Anyone care trying to explain how there is supposedly no center to the universe? Quantum Holography implies a center. Any flowery language of proto atoms or cosmic eggs does as well too. Even water droplet-like fission computer simulations of inflation can mathematically assign a center point. Plainly speaking, QFT hold spherical symmetry as well. And even our everyday common intuition lets us know things inflate symmetrically. What gives?

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    $\begingroup$ The only (perhaps outdated) explanation I've ever encountered which I could wrap my head around is that the 3 spatial dimensions of our universe are analogous to the 2 dimensions on the surface of a sphere. The sphere surface has finite size, but has no boundaries or center; at any point on the surface, there are two orthogonal dimensions (linear degrees of freedom), despite the fact that apparently "linear" paths are actually curved, and following any "straight" path along the surface will eventually bring you back to your starting point. If there "is" a center, it "was" at the big bang(?) $\endgroup$ – Anthony X Sep 11 '13 at 2:52
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    $\begingroup$ Spherical symmetry just means that the laws of physics do not distinguish one direction in space over any other. But there is also translational symmetry: no point in space is distinguished over any other. Either every point is the center, or no point is. $\endgroup$ – David H Sep 11 '13 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm sounds a lot like S. Hawking's north pole global time analogy he later got blasted for. What's wrong with thinking of colliding Branes or even perhaps a gigantic quantum fluctuation brought about by dark energy freezing, ripping, or diluting everything so this extremely "ordered" high value entropy state mimics exactly a low value Initial Conditions state? the fluctuation could have been one thousandth the size of our visible universe or even one thousand times bigger than our visible universe... $\endgroup$ – Daniel Park Sep 11 '13 at 3:19
  • $\begingroup$ Most QFT theory is done in flat spacetime. Flat spacetime has no 'center'. So I am not sure what exactly you mean by QFT having 'spherical symmetry'? I think you have been mislead by pictures commonly used to represent the universe. They make the mistake of showing the universe to be inflating like cookie dough. Actually the universe is said to be the 3D analogue of a 2D spherical shell. To ants living on the surface of the shell (like us humans in our universe), heating the shell causes uniform expansion of the surface area. The ant cannot mark a center anywhere on the shell. $\endgroup$ – dj_mummy Sep 11 '13 at 3:22
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielPark I can't understand one word of what you typed. I think you are mixing up many theories. I don't see what 'colliding branes' or 'gigantic quantum fluctuations' have to do with the locating center of the universe. I think that you have been mislead by crude and inadequate visual representations of cosmology used in TV shows and some textbooks. $\endgroup$ – dj_mummy Sep 11 '13 at 3:36

The sphere analogy was given in the comments and is the simplest visual example.


This is a small surface element on a two dimensional sphere in a three dimensional world where time is the third axis.

Seems to me you are glossing over time. Of course there exists a center in our four dimensional world where time is the fourth dimension. At t=0 the other coordinates are also zero and start growing. That is why it is called a bang.

There is no center on the surface of the four dimensional sphere of which we exist in the three space dimensional surface.

  • $\begingroup$ Although bang is a misnomer, because there was nothing to expand into - spacetime just stretched out of the singularity $\endgroup$ – Pranav Hosangadi Sep 11 '13 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ I think if you found a picture of 2-spheres expanding with time, that would be a clearer representation. $\endgroup$ – dj_mummy Sep 11 '13 at 3:53
  • $\begingroup$ @dj_mummy 2-spheres get across the idea of centerless-ness (because for some reason people don't grasp that infinite planes can't have a center), but then they introduce curvature and moreover closure to the universe, which doesn't really reflect our universe. Alas, what can one do? $\endgroup$ – user10851 Sep 11 '13 at 4:38

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