• Flat universe may be the new flat Earth

    20 May 2009, 02:43 by Milkshake8

    FOR centuries the ancients believed . Evidence to the contrary was either ignored or effortlessly integrated into the dominant world view. Today we dismiss flat-Earthers as ignorant, yet we may be making an almost identical mistake – not about our planet, but about the entire universe.

    When it comes to the universe, "" refers to the fate of light beams travelling large distances parallel to each other. If the universe is "flat", the beams will always remain Parallel. Matter, Energy and Dark Energy all produce curvature in Space-Time, however. If the universe's space-time is positively curved, like the surface of a Sphere, parallel beams would come together. In a negatively curved, saddle-shaped universe, parallel beams would Diverge.

    Thanks in part to the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite, which revealed the density of matter and Dark Energy in the early universe, most astronomers are confident that the universe is flat. …