Noor Gillani, The Conversation

We’ve known for some time now our universe is expanding, and in recent years discovered this was happening considerably faster than we’d expected.

Yet despite momentous innovations in telescope and satellite technology, it’s thought much of what’s out there in the cosmos lies beyond our line of sight — beyond the “observable universe”, as it’s called.

It also means we don’t know with any certainty what shape the universe as a whole takes — whether it’s a closed cosmic “doughnut”, a flat plain that stretches out like an endless piece of paper, or a giant sphere in a state of constant expansion.

Torus diagram
Space experts often refer to the doughnut-like torus shape, which has no edges or vertices. The torus is important as a mathematical object. WikiCommons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This has left scientists wondering about the furthest reaches of space and what they may look like. What do they think regarding the fate of the universe? Will it expand forever?

We asked five of them — and it seems the jury is still out.

 

Here are their detailed responses:

Noor Gillani, Deputy Editor, Science and Technology, The Conversation

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

 

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