If the speed of the spacecraft can reach one light year per second, can we reach the edge of the universe?

This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.

No one knows how big the vast universe is. One of the most important factors for human beings to realize the dream of exploring the universe is the rapid improvement of the speed of realization. Without super speed, we can’t get out of the solar system, we can’t get out of the galaxy, let alone explore the whole universe.

According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, the speed of light is the fastest in the universe. No object can travel faster than light. Therefore, the speed of light is also one of the speeds that human beings dream to achieve. Although Einstein thought that human beings can never get close to the speed of light, it can not stop the pace of human exploration.


In the eyes of many people, the speed of light is faster than we can imagine. Such a speed can easily fly out of the solar system, allow human beings to explore a wider universe, and enable human beings to realize interstellar migration. But the speed of light is so small in front of the vast scale of the universe. Someone once asked the question: if the speed of a spaceship can reach one light year per second, can we reach the edge of the universe? Before we answer this question, let’s first discuss whether the universe has an edge? Although human beings are still not sure whether the universe has an edge, according to the research and exploration of scientists, it is believed that the birth of the universe has an age, which has been 13.8 billion years.

From the moment of the big bang to now, the universe has been expanding. No one knows how much the universe is expanding now, because we can’t determine the average speed of the expansion from the big bang to now. Only by knowing this speed can we calculate how big the universe is.

The universe has age, it has the speed of expansion, so the universe can not be infinite, it probably has the edge of existence, but this edge may be very different from what we think. Einstein once predicted: the universe may be a boundless space.

In fact, no matter where people look at the universe, there is no starting point or end point. Just like the globe like the earth, it is full of starting points and end points. There is no clear starting point or end point. This is the boundless situation, but the earth has its own size. As long as we walk out of the earth and stand in space, we can see it clearly.


In the same way, the universe may be similar to this situation, it may be a boundless and boundless vast space. Although it is still expanding, the universe may have an edge, which is at least 46.5 billion light-years away from the center of the universe. This is because the observable range of human beings is 93 billion light years. If we calculate from the center of the observable universe, its radius is 46.5 billion light years.

If the speed of the spacecraft is one light year per second, 60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, then an hour is 3600 seconds. At this speed, the spacecraft can fly 3600 light-years in an hour. Taking the 93 billion light-years currently observable as an example, it will take about 1.08 million years for a spacecraft to cross the entire universe. If the earth is the center of the observable universe, it will take 540000 years to fly from here to the edge of the universe.

In such a long time, it is obviously unrealistic to fly to the edge of the universe at the speed of one light year per second. Moreover, according to the observation of scientists, 93 billion light-years is only the observation range under the current scientific and technological strength of human beings. It may be just the tip of the iceberg in the whole universe. The real universe is so vast that we can’t imagine it, far more than 93 billion light-years. If the diameter of the universe is now several trillion light-years, flying at the speed of one light-year per second, it will take more than a few million years to reach the edge of the universe.


From this we can see that, in our opinion, it’s faster than we thought, and it’s nothing in front of the universe. At the speed of one light-year per second, it’s no problem for humans to travel all over the galaxy and fly out of the galaxy. Even we can observe large galaxies around the galaxy, such as Andromeda. But it’s impossible to explore the whole universe at such a speed.

Some people say that human beings can’t explore the whole universe in a long time, mainly because the life span of human beings is very short, only about 100 years. It’s far from enough for a long interstellar voyage. But in fact, many people ignore the next very important problem of light speed flight, that is the clock slow effect. This is a view put forward by Einstein’s theory of Relativity: when the speed of an object is infinitely close to the speed of light, its time will be slower and slower. When the speed of the object reaches the speed of light, time has been completely static and does not pass.

If the clock slowness effect proposed by Einstein’s theory of relativity is real, then people in the spacecraft will fly at the speed of light, even if they fly for hundreds of thousands or millions of years, the time will not change. But people outside the spaceship will find that hundreds of thousands of years, millions of years, have passed. If so, even if the speed of the spaceship is only one light year per second, as long as its speed is less than the expansion speed of the universe, one day it will be able to catch up and reach the edge of the universe. At this time, the astronauts in the spaceship will still be the same as before, and they will not grow old or die.

If the clock slow effect proposed by Einstein’s theory of relativity is true, will human beings step into the long interstellar exploration of the edge of the universe after realizing the speed of light? It is estimated that this possibility is also great. Although the time inside the spaceship has not changed, the time outside is still developing normally. It may be hundreds of thousands of years, millions of years or even hundreds of millions of years before human beings want to know when the road of light speed flight will reach the edge of the universe.


This long wait is not what we want to see. So you can’t fly to the edge of the universe at the speed of one light year per second, and you can’t travel all over the universe. Of course, if this kind of speed is realized in the future, it will definitely bring great sensation to the scientific community, and human civilization will enter into the advanced civilization of the universe and become one of the civilizations at the top of the pyramid in the universe.

However, these are still too far away for human beings, and the constant efforts of scientists are needed to continuously improve the speed. Our next step is to fly at sub light speed. If we can fly at sub light speed, we can go out of the solar system and explore the surrounding galaxies to see if there are alien civilizations around the solar system?

Of course, it is not easy to achieve this. It requires the emergence of stronger energy. This energy is not nuclear fusion, but antimatter. The energy of antimatter is at least 50 times that of nuclear fusion. If this kind of energy technology is realized, the speed of spaceship can be increased to sub light speed, which will be of great significance to human beings.


However, antimatter is still far away for us. At present, we do not know how long it will take to realize controllable nuclear fusion technology. Only when the nuclear fusion technology is realized, it is possible to study and explore the next antimatter technology. No matter how hard the road is, as long as human beings continue to work hard to develop, we believe that one day we will be able to realize our dream of exploring the whole universe and uncover the ultimate mystery of the universe.

Guys, what do you think of this? Welcome to leave a message below to discuss and express your opinions.

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