Unformatted text preview: Newton knew that if the universe has existed forever and is static, that is, it has no net pattern of motion, then there must be enough time for gravity to collapse the universe, but this has clearly not happened! He knew of three ways to resolve this paradox. Either the universe is infinite in volume and mass or it is expanding fast enough to overcome the gravitational attraction or the universe has a beginning and/or an end. The last two ways violate the assumptions of an eternal and static universe, of course. So Newton chose the infinite universe option. Notice that you are able to arrive at the conclusion of an infinite universe from just one observation: the universe is not empty. No telescopes are needed, just the ability to follow a train of logical thought to its conclusion....
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 Fall '10
 EmilyHoward
 Astronomy, Solar System, General Relativity, complex theoretical model

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