Shape of the universe
The shape of the universe is the local and global geometry of the Universe, in terms of both curvature and topology (though, strictly speaking, the concept goes beyond both). The shape of the universe is related to general relativity which describes how spacetime is curved and bent by mass and energy.There is a distinction between the observable universe and the global universe. The observable universe consists of the part of the universe that can, in principle, be observed due to the finite speed of light and the age of the universe. The observable universe is understood as a sphere around the Earth extending 93 billion light years (8.8 *1026 meters) and would be similar at any observing point (assuming the universe is indeed isotropic, as it appears to be from our vantage point).According to the book Our Mathematical Universe, the shape of the global universe can be explained with three categories: Finite or infinite Flat (no curvature), open (negative curvature) or closed (positive curvature) Connectivity, how the universe is put together, i.e., simply connected space or multiply connected.There are certain logical connections among these properties. For example, a universe with positive curvature is necessarily finite. Although it is usually assumed in the literature that a flat or negatively curved universe is infinite, this need not be the case if the topology is not the trivial one.The exact shape is still a matter of debate in physical cosmology, but experimental data from various, independent sources (WMAP, BOOMERanG and Planck for example) confirm that the observable universe is flat with only a 0.4% margin of error. Theorists have been trying to construct a formal mathematical model of the shape of the universe. In formal terms, this is a 3-manifold model corresponding to the spatial section (in comoving coordinates) of the 4-dimensional space-time of the universe. The model most theorists currently use is the so-called Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker (FLRW) model. Arguments have been put forward that the observational data best fit with the conclusion that the shape of the global universe is infinite and flat, but the data are also consistent with other possible shapes, such as the so-called Poincaré dodecahedral space and the Picard horn.