Re: Flat universe == Infinite Universe?

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Mon Jun 05 2000 - 09:42:01 MDT

"White, Ryan" wrote:
> xgl [] wrote:
> [begin]
> what i find absolutely intriguing is the very possiblity that the
> universe is flat. i trust that members of this list do not need any
> reminders as to what eerie odds would be overcome if such were really
> the case. funny that a year ago, few would have considered such a
> possiblity -- the universe was either open or closed, and open
> looked more likely ...
> [end]
> I've been watching this thread for some time and my ignorance of these
> matters is driving me crazy - what is meant by 'flat' in this context? My
> immediate reaction to the adjective 'flat' is 'nearly two dimensional'.
> Certainly I have the wrong idea - given a >2 dimensional universe.
> And, I would love to hear more about,
> 'what eerie odds would be overcome if such were really the case.'

'flat' as in wider than it is deep, pancake shaped, though the pancake is still
many billions of light years thick, so no, it doesn't mean a two dimensional
universe. The 'flatness' may also only be a quasi-local observation, much as a
bacteria living in the material of a rubber balloon is convicenced that a) the
balloon universe is flat, and b) that it is hugely thick. Its all a matter of
perspective, and it does not discount the possibility of an inflationary
universe, though it does imply a much larger universe than we had originally will be interesting how this situation resolves itself.

Mike Lorrey

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