As far as we know the universe is not infinite, there’s actually a place where it ends. While astronomers have never actually seen the edge of the universe, they know it’s out there. Theoretical physicist and director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Robbert Dijkgraaf explains how scientists know there’s an edge of the universe.
Following is a transcript of the video:
It’s a fascinating question, “How far can you see in the universe?” And the point is that if you look at very distant objects, it takes a lot of time for the light to travel all the way to us. And since the universe was kind of created 13.8 billion years ago, there’s a finite distance that we can see. We can almost see the edge of the visible universe. In fact, the earliest thing that we can see is the first light that was created just after the Big Bang. Well, just 380,000 years after the Big Bang. At that point the universe was kind of transparent enough for light to escape.
So using our satellites we can pick up a signal that was emitted at this very brief moment after the Big Bang. While in the meantime the universe has expanded and so that first light has kind of cooled down and it’s now a microwave signal. In fact what you can do, if you take an old-fashioned television set and you just unplug the cable, there will be static noise on your screen. Roughly 1% of that static noise is actually coming from the very edge of the universe.
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