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What is the shape of space?

4 minutes

Why the apparent flatness of space is an enduring cosmological mystery

Empty space isn’t ‘nothing’. Since Albert Einstein, scientists have known that space has distinct physical properties, giving it the ability to bend, ripple and expand. One of its most mysterious characteristics, however, is its apparent flatness, allowing objects travelling on parallel paths to continue on parallel paths unless acted upon by the gravitational force of another object – a feature of the Universe that appears to be ‘a gigantic, cosmic-level coincidence’. This brief animation probes our evolving understanding of space, brushing up against the edges of current human understanding.

Video by MinutePhysics and PHD Comics 

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Essay/
Physics
Out of nowhere

Does everything in the world boil down to basic units – or can emergence explain how distinctive new things arise?

Paul Humphreys

Essay/
Cosmology
How cosmic is the cosmos?

Ever since Heisenberg and Tagore, physicists have flirted with Eastern philosophy. Is there anything in the romance?

Zeeya Merali