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Why science will never know everything about our Universe

17 Feb 2017, 15:02 UTC
Why science will never know everything about our Universe
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The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field, our deepest view of the Universe to date. Image credit: NASA; ESA; G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch, University of California, Santa Cruz; R. Bouwens, Leiden University; and the HUDF09 Team.There is so much we’ve discovered and so far that we’ve come. But there’s a limit to knowledge we’ll never be able to overcome.“To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” -Nicolaus CopernicusThe Universe itself may be finite or may be infinite; the jury is still out. But one thing is certain: the part that’s accessible to us is finite. Even with the expanding Universe, even with all the galaxies and stars and planet and molecules and atoms and subatomic particles in it, there’s only so much we can access. And those limitations — the total numbers of particles and the total amount of energy available in the Universe — means there’s only a finite amount of information we can determine about our cosmos. For the first time, we can quantify that, and begin to infer which things we might never understand.The observable Universe might be 46 ...

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