How Big Is The Universe? – The Physics Answer

Now this is a deep deep question. And one that we all ask. In fact, do we really know if the universe is even finite at all? Fortunately the answer to this is covered at school in the context of Astronomy in Physics. Finite or infinite, according to the latest information on Physics, and the measurements we have made so far, it is possible to get a very good picture on this. But how can one put this into context, or visualise this?

This is a video I show to all my Physics students, it is a totally mindblowing visualisation of the universe, zooming out of the earth, into the solar system, how the solar system fits into the Milky Way galaxy, and where the Milky way fits in amongst many many galaxies. Produced by the American Museum of Natural History, and with a beautiful ambient trance like soundtrack this short video will take you on a very long journey away and then back from earth.

The distances are measured in how fast light travels, because in the big scheme of things light is very slow indeed. While it takes roughly 8 minutes for light to get from the Sun to the Earth, it takes millions of years to get to us from the outer reaches of the universe.

This video fascinates all my students, it will leave you stunned and in awe knowing where you fit into the big scheme of things. It is a total joy to be able to share this with my students, and I never get bored of watching it again and again, a truly great Physics resource. Hit play and enjoy the ride.

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