How BIG is the universe?

I send out a “Thought For The Week” and this week’s thought is as follows:

“The range of sizes, distances or speeds with which our imaginations are comfortable is a tiny band, set in the midst of a gigantic range of the possible, from the scale of quantum strangeness at the smaller end to the scale of Einsteinian cosmology at the larger”.
Richard Hawkins in “The God Delusion “ (2006)

Now, as regards “Einsteinian cosmology”, I guess that it doesn’t get bigger than the universe (unless you subscribe to the multiverse theory of quantum physics). So how big is the universe?
In his book “A Briefer History Of Time” [my review here], Stephen Hawking tells us that the size of the observable universe is a million million million million miles. That is: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles.
Now that’s BIG.

One Comment

  • George Irvine

    Firstly, the great minds tell me that the universe is infinite in size and still expanding, is this not a paradox? and secondly, I believe this infinity theory is just a kop out and is a better solution than saying I don’t know how big the universe is! This would then raise the question – What’s beyond the universe, ad infinitum atoms within atoms so to speak.