closed universe


noun

(in cosmology) a hypothetical expanding universe that contains sufficient matter to reverse the observed expansion through its gravitational contraction.

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Scientific definitions for closed universe

closed universe

A model of the universe in which the curvature of space is roughly spherical, entailing that the universe has finite size. An object moving in a straight line in a closed universe would eventually return to its starting point. According to most current cosmological theories, the universe is closed if it is sufficiently dense, and therefore possesses enough gravitational force to stop or reverse the expansion started by the big bang (resulting in what is called the big crunch). Compare open universe. See Note at big bang.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for closed universe

closed universe

If there is enough matter in the universe to stop the expansion associated with the big bang, we say that the universe is closed. In a closed universe, the current period of expansion will be followed by a period of contraction (sometimes called the Big Crunch) as the gravitational force pulls matter back in. Searching for matter to “close” the universe is a major task of modern cosmology. (See also dark matter, flat universe, and open universe.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.