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Benny_G's avatar

Will the universe ever find its zero point energy state?

Asked by Benny_G (8points) June 29th, 2011

Due to dark energy, the universe seems to never collapse. Does this mean that the universe can never find its zero point energy state?

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8 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

I’m not sure what you mean by a ground state.

Benny_G's avatar

By ground state i mean a systems lowest energy state

laureth's avatar

This article is my current favorite hypothesis for what caused the Big Bang.

In my head, the collision of the ‘branes is a bit like when you accidentally hit the clamps of active jumper-cables together. There’s a mad sparking, which shoots out, fizzles, and disappears. Only in this case, it’s very slow-mo from our point of view. Everything we know of – stars, planets, us, etc., is the result of that sparking collision, and someday the universe will reach essential emptiness again as the spark fizzles out and dies. Is that a satisfactory zero energy state?

If so, then… not anytime soon. But then, it’s not in any rush.

Rarebear's avatar

So let me rephrase what you are asking. In the absence of dark energy, entropy would ultimately dissapate the energy to a low energy state, but because of dark energy, which presumably is adding energy to the system, a low energy state will not be reached?

Is that what you are asking?

Benny_G's avatar

Yes, I’m pretty sure that is what I’m asking. Gravity pulls, but dark energy pushes harder. Thus the potential energy in the universe can never become zero. I think this is strange – that the universe is a losing system. That it will never get its will.

ETpro's avatar

All my reading indicates that while individual astrophysicists may have their pet theory leading to this or that end for the universe, we do not know who, if anyone, has it right. It is not clear that the 2nd law of thermodynamics applies to the Universe. Bear in mind that it only applies to perfectly closed systems with no dynamical input. We simply don’t know that our Universe matches that description. So it has so far proved impossible to determine whether it will reach a state of total entropy, or change into something else. We may inhabit a cyclical Universe..

King_Pariah's avatar

I personally believe the Big Chill theory but even then the universe won’t reach a state of zero point energy because there will be at the least billions upon trillions upon infinite (okay maybe a slight exaggeration) photons whizzing around.

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