Some readers might remember my post from last year in which I accused Stephen Hawking and other physicists of stealing Homer Simpson's idea of a doughnut-shaped universe. Well, it appears that the idea has caught on and now they've designed a fairly sharp looking scale model:
At first, this polished object looks like an ordinary ring. But it's much more than that. This is a model of the universe, which, according to one increasingly popular theory, is not flat, circular, spherical or saddle-shaped, but more like a "3-torus," or doughnut shape. It's also a whole lot bigger then you may have imagined.Feeling tiny and insignificant yet? I thought I smelled doughnuts.
Look closer, and you'll notice a minuscule speck on this model. It looks like a tiny flaw at first, but upon closer inspection, you'll see it's a precise wine glass shape. That's us. The tiny area depicts the known universe, showing a timeline of its entire life, from the Big Bang starting at the glass's stem, expanding to where we live today.