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Is there a Center of the Universe?
I've read articles about the universe by so-called experts indicating that all space and time was created by the Big Bang, and that it is senseless to imagine things prior to the Big Bang, because "there was no before the Big Bang." Thus, there is no center because with the Big Bang began the expansion of space of infinite density. I've also read articles by writers claiming to have similar credentials indicating that everything in the universe is at the center. My response to people who think this way is what have you been smoking? I'm no physicist but if trying to make sense out of such ludicrous notions is part of being one I'm glad I chose a different profession.
The fact is, if the Big Bang happened the way scientists say it did then there most definitely is a place in space today that can be called the origin of the universe. This is not necessarily the place where it all began, however. Maybe some definitions of space differ from others, but by my definition, driven by common sense, empty vacuum space can be defined as the absence of anything, or complete immutable blankness. It wasn't created. Rather, it's always been, and it always will be.
In our universe all space contains properties: things like light, gravity, and in some places matter. This distinguishes it from space outside of our universe, beyond the point where any energy therefrom has reached. Nonetheless, it's all still just space, and it's what the universe would be expanding through if scientific theories about the Big Bang are correct. If not for the properties contained within all space within our universe it wouldn't even have time. It's the properties within this space that give rise to time, but the space itself doesn't have it. To have time something must be changeable. Thus, it's not space-time without properties to distinguish it from empty vacuum space. Furthermore, time isn't some invisible fourth dimension within space, as many scientists seem to have suggested: the time travel movies got it wrong. Time is just an idea we developed to measure the rate of change in properties, and as Einstein once quoted, it doesn't exist independently from what we make of it.
So in short, empty vacuum space is essentially nothing. It didn't come out of the Big Bang. Quite to the contrary, roughly 13.7 billion years ago it was the Big Bang that came out of it, according to most scientists. And if it started with an explosion, as most scientists today would agree was the case, giving rise to the expansion of matter and energy, then there has to be a place in space where it began.
Of course the argument could be made that if it happened this way, the universe would resemble a hollow sphere today, all matter being at the outer edge, which of course telescopic observations have revealed is certainly not the case. However, that's not how the universe would've turned out. Have you ever witnessed a log explode in a campfire? If you have, you would likely know that it does not leave a resulting doughnut shaped ring of ash around the fire, but rather bits of ash and wood chunks scattered all over. Likewise, if you explode a stick of dynamite, you'll find thereafter debris from the original stick at various distances away from where the explosion took place. Most likely, debris from the outer portions of the original stick will be found at greater distances from where the explosion occurred than debris from the inner portions of the original stick. Thus, all the matter in the universe does not have to be at the outer edge. Rather, it can be anywhere within the boundaries of expansion.
As far as the notions I read suggesting that everything in the universe is at the center, this too makes little sense to me. Only through twisted interpretations of the laws of relativity could I conceive where such a suggestion could have derived. Even factoring in equations associated with relativity there's still no way around the fact that the universe is expanding away from a point of origin, (subject to potential chaotic trajectory changes of various forms of matter, of course). Just because time dilation equations would demonstrate that the light emitted from objects at the universe's edge has traveled the same distance as light emitted from objects closer to, or at the center doesn't mean everything in the universe is at the center.
If two race cars sitting side-by-side turned on their headlights at the exact same time, and then took off, one accelerating to 200 MPH, and the other accelerating to only 150 MPH, the ending points of each of the rays from both vehicle's headlights would remain synchronized in location, yet both rays, (or all four rays, to be technical), would be traveling at exactly 186,000 miles per second, (the immutable speed of light). This would be the case because the race car traveling 200 MPH would age slower than the race car traveling 150 MPH by way of a time dilation. Nonetheless, the faster race car would still move ahead of the slower race car.
It has to be the same concept with the expanding universe. Unless the center is thought to be expanding as well, which would pretty much defeat the whole concept, there has to be a point of origin. While I certainly can proclaim that not all of this is easy to wrap your brain around, I still refuse to believe that it's impossible to understand, like the two ridiculous ideas portrayed above. I don't believe the universe is like some of the notions associated with the belief in God. Nothing against religion, but when it comes to the universe, we CAN fully understand it.