from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. All matter and energy, including the earth, the galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space, regarded as a whole.
- n. The earth together with all its inhabitants and created things.
- n. The human race.
- n. The sphere or realm in which something exists or takes place.
- n. Logic See universe of discourse.
- n. Statistics See population.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The sum of everything that exists in the cosmos, including time and space itself; same as the Universe.
- n. An entity similar to our Universe; one component of a larger entity known as the multiverse.
- n. Everything under consideration.
- n. An imaginary collection of worlds.
- n. Intense form of world in the sense of perspective or social setting.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. All created things viewed as constituting one system or whole; the whole body of things, or of phenomena; the to~ pa^n of the Greeks, the mundus of the Latins; the world; creation.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The totality of existing things; all that is in dynamical connection with general experience taken collectively—embracing the Creator and creation; or psychical and material objects, but excluding the Creator; or material objects only.
- n. The whole world; all mankind; all that meets us in experience, in a loose sense.
- n. In logic, the collection of all the objects to which any discourse refers: as, the universe of things.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. everything that exists anywhere
- n. (statistics) the entire aggregation of items from which samples can be drawn
- n. everything stated or assumed in a given discussion
Thus if the spherical-surface beings are living on a planet of which the solar system occupies only a negligibly small part of the spherical universe, they have no means of determining whether they are living in a finite or in an infinite universe, because the piece of universe to which they have access is in both cases practically plane, or Euclidean.
Specifically the notion that what we call our universe is a 4-dimensional space-time that itself is just a surface in a higher dimensional space, called a brane, a 4-brane in this case.
"The term universe in its complete physical sense applies to all matter in existence."
The word universe literally means everything that exists.
Since the universe is virtually transparent to radiation of these wavelengths, nothing would really have happened to it: the radiation would expand in universe at the same rate as the universe is expanding.
When we began to realize that there were other such vast aggregations of stars, we called them "island universes," but this was an obvious misnomer; since the word universe means everything there is, it can hardly have a plural.
Now Hoyle may have been wrong about the steady state theory – the very term "big bang" as used to describe the beginning of the universe is his own dismissive phrase for what he regarded as a poor alternative theory – but he was no fool otherwise, and it was only his own argumentative and bloody-minded character, it is said, that prevented him from winning the Nobel prize.
Even if our universe is a random accident, we still want to believe that it must have been caused by the deterministic laws that govern it.
Still, it's not like the universe is always asking Superman to be a villain.
The nature of the universe is a point of interest to many of us and I note on this thread that Pixie and others have expressed surprise at the notion of an infinite universe.