More than just the UNIVERSE....

This one has bothered me for a long time, like the dried bit of mustard you have to flick off the tip of the bottle before squeezin’ out the goods.

The definition of “universe” found here seems to refer to “everything that exists”. Simple enough to understand, sure… but it doesn’t seem to include the endless unknown beyond the borders of the ump-teen billion light years of universe (I forget the current value) that we know of. What if I want to use a word to identify “the universe AND beyond”? Looks like the english language shows it’s inadequacies once again (I can’t speak for other languages, their properties and perspectives on the “proper” identifications of such things may be quite different).

Carl Sagan wrote about the early life of the fetus, and it’s relationship to the womb it gestates in. To the fetus, that womb is the only world/universe there is until birth, which revolutionizes the newborn’s understanding of what their “world” really encompasses. That fetus and it’s womb are comparable to mankind and this universe, respectively.

We don’t consider this idea worthy of speculation since we’re a loooong way from being able to research it. The laws of our universe make even the suggestion of speculation sound ridiculous (racing faster than light to the edge of the universe). But since we’re in a preliminary stage of growth as a civilization, I think we should at least come up with a justified distiction for the “whole of everything”.

Endless nothingness beyond our universe might be hardly worth recognizing to many people, but I believe it’s still part of something. What that something should be called, when included with what we know of, is my question.

Any suggestions? Or should I just go on calling it the “nothing” beyond the universe?

The best current theories we have suggest that there isn’t a vast othing beyond the Universe, because there isn’t a “beyond the Universe” at all. It’s like asking “Where do you go when you walk off the edge of the Earth”. There is no edge.

There is nothing beyond the universe given the current understanding not even vacuum.

To expand on Chronos imagine the universe as an expanding four dimensional globe, with us living in three dimensions.

If there’s no “beyond”, then how can there be a limit to the current size of this universe? Whatever our expanding universe is expanding into is what I consider “part of it all”, and there should be a name for “it all”.

And the earth does have an “edge”; call it the “atmosphere”. Walking off of it is another problem.

Perhaps in order to properly define this concept, it would be wiser to tap the poetic vein than the technical one. Natural, simple logic has been “capped” by scientific law within the human spectrum of comprehension. Doesn’t it seem naive to disregard the possibility of “the beyond”? It sounds like an imprisoned perspective, I think.

I’m not asking for the best guesses of what’s beyond our universe; I’m asking for a better word than “universe” for everything it encompasses, along with the rest (a law-defying suggestion that seems to make sdmb’ers teeth hurt).

I know the regulars here (often the most educated) are tired of questions like this, but damnit, I need an answer that scratches my itch. If you can’t believe in the infinite, at least pretend for the moment, and pull your vocab resources to cure my lack of satisfactory expression.

Stephen Hawking’s answer to your question would be to say what you are asking is like asking what is north of the North Pole.

There is no ‘outside’ our Universe. Our Universe is not expanding ‘into’ anything. Even if you speculate things such as multiple universes there is still nothing ‘between’ them…they are infinitely close and infinitely far away at the same time and can have no effect on our Universe. When people here say “nothing” is outside our Universe they mean it…it’s not even a vacuum, or space, it’s…well…nothing.

Our Universe is ALL there is by definition. If you postulate alternate universes that’s fine but it is science fiction so you can pretty much say anything you like about them. Getting to them is even more science fiction…“Turn right at Pluto, go 50 miles left of center and stop when you reach the second Tuesday of next week.”

If you define “universe” to mean “everything that exists”, then the previous posts are correct.

However, if you define “universe” as “everything we can ever observe or interact with”, then there may indeed be things beyond the universe.

The simplest example is the red shift event horizon. We cannot observe anything beyond that because that’s the limit that light could have reached us from the beginning of the universe. That doesn’t mean that space ends there. It means that for us, that’s the limit of the observable universe. In fact, the region of spacetime we can see or be causally linked to may be just a tiny fraction of an inconceivably vaster spacetime. We can suppose this is so because the laws of physics describing how the universe began support this conjecture.

Another example is if the multiple-worlds interpretation of quantum physics turn out to be correct. If so, it means that there are a vast number of alternate versions of our universe that we by definition can never see. But again, some claim that the laws of physics that we can observe infer that such a thing must exist.

Hey! Did every park their sense of logomachy at the door? With the OP in mind…

How about multiverse?

This springs from the etymology for universe, which is “turned into one.” So we get “turned into many.”

And if you don’t mind mixing your root languages I also have the copyright to polyverse.

Since “universe” is from the Latin for “all that exists,” then in the interests of symmetry you might want to employ the opposite term, “nihil (nothing),” or perhaps “nullus” in some form. “Nihilverse?” “Nulliverse?” “Nullspace,” perhaps? I think Reed Richards called it the Negative Zone. Or you could go Biblical and just call it BOHUW, which I believe is Hebrew for “the Void.” Whatever you decide to use, you’re probably going to get a lot of blank stares.