Misconceptions About the Universe


– There was a time when the universe was expanding
so rapidly that parts of it were moving apart from each other faster than the speed of light.
That time is right now. A lot of people make a big deal out of the fact that during inflation,
right after our universe burst into existence, the whole universe was expanding faster than
light. Now, while that is true, it kind of implies that the universe doesn’t normally
do that, and it does. I mean, if you pick two points far enough apart in our universe,
you can always find ones that are moving apart from each other faster than light. That is
simply due to all of the expanding space in between. So our universe is now and has always
been expanding faster than the speed of light. But doesn’t this violate Einstein’s special
theory of relativity that says nothing should be able to move faster than light? Actually,
no. Relativity says nothing can move through space faster than light, but that doesn’t
stop space itself from expanding however it likes. Now, it was Hubble in the late 1920s
who made the observations of the night sky, which led us to see that our universe is expanding.
The further out in space he looked, the faster the objects were moving away from us. So imagine
a point so far out there that the average recession velocity is the speed of light.
I mean, if you think about it, it’s going to be the same distance in every direction.
So that would form a sphere which we call the Hubble Sphere. Everything beyond that
sphere is moving away from us faster than the speed of light. So common sense would
say we would never be able to see the light from those objects because of how fast they’re
moving away from us. But in fact, this is not true. We can see those objects. To understand
how this could work, picture a galaxy beyond our Hubble Sphere. It’s receding faster than
light, it’s in a super luminal region of space from our perspective. So any light that emits
in our direction, will actually be moving away from us as time goes on. Well that doesn’t
sound very promising. But due to the accelerating expansion of space, our Hubble Sphere is actually
getting bigger. And if it gets bigger faster than that light can get away, then at some
point that light is going to travel from a super luminal region of space into a subluminal
region of space, and so it can start making progress towards us. So we can detect it,
so we can see that distant galaxy, which is of course now even further beyond our Hubble
Sphere, but we can see its light. We can detect that it’s there. This is remarkable. In fact,
all of the photons we now receive from the first 5 billion years of the universe, they
were all emitted in regions of space that were traveling, at the time, faster than the
speed of light relative to us. The objects that emitted them were, are, and always have
been moving away from us faster than the speed of light. But their light has entered our
Hubble Sphere and had enough time to reach us, and so we can see them. So the observable
universe is larger than our Hubble Sphere. It’s actually limited by what’s called the
particle horizon. That is based on the amount of time light has had to travel towards us
since the beginning of time, that is 13.8 billion years ago as far as we can tell. Now
because the universe has been expanding and that expansion has been accelerating, things
are much further out than 13.8 billion light years away. I mean, the observable universe
has a radius of over 46 billion light years. The diameter is about 93 billion light years.
That is a huge volume of things that we can see. And 13.8 billion years ago, everything
in that volume and everything beyond it that we can’t see would have been compressed into
a tiny infinitesimally small point that we call the singularity. Actually, no. I mean,
that would be true if the universe is finite. But if the universe is infinite, and it kind
of looks like it is, then it was always infinite. So the big bang would have happened literally
everywhere. But if the universe has always been infinite, then what is it expanding into?
Well, it doesn’t have to expand into anything. I mean, it can expand into itself. That’s
the thing about infinity. You never run out of it. This episode of Veritasium was supported
by audible.com, a leading provider of audiobooks with over 150,000 titles in all areas of literature,
including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. This week I wanted to recommend the book Hitchhiker’s
Guide To The Galaxy. It’s one of my favorites and it’s a classic of the science genre. You
know, people often ask me, why is the number 42 on the Veritasium logo? And that’s because
it’s the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. So if
you haven’t read this book yet, you should definitely check it out, and in fact, you
can download it for free by going to audible.com/veritasium, or you can pick any other book of your choosing
for a one month free trial. So I want to thank Audible for supporting me and I want to thank
you for watching.

100 Replies to “Misconceptions About the Universe”

  1. One thing got me thinking. When you mentioned "all the expanding space" (0:40f) i had this thought. What if it's a property of spacetime to expand, thus creating more space, which in turn creates more expansion. Wouldnt that alone explain the acceleration of the expansion of the universe, without any dark energy required? Can somebody who actually studied this stuff explain to me why that doesnt work out? Really curious and couldnt really find anything about the idea. As with anything in life, i'll hardly be the first to have thought that.

  2. Just know your not real I’m not real everything is fake what created the first thing but what created that what’s beyond space what is life?

  3. Okay blue shirted whatever speaking man let me tell you where you are wrong
    One: you should not see anything moving faster than the speed of light either towards or away from you.
    Two: the hubble sphere isn't growing
    Three: your basing all your facts on pure false assumptions
    An honest dislike 💯👌

  4. well speed is relative so surely if your moving at "light speed" away from something going "light speed" in the opposite direction, it is going faster than light speed?
    idk how to see the answeres, i no longer get notifications on my comments idk why

  5. I laughed out loud, when i heard the universe is infinite. No, space is infinite. The universe is a finite matter event within infinite space. No space is not expanding. The universe is. It's amazing that people of learning have this inability to separate space and the relatively small mote of matter we call a universe. Go out to the edge of our universe and you will see a new night sky, filled with the light of infinite numbers of universes, all with the same physical laws as our own. (I can't believe that i have to include that last part, but apparently i do.)

  6. ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते |
    पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ||
    ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ||

    Om, That is complete, This is complete, From the completeness comes the completeness
    If completeness is taken away from completeness, Only completeness remains

  7. Science is not sure about it, quantum physics is not agree with this, Hawking retreats from his theory about singularity where big bang should happend…. So why anybody should be sure that it's true?

  8. This video has gotten me confused. Doesn't hubble have a fixed range? Then how is it that on this video, hubble seems to gain range while space expands? If space is expanding faster than the speed of light how is it that light that's beyond hubble's range can still be detected?

    I kind of imagine this like a pitcher and a catcher out in space. Both the pitcher and the catcher are on a rocket going 20m/s on opposite directions. Let say the pitcher throws a ball at 10m/s towards the catcher. If you do the math you'll have a ball that goes exactly the same direction as the rocket with the pitcher on but the ball would go slower.

    It's simply impossible for the catcher to catch the ball thrown by the pitcher since the distance between them is increasing way faster than the ball can travel.

    Am I missing something? Please enlighten me.

  9. 15k comment, can't read then to see if this has been said…

    If a galaxy is far enough away to be traveling at twice the speed of light and emits light in our direction that light will be traveling away from us at the speed of light. Does this mean the Hubble sphere will never overtake this light and as such never see it?

  10. GET A NEW THEORY!
    You are just confusing people.
    AND are you confused with these things?:

    1. Does light travel in a constant speed?
    In your other video, you said empty space is not empty, therefore if a light travel to that area, the space itself will slow that light down, making it almost imposible to reach the Hubble space telescope.
    Imagine if it is billions of lightyears away from us then it also takes billions of bending of the light particles.
    2. Inverse square law also states that the farther the two objects goes from one another the weaker gravitational attraction they have for pulling each other. Every atom that travels faster than the speed of light cannot condense because common sense it is spreading.
    This simply mean that universe cannot start with the big bang.
    3. This theory is not even scientific.
    Get what Science means:
    Miriam Webster's Dictionary
    : knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation
    If what you called "everything begun in a singularity" is not observable and even cannot be done with experiment, therefore your theory is just a Fairytale.

    I am a Christian and this is what I believe:
    1. God made the universe in six days.
    By the way, UNI means one, and VERSE means spoken sentence. Universe mean single spoken sentence. Bible states in Genesis 1 And God said, "Let there be Light" and there was light. etc.
    There it is "Let there be …"
    Everything came to existence by the sayings of the powerful God.
    2. Why is that everything is spreading away from the earth?
    Because God made the earth first and He made the stars and everything that is in the space, and he spreads it.
    This verse explains your so called Hubble sphere and why is the space spreading.

    Isaiah 40: 22
    " It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:"

    The God Creator is watching us from above
    your Hubble sphere, we're just like dots from afar, and he stretched out the space from the earth just like what we observe, everything is going away from us, we see this because earth is the heart of His creation.
    And if I were you, you better find the salvation of God, coz one day, you will be facing a terrible Judge.

  11. At the present rate of expansion of the Universe — we will soon be able to see light being emitted by all the lost socks – pens – pins – receipts — etc.
    BTW — the question of missing matter in the Universe has also been resolved —- 99% of it is lurking under people's beds & behind cupboards.

  12. Ok, probably really stupid question but…what if those farthest objects are, in fact, traveling near the speed of light and it is not space itself expanding. Wouldn’t there be time dilation, creating the illusion of dark energy, relative for each individual galaxy observed? Just as the Earth’s core is younger than its crust, I imagine I would “see” the external universe operating at slightly faster pace than it really is.

  13. Wait i just watched a video of you explaining that there is nothing faster then the speed of light, but you just said the universe expansion was fast then the speed of light….

  14. How do we know the distant galaxies 13.8 billion light years or more away haven't slowed down since the light from them left 13.8 billion years ago? Isn't it possible that they got denser over time and could no longer travel faster than light? I genuinely want to know.

  15. All theory, and everything unproven is theory, is a presumption predicated on observable facts. Hubble postulated a theory that was elucidated in this clip that is unprovable and simplistic. It has to be simplistic because the knowledge that it emulates is simplistic. There are other theory's regarding the observable universe, and Hubble's theory of the red shift. A red shift can be emulated in the laboratory using filters. Very simple, therefore a theory regarding red shift and speed can be debunked by understanding the filtering effect of the universe and its magnification by time and space. Interesting little clip but wrong in so many ways.

  16. But if there is a galaxy moving away us faster than light and it is emitting light, will that light inherit the momentum of the galaxy?

  17. This is an excerpt from MIT/Whitesman PHD Physicist Gerald Schroeder:
    “We look back in time, and say the universe is 15 billion years old. But as every scientist knows, when we say the universe is 15 billion years old, there's another half of the sentence that we rarely bother to say. The other half of the sentence is: The universe is 15 billion years old as seen from the time-space coordinates of the earth.

    The key is that the Torah looks forward in time, from very different time-space coordinates, when the universe was small. Since then, the universe has expanded out. Space stretches, and that stretching of space totally changes the perception of time. Imagine in your mind going back billions of years to the beginning of time. Now pretend way back at the beginning of time, when time grabs hold, there's an intelligent community. (It's totally fictitious.) Imagine that the intelligent community has a laser, and it's going to shoot out a blast of light every second. Every second — pulse. Pulse. Pulse. And on each pulse of light the following formation is printed (printing information on light, electro-magnetic radiation, is common practice): "I'm sending you a pulse every second." Billions of years later, way far down the time line, we here on Earth have a big satellite dish antenna and we receive that pulse of light. And on that pulse of light we read "I'm sending you a pulse every second."

    Light travels 300 million meters per second. So at the beginning, the two light pulses are separated by a second of travel or 300 million meters. Now they travel through space for billions of years until they reach the Earth. But wait a minute. Is the universe static? No. The universe is expanding. The universe expands by space stretching. So as these pulses travel through space for billions of years, space is stretching. What's happening to these pulses? The space between them is also stretching. So the pulses get further and further apart. Billions of years later, when the first pulse arrives, we read on it "I'm sending you a pulse every second." A message from outer space. You call all your friends, and you wait for the next pulse to arrive. Does it arrive second later? No! A year later? Maybe not. Maybe billions of years later. Because the amount of time this pulse of light has traveled through space will determine the amount of space stretching that has occurred, and so how much space and therefore how much time there will be between the arrival of the pulses. That's standard cosmology.

    15 billion years or six days?

    Today, we look back in time and we see approximately 15 billion years of history. Looking forward from when the universe is very small – billions of times smaller – the Torah says six days. In truth, they both may be correct. What's exciting about the last few years in cosmology is we now have quantified the data to know the relationship of the "view of time" from the beginning of stable matter, the threshold energy of protons and neutrons (their nucleosynthesis), relative to the "view of time" today. It's not science fiction any longer. A dozen physics textbooks all bring the same number. The general relationship between nucleosynthesis, that time near the beginning at the threshold energy of protons and neutrons when matter formed, and time today is a million million. That's a 1 with 12 zeros after it. So when a view from the beginning looking forward says "I'm sending you a pulse every second," would we see a pulse every second? No. We'd see it every million million seconds. Because that's the stretching effect of the expansion of the universe.

    The Talmud tells us that the soul of Adam was created at five and a half days after the beginning of the six days. That is a half day before the termination of the sixth day. At that moment the cosmic calendar ceases and an earth based calendar starts. . How would we see those days stretched by a million million? Five and a half days times a million million, gives us five and a half million million days. Dividing that by 365 days in a year, that comes out to be 15 billion years. NASA gives a value of about 14 billion years. Considering the many approximations, and that the Bible works with only six periods of time, the agreement to within a few percent is extraordinary. The universe is billons of years old from one perspective and a mere six days old from another. And both are correct!

    The five and a half days of Genesis are not of equal duration. Each time the universe doubles in size, the perception of time halves as we project that time back toward the beginning of the universe. The rate of doubling, that is the fractional rate of change, is very rapid at the beginning and decreases with time simply because as the universe gets larger and larger, even though the actual expansion rate is approximately constant, it takes longer and longer for the overall size to double. Because of this, the earliest of the six days have most of the15 billion years sequestered with them. For the duration of each day and the details of how that matches with the measured history of the universe and the earth, see The Science of God.

    CORRECTION TO THE CALCULATION OF THE AGE OF THE UNIVERSE

    Following a talk I gave at AZUSA Pacific University, February 2011, a participant noted that when calculating the expansion ratio of space [that is, by what fraction space had stretched] from the era of nucleosynthesis to our current time, I had neglected to correct for the effect that the increase in the rate of universal expansion has on the current cosmic microwave radiation background. This increase introduces a non-linear effect. [That is, the rate of expansion is not constant, rather the rate is increasing.] The correction is in the order of 10%. Had the expansion been linear [and not super-linear resulting from the increased rate], the CMRB would be, not the currently observed 2.76 K, but 3.03 K. Introducing this correction into the exponential equation that details the duration of the six 24 hour days of Genesis Chapter One results in an age of the universe from our perspective of 14 billion years [14, 000,000,000 years]. From the Bible’s perspective of time for those six evocative days of Genesis, the number of our years held compressed within each of those six 24 hour days of Genesis, starting with Day One, would be, in billions of years, respectively, 7.1; 3.6; 1.8; 0.89; 0.45; 0.23.”

    Copyrightcopyrightby Gerald L. Schroeder

  18. Using Schroeder’s formula, the first five days (prior to man’s creation) would be 13.698 billion years. We see in the Torah the number of stars listed at around 10 trillion, similar to the estimated number which scientists believe today. Also the The Talmud (Rosh Hashana 25:1) relates: 29.5 days + 2/3 of an hour + 73 parts of an hour.

    1. 2/3 hour = 720 parts (since an hour is divided into 1080 parts. See note ?)

    2. 73 parts + 720 parts = 793 parts

    3. 793/1080 parts of an hour = 0.734259 hour.

    4. 0.734259 hour = 0.03059 of a day.

    5. 0.03059 + 29.5 days = 29.53059 days

    Conclusion: The New Moon renews itself every 29.53059 days.

    Carl Sagan relates it as 29.530588 days, later german scientists refined it to 29.530589 days. Less than 0.0864 of a second difference than the 2000 year old recorded length of time by Rav Gamliel, brought down from Moses on Mount Sinai. Pretty cool huh?

  19. This universe expansion in all direction from us always remind me that we are at center of the Universe, otherwise how to explain it expanding in all directions, ha?

  20. Okie dokie….explain how something….anything…Can “expand” INTO itself….and dont use bubble gum as a prop/analogy

  21. why do I see this when im going to sleep? cant stop thinking… the universe is expanding faster than light, but still the light can travel fast enough to pass the bubble because the bubble is expandig too, so those 2 speeds are faster than the speed of light and faster than the expanding universe, but the universe is accelerating so in some point it will drag that light wit the radius of the bubble and everything else on the universe so basically the rate of light passing trough the bubble will be the same always… the light would be pulled away faster with the accelerating universe but also the bubble would be expanding faster with the universe so it would be the same rate no mater what, and relatively the speed of the bubble to the speed of traveling light would be faster and faster than the speed of light… but even if the universe is expanding in every direction it does not make the speed of traveling light faster than the speed of light, because the speed is added but at the same time is subtracted, so every traveling object is still traveling at the same speed and covers the same amount of distance in the same amount of time but takes longer to reach from point A to pint B even when A and B are traveling to colide with each other, so in conclusion my mom gay…

  22. 2:25 if our Hubble Sphere is getting bigger, wouldnt that essentially be a bubble within a bubble? Meaning; space outside the Hubble Sphere is expanding faster than Light. Ok that's understandable. But if there's an area 'inside' the Hubble Sphere that is also expanding faster than light, wouldn't that push everything outside even further away? If photons travel across what we call "the fabric of space" how would an inside source of expansion NOT affect those photons?

  23. nice video. However, I personally found the suddenly introduced of the expanding hubble sphere not well explained. Maybe because I had(?) misconceptions where no one else had them. I assumed constant expansion rate is the same as a constant hubble parameter. But it seems a constant expansion rate is referring to a galaxy moving away at a constant speed while a constant hubble parameter would mean that at a fixed distance to Earth the expansion rate is the same (and that is obviously not the case, hence the growing hubble bubble…er.. sphere). (and neither is the expansion rate constant, of course… ).

  24. Wrong. It's not a universe. It's a creation. No galaxies. No vacuum. Nothing is what they say it is. Your in Caesars circus and all the world is a stage. And yes, all the intellectual prouis involved in that belief system will ultimately cause everyone reading this, to refuse to seek the truth, for the reality of cognitive dissonance.

  25. I keep asking people and they never come through with it… when can I see a map of the stars and galaxies in our sky in the proper place that they are now and not where the light pretends it is now?
    Veritasium you're up to bat

  26. A misconception there:

    The fact that some time ago the universe was compressed in a single point is actually a misconception! It's a prediction of the standard cosmological model, which is based on the theory of general relativity. But we know for sure that it can't be true, because singularities can't exist in the universe. There are no infinite energy densities in the real world. What's going on is that general relativity stops being valid at sufficiently high energies. To make any further prediction a more comprehensive theory of gravity is needed, which is not available yet (probably a theory of quantum gravity). But it's important to keep in mind that the singularity is a flaw of the theory, not a feature of reality! We don't know how the universe was beyond the validity regime of general relativity, i.e. at the "first instants".

  27. 3:37 now if that doesn't look like a description similar to a black hole. And one day we will find out that our universe is just one black hole of trillions in another universe and so on…

  28. can anybody please explain me how the hubble sphere also expand?? I think the Hubble distance is a kind of a constant as because the speed of light is…

  29. ignorance is bliss… don't watch these videos or you'll have an existential crisis just like I'm having one now…I'm questioning everything…

  30. Excellent presentation.
    Now, for bonus points, try to make Penrose's phase change model of the universe comprehensible to someone who isn't a math wizard.

  31. I don't know why IT LOOKS LIKE THE UNIVERSE IS INFINITE. Not a single piece of evidence of it. In-finite is a gramatical construction, as the following ones: an unstoppable mouse, an inmortal human, an extraterrestrial cocodrile, an invisible cat, a NOT FINITE UNIVERSE, the only things we are proven to us in fact and that we can reach and understand are finite, since we are finite beings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WabHm1QWVCA

  32. Well, not entirely correct I think. The speed of light is not dependent on an objects velocity it is leaving from because the speed of light does not have an acceleration as strange as that sounds. To answer that mathematically correct one must dig into quantum mechanics and some obscure math. x, y, z have the same geometric factors between them but time has not and vice versa. Speed is length per unit of time. Therefor light may seemingly be faster or slower but it doesnt violate the terminal speed. Objects that have mass become smaller when they approach the speed of light. Anyone confused by now?

  33. If things can't travel through space faster than light, then say two objects are headed towards each other at near the speed of light.

    In some frame of reference one of those objects is going faster than light.

    * Defining whether space is expanding or objects are travelling through a space seems entirely arbitrary! *

    What am I missing here?

  34. Music ruins the video. Stopped watching, after the first 2 minutes because I am not going to exert myself to understand a narrator, whose words are unnecessarily obscured by music.

  35. Bad explanation. The reason we can see light emitting objects that are moving away from us faster than the speed of light is because neither it or us is actually moving faster than the speed of light. In fact, both it and us are moving slower than the speed of light, therefore light that left that object in the past is catching up with us. In fact, light that left that object long enough ago has already caught up to us. That is why we "see it."… not where it is, but where it was.

  36. Video says Hubble Sphere grows over time in an Acceleration Universe! That's not quite right, isn't it? I thought that happens in a Decelerating Universe.

  37. It's mind blowing to try to grasp the size of the Universe. If something orbited Earth at the speed of light it would make 5 circuits every second. If the Universe was a constant 93 billion light years across then it would take 93 billion years at the speed of light to cross it. But it's expanding faster than the speed of light!
    Still think the Universe was made for us? 8^)

  38. If this expanding is not becouse power of "bang" but becouse of growing space (dark energy?) and Universe has no center where "bang" could happened, then why shuold we belive that there was one accidental "big bang"? Is there any argument for "big bang" in actual science?

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