I would say that the universe as we know it encompasses all physical things to the extent of the travel of light and energy from the core of the Big Bang.
Metaphysical things might or might not be a part of the universe, depending on whether they are or not.
Beyond our universe, we do not have any empirical evidence of what exists. However, we might conjecture that there is absolute vacuum and no light beyond the extent of light and energy flying away from the Big Ground Zero. Whether our universe is the sum totality of all light, energy, and mass that exists anywhere in space-time remains to be seen.
At any rate, there is someplace beyond our universe as we know it, otherwise there would be no context for our universe. I would think that physical laws as known would be the same beyond the extreme limits of detritus thrown from the Big Bang.
> In a message dated 3/27/99 8:57:10 PM Eastern Standard Time, email@example.com
> > Universe-The totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena
> > throughout space.
> So, can we sum up this definition as "everything"?
-- Ross Andrew Finlayson 202/387-8208 http://www.tomco.net/~raf/ "C is the speed of light."