Re: The Universe: Open or Closed?

Bradley Graham Weslake (
Mon, 24 Nov 1997 18:41:58 +1100 (EST)

> >The
> >cosmological density doesn't come into the question directly, although
> >many scientists no doubt hope the missing mass sets omega=1.
> even accounting for that leaves the amount of mass needed under current
> estimates between one tenth and one hundredth that need to "close" the
> universe -- i.e., give it global positive curvature. I've talked to a few
> friends
> of mine who have backgrounds in the field, and they agree. They believe
> that the cosmologists who subscribe to positive curvature are far from
> proving their case. I suspect other motives at work -- such as intuition:
> an open, infinite and everexpanding universe is not neat and simple like
> a finite, closed one that bounces back and forth.
> Daniel Ust

While I agree that current observations tend to suggest an open universe, I
disagree that this is any less intuitively pleasing than a closed universe,
and that this is why cosmologists search for missing mass. There are a
multitude of other observed phenomena which align well with the theory of a
closed universe, as well as theoretical reasons for believing that such a
case is probable. An open universe is just as intuitively pleasing - if only
to suggest that our notion of time is in some way accurate - that it does in
fact have some degree of linearity.