea but what is this all about?

        • Arwenzoe
          Arwenzoe  17 hours back

          If you view a 3D dimensional flat grid of prime numbers in four directions until they meet themselves, from above - making it 2D, then rotate it 90 degrees the eye level becomes the horizon and it is then viewed as a 1D line. Thus from a 1D perspective its true shape is bigger than the sum of its parts...

          • Richard Deese
            Richard Deese  2 days back

            @11:40: multicolored triangle jewels tessellating a disk, which is "rotating" [?!?] in some sort of impossible 'looks like it's flipping around - but it isn't' kind of way. This little graphic hurts my brain several orders of magnitude worse than any attempts I have ever made to contemplate math, physics, or what's actually going on in this astonishing universe. Cool! Rikki Tikki.

            • Sarbini Rauf
              Sarbini Rauf  2 days back

              Over boundary of universe first throne of god then his arsy then god him self without boundary absolute holy even without single atom exist beside him non materials one, the god almighty

              • سبحان الله دايما وابدا الحمدلله دايما وابدا

                Science of light and the darkness of ignorance

                • Joshua Heishman
                  Joshua Heishman  2 days back

                  Bell Venn diagram = local realism

                  • Aces
                    Aces  3 days back

                    Im guessing, what lies beyond the entire, expanded universe is probably just an eternal, infinite, shapeless, boundless, endless expanse of dark nothingness that goes in every possible direction, that always was and will always be. An unimaginably empty void with no sound, no time, no space, no matter, no sights. No nothing ..

                    I call it The Great Nothing ..

                    • Khal Netherfields
                      Khal Netherfields  3 days back

                      the words are so pretty, and it is so fascinating, but i dont really understand no nare nada

                      • Fucky Yout
                        Fucky Yout  4 days back

                        Can i pay rent with quantities of physics?????

                        • Fucky Yout
                          Fucky Yout  4 days back

                          And this will help with my rent????

                          • Rugged Outdoors
                            Rugged Outdoors  4 days back

                            I had to stop watching because I am too dumb to understand.

                            • Delta Square
                              Delta Square  4 days back

                              Cannot understand a single thing man

                              • Adam
                                Adam  4 days back

                                Inflationary spacetime is already observed in nature, as gravitational waves; you stand correct. The single most important aspect about the gravitational waves is that is has polarity, meaning there is both positive and negative curvature associated with a *wave function* in respect to cosmological horizons. This probably leaves room to be explored

                                • Vernon Roark
                                  Vernon Roark  5 days back

                                  This video should be rated PhD-13

                                • Poochie Collins
                                  Poochie Collins  5 days back


                                  • Andrew OBrien
                                    Andrew OBrien  5 days back

                                    Um.... Duh! Tell me something I don't know... Jeesh!

                                    Guy wants to talk down to people as if they don't know how to calculate the boundary of a conformally compacted anti-de Sitter space!

                                    Self-aggrandizing prick! 😠
                                    Don't fukn' patronize me bro!

                                    This is some basic-ass
                                    Day 1 shit right here...

                                    Not impressed. 😔

                                    • Hugh O'Brien
                                      Hugh O'Brien  5 days back

                                      i dont think anybody that doesnt have at least 200 iq ever finishes these videos knowing and understanding the whole video

                                      • Jericho YANG
                                        Jericho YANG  6 days back

                                        i wanna know how many people actually understood what he said lol

                                      • Lucas B
                                        Lucas B  6 days back

                                        Sweet Christmas. I can't even. Like being continuously hit in the face with 20 pool noodles of science. Love the show (piff)!

                                        • Ray'sFave.
                                          Ray'sFave.  1 weeks back

                                          I'm lost in space

                                          • Tabish Riaz
                                            Tabish Riaz  1 weeks back

                                            Why discs why not a hyperbolical sphere that will more explanitory. The will tell that every thing is going no where they r just repeating them selves but in different time

                                            • True Liars
                                              True Liars  1 weeks back

                                              Actually not like this, look /56g

                                              • William Levin
                                                William Levin  1 weeks back

                                                I have never felt more like I have a below average IQ than now

                                                • Larry Beckham
                                                  Larry Beckham  1 weeks back

                                                  The best thing is for 18 minutes and 29 seconds, I forgot who is President of the United States. As you see, I remember now. Time to watch again!

                                                  • Larry Beckham
                                                    Larry Beckham  1 weeks back

                                                    What is Hibert space? Does this fit in this all?

                                                    • Larry Beckham
                                                      Larry Beckham  1 weeks back

                                                      THANK YOU! I heard about Penrose talking about conformal things and you lead down the path to understand this weirdness a little. Upward and Onwards!

                                                      • Spin Strech
                                                        Spin Strech  2 weeks back

                                                        if deSITTER universe is always expanding doesn't it count as infinite

                                                        • Erik Cedergren
                                                          Erik Cedergren  2 weeks back

                                                          Shame I'm 3 months too late for questions, but maybe I'll get lucky and someone will know. While this is a fascinating thought experiment, haven't we determined that the universe is flat, and therefore Minkowski space, rather than ADS space? If so, does this correspondence still have value if, say, there are dimensions beyond our 3+1?

                                                          • rock 147
                                                            rock 147  2 weeks back

                                                            Universe is not infinite! If the galaxies have a size... the univ will also have a size... nothing is infinite except numbers

                                                            • Olin
                                                              Olin  2 weeks back

                                                              Chronicles of Riddik wasn't that bad

                                                            • Get in my belly
                                                              Get in my belly  2 weeks back


                                                              • Cubenshis
                                                                Cubenshis  2 weeks back

                                                                im getting too bored watching your videos. your voice is so boring and totally just boring guy. make it more interesting

                                                                • MaxDamageTV
                                                                  MaxDamageTV  2 weeks back


                                                                  Text said "Minkowski", you said "Minkovski".

                                                                  • mark walker
                                                                    mark walker  2 weeks back

                                                                    in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth....that is enough for me

                                                                    • Larry Beckham
                                                                      Larry Beckham  1 weeks back

                                                                      Well, I glad that scientists are saying, "Let there be light!...and understanding."

                                                                  • mark walker
                                                                    mark walker  2 weeks back


                                                                    • antac55
                                                                      antac55  2 weeks back

                                                                      At the beginning I couldn't help but think that there's gotta be a good joke in here about "flat universe-ers" :P

                                                                      Keep up the great videos! I feel like I'm doing leg day, but with my brain. Good mental exercise, but it hurts!

                                                                      • christopher campbell
                                                                        christopher campbell  2 weeks back

                                                                        So then what happens at the edge of infinity again? Lol

                                                                        • Metal Rock
                                                                          Metal Rock  2 weeks back

                                                                          He feels "crushingly insignificant", wow that's super sad. You are not just a person in the universe you're the universe in a person, try not to think that you are separate from the universe but more like the universe incarnate. i hope that helps.

                                                                          • Cult Bear
                                                                            Cult Bear  2 weeks back

                                                                            “Holographic principle” gfys xD

                                                                            • zenmasterjay
                                                                              zenmasterjay  2 weeks back

                                                                              The relationship between the two spaces is the opposite of absract... They are... ☯️Not Two Yet Not One☯️

                                                                              • zululuuu
                                                                                zululuuu  2 weeks back

                                                                                I was looking for such an advanced channel long time, about astronomy, physics, etc
                                                                                Finally I found PBS Space Time, although sometimes it's too advanced to me, but that's ok, this way can I advance.
                                                                                Thanks the work, and good to see such smart people still exist on our planet.

                                                                                • Lyri Metacurl
                                                                                  Lyri Metacurl  2 weeks back

                                                                                  Anti-deSitter is black?

                                                                                  • Lyri Metacurl
                                                                                    Lyri Metacurl  2 weeks back

                                                                                    Calc u later!

                                                                                    • Jasmin Mis
                                                                                      Jasmin Mis  2 weeks back

                                                                                      Give me planet,or give me extinction.

                                                                                      • Jesse Gullette
                                                                                        Jesse Gullette  2 weeks back

                                                                                        PBS space time question
                                                                                        If we see light that has travelled 13 billion years from the the “edge” of the universe, then is it possible to see new light that has time to travel to us beyond that 13 billion year “edge”? And if so are we discovering that new said light and how often are we discovering it?

                                                                                        • Tens
                                                                                          Tens  3 weeks back

                                                                                          Now when I look at the stars I'll think of a cone.