The universe as a football
October 11, 2003 1:21 PM   Subscribe

The shape of the universe may well be a dodecahedron. New research from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe suggests a finite universe with a definite shape. One up for Plato, who, following Pythagoras, maintained that “God used this solid for the whole universe, embroidering figures on it.”. So it appears. .. all expressed much more lucidly by the Economist.
posted by grahamwell (14 comments total)
thanks grahamwell...i recently saw a short snippet on CNN about this and wanted to find out more... the universe might be a soccer ball...hehe...god, the architect.
posted by poopy at 1:33 PM on October 11, 2003

What The Economist didn't mention (but New Scientist did!) is that it's already been falsified.

The hubbub is all about the lack of very large-scale structure in the WMAP data. One way of explaining it is to assume that the universe is finite -- that it's too small to have such large-scale structure. However, a finite universe means other observational phenomena which are *not* observed, so the scientists are still left with the puzzle of large-scale structure.
posted by ptermit at 1:41 PM on October 11, 2003

Falsified might be a bit strong, "Spergel and his team are now working with Weeks to see if they might somehow have missed the circles. " As the article concludes though "you've just got to take the Universe you're given." Personally I don't believe any of it but there's something poetic in the idea that after 3,000 years of scientific progress you end up back where you started.
posted by grahamwell at 1:53 PM on October 11, 2003

isn't finite universe an oxymoron?
posted by quonsar at 2:29 PM on October 11, 2003

besides, any pot smoker can tell you that the entire universe is but an atom in an object of unimaginable scale, which itself is but an atom...
posted by quonsar at 2:32 PM on October 11, 2003

The fact that the universe is a D12 only proves my theory that we are all NPCs in a giant metaphysical game of D&D.
posted by Hildago at 3:13 PM on October 11, 2003

dibs on the half-elf archer mage
posted by poopy at 3:23 PM on October 11, 2003

So: this means Atlantis is real too? Cool.
posted by crunchburger at 3:28 PM on October 11, 2003

I put on my robe and wizard hat.
posted by homunculus at 4:05 PM on October 11, 2003

"If we could prove that the Universe was finite and small, that would be earth-shattering," says David Spergel of Princeton University in New Jersey. "It would really change our view of the Universe."

David Spergel really needs to get out more.
posted by electro at 7:54 PM on October 11, 2003

Why would 'finite universe' be an oxymoron? Universe only means it's all of it. If there is only a finite amount of 'it', so be it.
posted by fvw at 11:10 PM on October 11, 2003

what if it's finite but we can never know because it's so large?
posted by amberglow at 11:35 PM on October 11, 2003

Whoa! This just blew my mind!

Not the finite universe stuff, but the fact that for years I have been labouring under the misapprehension that a dodecahedron is a D20!

The guys at my next AD&D Forgotten Realms get-together aren't gonna let me hear the end of this...
posted by backOfYourMind at 5:20 AM on October 12, 2003

sweet17: mmmmmm you are good
bloodninja: I feel your thighs tighten as I **** harder
bloodninja: going limp
sweet17: HARRRRRRR

still funny, the third or fourth time...
posted by shadow45 at 8:59 AM on October 12, 2003

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