Author Topic: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?  (Read 971 times)

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Offline RNS

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Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« on: May 04, 2012, 11:24:51 AM »
Can anything exist outside of space-time?

The following video also asks a question I would like to know the answer to.


I find all this "infinity" "nothing" stuff mind boggling and abstract so I'm struggling to get my head around some concepts.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 12:56:54 PM »
not a physicist.     I think it depends on how space time is defined and how exist is defined. Most of those who will claim this haven't a clue what they are talking about much less how the terms are really defined.

theists often want to claim that their god is "outside of space time" but cannot explain it at all.  How would a god outside of space time interact with a realm that did have space and time?  If it has no "time" where it is, there is no progression only "now" if that's even right to say and the god would never know when to begin or to end...... 

and no chance in hell this guy understands all of what he claims.  ;D  he seems to mix up the idea of a singularity and string theory.  and he also seems to think the BB was a standard explosion that has to "explode" into something.  It's not. 

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Offline RNS

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 01:43:08 PM »
I didn't get the impression that this guy was trying to make a case for god, and I'd like to be clear that neither am I. In fact, if possible, I'd like to try and keep god out of this and focus on the science.

I'm struggling with picturing the idea, of this singularity of infinite mass and density expanding into nothing. So something is getting bigger and nothing is getting smaller? How can nothing get smaller?

"can anything exist outside of spacetime?"- I was thinking more along the lines of:

"M-theory
A multiverse of a somewhat different kind has been envisaged within the multi-dimensional extension of string theory known as M-theory, also known as Membrane Theory.[13] In M-theory our universe and others are created by collisions between p-branes in a space with 11 and 26 dimensions (the number of dimensions depends on the chirality of the observer);[14][15] each universe takes the form of a D-brane.[14][15] Objects in each universe are essentially confined to the D-brane of their universe, but may be able to interact with other universes via gravity, a force which is not restricted to D-branes.[16] This is unlike the universes in the "quantum multiverse", but both concepts can operate at the same time."[1]

But to be honest, I think I've realised now that I just thought it would be a cool idea, but really there's not much at the moment that would lead us to accept the theory yet. If anything did exist outside of spacetime, we wouldn't know about it. But then again, maybe one day... never know what we will find out. I think I've had too many beers to think about this stuff now, it's starting to hurt my head :/
 1. wikipedia
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 02:11:48 PM »
BM (Hope we can do that here.)
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline RNS

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2012, 04:34:39 PM »
Hmmmm... no takers eh? Only got half way through last time, so maybe I'll just re-read "A brief history of time" this summer.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2012, 07:25:32 PM »
I think one of the reasons that there are no takers is that the guy in the video appears drunk and spends much time saying he understands this and that and then shows that he does not.

You are basically asking for a definitive history of the origins of universe; we don't have that. If we did, it would cover several volumes of intricate mathematics interspersed with the odd picture. It would also require knowledge of a time before time.

You are asking for definitions of time - we don't have that.

M-Theory; this is not a demonstrable theory. It is conjecture.

There have been threads that addressed most of the questions, a search might turn up a few nuggets for you.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2012, 07:31:12 PM »
I haven't watched the video yet. My internet has slowed down today for some reason and videos are out of the question.

We don't know what is outside of what we can perceive. It's as simple as that. Physicists don't know what happened right before the big bang either. Or even a tiny bit into the start of it. But keep in mind that the name that we know that theory by was once a derogatory reference to said theory. It wasn't so much a bang as a whoosh. Though I don't think whoosh is a scientific term.

If this fellow says he knows, he has made that part up.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2012, 08:04:31 PM »
He seems to be caught up on a slight misconception regarding the concept of expansion. Picturing the universe as a balloon that is being slowly blown up. He's not quite accurate about that.

We say that the universe is expanding because, in this universe, objects move away from one another over periods of time. This means that the volume occupied by galaxies and such are otherwise meaningless. There is no space outside of space, because space can only be described in terms of the distance between physical objects. To say that the universe is expanding is one of those inaccuracies that has sometimes become commonplace for those who are non-scientific. It's more accurate to say that it is stretching.

You have to remember that the BB is not an explosion into an already existing 3D space. Matter and light don't just start at the center and then flow outwards towards the edges. Matter and energy fill up all of 3D space and what is expanding (stretching) is the space itself between the celestial bodies. The galaxies and planets do not really move themselves, in other words, space is moving around them.

This is from astronomer Dave Rothstein when asked this question on an article on "Curious About Astronomy"

"The galaxies simply sit there. However, as time goes on, the space between the galaxies "stretches", sort of like what happens when you take a sheet of rubber and pull at it on both ends. Although the galaxies haven't moved through space at all, they get farther away from each other as time goes on because the space in between them has been stretched.

Of course, when we think of space in everyday life, we don't think of it as something which is capable of stretching. Space, to us, just seems like something which is there, and which everything else in the universe exists within. But according to Einstein's theory of general relativity, space isn't really as simple as our common sense tells us. If we want to understand the actual way that the universe functions, we need to find some way to incorporate Einstein's ideas into our mental picture and imagine space as a more complicated entity which is capable of doing things like "bending" and "stretching".

To help us imagine this, a lot of people have come up with analogies for the universe in which space is represented by something more tangible. For example, there is the analogy with a sheet of rubber (or sometimes a balloon) that I mentioned above. My favorite analogy, though, involves imagining the universe as a gigantic blob of dough. Embedded in the dough are a bunch of raisins, spread throughout. The dough represents space, and the raisins represent the galaxies. (To the best of my knowledge, this analogy was originally proposed by Martin Gardner in his 1962 book Relativity for the Million.) We have no idea how big the dough is at this point - all we know is that it is very big, and we, sitting on some raisin somewhere inside it, are so far away from the "edge" that the edge can't possibly have any effect on us or on what we see.

Now, someone puts the dough in the oven and it begins to expand. The raisins move apart from each other, but relative to the dough they don't move at all - the same particles of dough that start off near a particular raisin will always be next to that raisin. That is what I meant when I said that the galaxies aren't really moving through space as the universe expands - here, the raisins aren't moving through the dough, but the distance between the raisins is still getting larger.

This new picture of the universe which I am asking you to imagine is, on a practical level, much different from the old picture in which the galaxies are all moving through space away from some point at the center. A lot of concepts and definitions that seem simple to us in the old picture are much more complicated now. "

« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 08:06:22 PM by Alzael »
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2012, 11:18:58 PM »
Hey that is a very helpful analogy.  Now things will make a little more sense when I hear about space bending. 

Nows, gods aside for a minute, I still don't get the answer.  What is outside the dough?

And how is time related to this space?  Any good analogies on that?
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 11:27:37 PM »
What's outside the dough? You're not going to like my answer.

We don't know.

We're working on it though.

Stay tuned.
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2012, 11:30:14 PM »
Nows, gods aside for a minute, I still don't get the answer.  What is outside the dough?

The short answer is, "we don't know for certain."

The likely answer is that there is no outside of the dough. It has no boundaries to speak of. The universe is either infinite, or it loops back around on itself in some way. If the universe does have a boundary or a "beyond" it is so far away that we currently have no means of seeing or perceiving it and it has no effect on us.

If the universe is infinite then it has nowhere to expand into.

"Thinking about infinity is always complicated, but a good analogy can be made with simple math. Imagine you have a list of numbers: 1,2,3,etc., all the way up to infinity. Then you multiply every number in this list by 2, so that you now have 2,4,6,etc., all the way up to infinity. The distance between adjacent number in your list has "stretched" (it is now 2 instead of 1), but can you really say that the total extent of all your numbers has "expanded"? You started off with numbers that went up to infinity, and you finished with numbers that went up to infinity. So the total size is the same! If these numbers represent the distances between galaxies in an infinite universe, then it is a good analogy for why the universe does not necessarily expand even though it stretches. "


And how is time related to this space?  Any good analogies on that?

Space and time are mathematically and, in accordance with relativity interchangable. They form equal parts of a larger concept called spacetime.

Think of space and time being to space-time what arms and legs are to humans. In some sense they are interchangeable, but you can't understand how humans work without including them both as part of the human condition.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 11:31:56 PM by Alzael »
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Offline inveni0

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2012, 10:44:15 AM »
You should read "The Grand Design", by Stephen Hawking.  In it, he advocates a way of thinking called "model dependent realism".  It is the idea that it is a waste of time to try and imagine something for which we have no model.  For instance, we can't hypothesize about what came before the universe, because the universe is all we know.  We can't define things that we can not observe.  If we try, it will be only conjecture, unscientific, and of no help to anyone.  If, however, in the process of studying M-Theory, we come upon observable dimensions outside of space-time, our understanding of the universe will expand such that our model of understanding expands.  If we have a new model of understanding, then we can re-hypothesize within that model.  Copernicus and Galileo are great examples of how new observations can change our model of understanding.

So, your question is this:  Does anything exist outside of space-time?  But it's a question that is pointless to answer, because our current model of understanding has no observable features to help postulate about such a thing.

You'd might as well ask if there's a god.  It's a pointless question to ask because our model of understanding has no observable features to substantiate the existence of a god of any kind, past, present or future.  It's better to ask if unicorns exist.  The proper answer would be, "Maybe they did at one time.  Our understanding of genetics and evolution support the case for a species of horse or deer with a single antler or horn."

But to ask if something exists outside of existence?  Pointless.
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Offline RNS

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2012, 07:56:55 AM »
Thanks Alzael, really helped clear some things up for me. Liked the raisins in dough analogy a lot.

There have been threads that addressed most of the questions, a search might turn up a few nuggets for you.
Good idea.
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Offline Nodak

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2012, 07:22:02 AM »
Since we are on the topic.......i've read lawerence kraus Universe from Nothing but i am having a hard time understanding the shape of the universe.

He describes how we now know the universe is flat.  How can that be in a seemingly 3D (although w time 4d) universe? Flat to me means long and wide but not much height.  Why would it not be stretching in all directions (long, wide, and high?)

Offline Alzael

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2012, 10:52:32 PM »
Since we are on the topic.......i've read lawerence kraus Universe from Nothing but i am having a hard time understanding the shape of the universe.

He describes how we now know the universe is flat.  How can that be in a seemingly 3D (although w time 4d) universe? Flat to me means long and wide but not much height.  Why would it not be stretching in all directions (long, wide, and high?)

I think you're referring to the Holographic Universe theory.

Basically Planck came up with the idea of a finite measurement of distance which later became Planck time and Planck distance. Then Hawkings came up with the suggesting that there's a sort of resolution to the universe-kind of like the pixels in an image. Some german scientists then began studying black holes and as they studied it they noticed distortions in the wave pattern that they couldn't account for. After doing what scientists do they ended up at the theory that the distortions were caused because the teams scanners were approaching the lowest level of resolution of the universe. In simple terms, they believe that they were getting glimpses between the cracks in the fabric of reality itself. Now this instantly raises three questions which need to be addressed:

1)How awesome is that?

2)What the fuck have theists done lately?

and

3)How awesome is that?

Anyway back onto the point. Because of these incredibly small units of distance (Planck scale) time and the third dimension become intertwined between them, which leaves only two spatial dimensions. Or a 2d universe. However on a larger scale we observe the 3d universe as a sort of projection of the 2d universe. Like a hologram on a credit card.

A couple of years ago this scientist named Craig Hogan got a million dollar grant to build a pair of holometers (the most precise clocks in the world) in an attempt to see if he could actually accurately measure the Planck units. However I don't know how that actually turned out. I know that some later data by another team studying black holes conflicted with the first teams data and hurt the theory a bit. But it's still  a possibility, although a lot of physicists are skeptical of it (naturally). Personally I hope he finds something. It would be cool.




« Last Edit: May 10, 2012, 10:55:15 PM by Alzael »
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Offline Jstwebbrowsing

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2012, 08:34:34 PM »
Quote
What the fuck have theists done lately?

Quite a lot actually.  At least according to a quick Google.

http://www.adherents.com/people/100_scientists.html
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2012, 09:35:14 PM »
Quote
What the fuck have theists done lately?

Quite a lot actually.  At least according to a quick Google.

http://www.adherents.com/people/100_scientists.html

However since their theism had nothing to do with their scientific achievements (which was the point of the statement), it's really rather moot. In the cases of a lot of them their theism was a major hindrance to their work (such as Newton).

By the way, I'm still waiting for all of that evidence you said you were going to provide. You promised a lot of it so when is it coming around?
"I drank what?!"- Socrates

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Offline Nodak

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2012, 09:45:29 PM »
Lame, jsweb.

Alzael, thanks. I'm not sure though that is what kraus meant by the flat universe. I seem to understand the holographic universe as a theoretical construct but the way kraus describes it.....we know with a significant  amount of certainity that the shape of the universe is flat.....i need to re-read universe from nothing and the grand design ....but the way i read wikipedia "holographic universe" seem to invoke alot of string theory, which kraus is not a fan of.

I was just a chemistry major and neuroscienctist many moons ago...have any suggestions or links that i can start getting into this physics of the universe thing? Your raisen in bread analogy really worked for me!

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2012, 06:42:09 AM »
Quote
What the fuck have theists done lately?

Quite a lot actually.  At least according to a quick Google.

http://www.adherents.com/people/100_scientists.html

ROFL.  Now go thru the same list again, this time using the question, "What the fuck have men done lately?"  When you're done, ask yourself what you've proven about men.  (Or women, for that matter.)
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2012, 09:22:40 AM »
Quote
What the fuck have theists done lately?

Quite a lot actually.  At least according to a quick Google.

http://www.adherents.com/people/100_scientists.html

as Azael pointed out, they are scientists who have done science.  I am waiting to see where theists make advances in showing that their and only their religion is the one that can be demonstrated to be valid.  I keep seeing claims by creationists that "reall soon now" they'll have scientific papers with all the evidence one will ever need to accept their gods.  That's been going on for getting onto a century now and still they have nothing but their usual lies, quote-mining, attacks on superseded information, etc. 

I do find that list of theist scientists amusing since so many theists would claim that anyone who doesn't share their religion is damned and essentially evil.  Michael Faraday was a Sandemanian Christians who'm I'm sure most Christians wuold be suprised by what they believe (how dare they not be interested in wordly wealth  ;) ) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/522088/Sandemanian

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2012, 06:59:53 PM »
If you are actually willing to pursue this subject, then by all means re-read Hawkings Brief History Of Time.  Further and perhaps more complete writings can be found in; The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, Wrinkles in Time by George Smoot, Blind Watchers Of The Sky by Rocky Kolb.

Rest assured that the authors whose names may not be familiar, are superbly qualified for treatises of this kind. Who would expect that a guy with a name like Rocky would be the head honcho at Fermilab. and a name like Smoot does not arouse visions of brilliance. Smoot is a honcho at ..well.... damned near everywhere that advanced cosmological research is appreciated....like Cal tech, principle in the COBE (cosmic background explorer) effort, and much much more.

Offline RNS

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2012, 07:34:32 PM »
^Thank you for the suggestions.
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Offline MathIsCool

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2012, 08:11:11 PM »
Can anything exist outside of space-time?

The following video also asks a question I would like to know the answer to.
...

First of all, that guy keeps on saying he understands physics and string theory when he clearly doesn't.  Nonetheless....

The question the video asks is "What is around the universe?"  which is related to "Can anything exist outside of space-time?"

Picture a balloon that's blown up a little bit.  Get out your imaginary sharpie and start drawing some stuff on the surface of the balloon - throw in some galaxies, some stars, some quasars, some planets, and maybe some space-faring lemurs for fun.  Now, this part is important: remember that you are drawing on the surface of the balloon.  The volume of the balloon, ie, all the air inside and outside the balloon, is totally irrelevant to our discussion.  If you've read flatland then imagine the balloon-surface-dwellers are of a similar species to the squares and triangles of flatland - they only comprehend space in 2 dimensions, not our 3.

For the next step in our picture, you're going to have to pretend that the surface of the balloon represents the entirety of reality.  The volume inside and outside doesn't exist, because it's not reality (although it clearly does exist in our mental picture.)  Once you've got that firmly fixed in your head, inflate the balloon a bit.  What happens?

Sure, the volume of the balloon expands into pre-existing volume outside of the balloon.  However, the surface of the balloon gets bigger without expanding into any other pre-existing surface.  It doesn't inflate or expand or explode into some other pre-existing surface, it just has a larger extra-dimensional space in which to exist.  There was no empty balloon-surface into which our space dwelling lemurs expanded into, rather, the surface between the galaxies and quasars and what-not simply got bigger.

Now map that picture back into our glorious 3 dimensional world.  That's how the expansion of the universe worked (and is working.)    There is no empty space outside of the universe.  The universe is, by definition, the entirety of space - empty and occupied - and it's getting bigger.

Your related question, "Can anything exist outside of space-time", is another question.  The number "17" clearly exists outside of space-time.  You can point to 17 trees, or 17 space-faring lemurs (actually truth be told, you'd be hard pressed to find any space-faring lemurs, let alone 17 of them), but you can't point to the number 17.  It exists, because we all know the thing we're talking about when I say "17" (the number one greater than 16.  The 7th prime.  The number you get when you halve 34.), but you can't point to it anywhere within space-time - so clearly it exists outside of space-time.  That's probably not the question you were looking to get answered, though.  :)
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Offline jeremy0

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2012, 08:59:05 PM »
This is from astronomer Dave Rothstein when asked this question on an article on "Curious About Astronomy"
The message Alzael gave on Dave Rothstein fits perfectly into a recent physics theory called 'the big rip'.  Understanding of the properties of space time, how it might end, how it might begin again, give you an accurate depiction of what space-time really is, and can tie up some loose ends on other physics theories.. 
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Offline Yu Da Ho

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2012, 07:57:20 AM »
Can anything exist outside of space-time?

The following video also asks a question I would like to know the answer to.
...

First of all, that guy keeps on saying he understands physics and string theory when he clearly doesn't.  Nonetheless....

The question the video asks is "What is around the universe?"  which is related to "Can anything exist outside of space-time?"

Picture a balloon that's blown up a little bit.  Get out your imaginary sharpie and start drawing some stuff on the surface of the balloon - throw in some galaxies, some stars, some quasars, some planets, and maybe some space-faring lemurs for fun.  Now, this part is important: remember that you are drawing on the surface of the balloon.  The volume of the balloon, ie, all the air inside and outside the balloon, is totally irrelevant to our discussion.  If you've read flatland then imagine the balloon-surface-dwellers are of a similar species to the squares and triangles of flatland - they only comprehend space in 2 dimensions, not our 3.

For the next step in our picture, you're going to have to pretend that the surface of the balloon represents the entirety of reality.  The volume inside and outside doesn't exist, because it's not reality (although it clearly does exist in our mental picture.)  Once you've got that firmly fixed in your head, inflate the balloon a bit.  What happens?

Sure, the volume of the balloon expands into pre-existing volume outside of the balloon.  However, the surface of the balloon gets bigger without expanding into any other pre-existing surface.  It doesn't inflate or expand or explode into some other pre-existing surface, it just has a larger extra-dimensional space in which to exist.  There was no empty balloon-surface into which our space dwelling lemurs expanded into, rather, the surface between the galaxies and quasars and what-not simply got bigger.

Now map that picture back into our glorious 3 dimensional world.  That's how the expansion of the universe worked (and is working.)    There is no empty space outside of the universe.  The universe is, by definition, the entirety of space - empty and occupied - and it's getting bigger.

Your related question, "Can anything exist outside of space-time", is another question.  The number "17" clearly exists outside of space-time.  You can point to 17 trees, or 17 space-faring lemurs (actually truth be told, you'd be hard pressed to find any space-faring lemurs, let alone 17 of them), but you can't point to the number 17.  It exists, because we all know the thing we're talking about when I say "17" (the number one greater than 16.  The 7th prime.  The number you get when you halve 34.), but you can't point to it anywhere within space-time - so clearly it exists outside of space-time.  That's probably not the question you were looking to get answered, though.  :)

This is actually a fairly good analogy for trying to understand the question being posed. Since the n00b in the video seems to like string theory, and M-theory is an extension of that, I'll explain what the universes are "expanding into" in the context of M-theory. As was said somewhere up there, in M-theory, all of the universes in the multiverse are hypothesized to exist on things called branes. Our brane would probably be a 3-brane because our universe apparently exists in 3-space. All branes exist in a hyperspace of 11 dimensions in M-theory. Our universe apparently began when two branes collided with each other in that hyperspace; part of the energy released from the collision ended up as the matter and energy in our universe today. The universe, then, is expanding throughout the p-brane (in our case, 3-brane) that it inhabits, which itself is moving through a hyperspace made up of higher, compactified dimensions. 

Offline Yu Da Ho

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Re: Looking for some education please. Any physicists?
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2012, 08:03:23 AM »
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What the fuck have theists done lately?

Quite a lot actually.  At least according to a quick Google.

http://www.adherents.com/people/100_scientists.html

I'd like to note that the "Jewish" listed next to some of these scientists denotes their ethnicity not their religious affiliation. Richard Feynman, for example, is a noted and self-professed atheist.