General Question

penumbra's avatar

What is the fate of the universe?

Asked by penumbra (31points) February 26th, 2008

Big Crunch or Endless Expansion?

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20 Answers

Zaku's avatar

I think astronomers probably are being presumptuous about their understanding of the universe and their interpretation of its history and future from lights from such extreme time/distances and neither big crunch nor endless expansion is accurate or complete.

paulc's avatar

The universe grows into its basic teenage form and gets all awkward. It gets into a few really messy relationships and its growth is stunted. It gets a dead end management job related to physics and goes home every night to watch re-runs of Degrassi Junior High. The good news for us is that this all takes a very long time and the universe comes from a family with longevity (on her mother’s side).

Spargett's avatar

There is alot we don’t have the answers to. This being one of the biggest.

segdeha's avatar

If it’s the universe, is it really fate that determines the outcome?

Amurph's avatar

I believe that the “big crunch” theory is gradually loosing adherents.

The most supported theory is that there will be an endless expansion – forcing galaxies to become more distant from each other.

I don’t remember where I read this – but another factor of the “endless expansion” theory is that matter will eventually loose it’s cohesiveness (the “strong” force in quarks, I believe). As the universe expands the ability of all matter to “stick” together will fail. This means that atoms will begin drifting apart as the galaxies are now – eventually leading to the slow “disintegration” of all things that have mass.

Amurph's avatar

Amendment: This is the most widly supported theory RIGHT NOW – or even, really, within the last 5 years.

segdeha's avatar

Doesn’t gravity get weaker by the square of the distance? That would imply less and less force to hold things together as the universe expands, hence, ever expanding universe! (Can you tell I’m no astrophysicist?)

steelmarket's avatar

Read Turok and Steinhardt’s new book, “Endless Universe”, for the presentation of a clever cyclical model (based on brane theory).

Zaku's avatar

Today, I am thinking it will vanish in a puff of logic.

supergrover's avatar

Recent observations suggest that the expansion of the universe will continue forever. If so, the universe will cool as it expands, eventually becoming too cold to sustain life. For this reason, this future scenario is popularly called the Big Freeze.

The future of an expanding universe is bleak. If a cosmological constant accelerates the expansion of the universe, clusters of galaxies will rapidly be driven away from each other, leaving observers in different clusters unable to either reach each other or sense each other’s presence in any way.

Eventually the supply of gas needed for star formation will be exhausted. Once the last star has exhausted its fuel, stars will then cease to shine.The stellar remnants left behind are expected to disappear as their protons decay, leaving behind only black holes which themselves eventually disappear as they emit Hawking radiation. Ultimately, if the universe reaches a state in which the temperature approaches a uniform value, no further work will be possible, resulting in a final heat death of the universe.

Big Rip is where the acceleration caused by dark energy eventually becomes so strong that it completely overwhelms the effects of the gravitational, electromagnetic and weak binding forces. As a result, all material objects in the universe, starting with galaxies and eventually (in a finite time) all life forms, no matter how small, will disintegrate into unbound elementary particles and radiation, ripped apart by the phantom energy force and shooting apart from each other.

toyhyena's avatar

I’m one of those people that, with their limited understanding of physics, is willing to bet there was never a beginning and there won’t be an end. I’m willing to bet it’s more complicated than that :D

90s_kid's avatar

I’m not a fatalist.

Strauss's avatar

the fate of the universe is to remain the universe, in whatever form the universe morph.

Shuttle128's avatar

Entropy heat death?

bean's avatar

why don’t we just wait untill we have more accurate information about our universe…maybe untill we can explore it then maybe we can understand where it is heading…

Dewey420's avatar

The Big Rip reminds me of THE NOTHING from Neverending Story.
” If we’re about to die anyway, I’d rather die fighting! Come for me, G’mork! I am Atreyu! ”

kess's avatar

If the Universe continues to expand, then it must expand into something, which also means that there is something greater that It.

So What then Is that thing greater than the universe?

If the universe is destined to die, then how come it supports Life, then can it not use this Life which it supports to sustain itself?

I know for sure that the scientist with their theories are wrong both ways.

Response moderated (Spam)
Anna737's avatar

it already happened. soory! that’s right time doesn’t actually exist (anymore), and space is merely a juxtaposition.

Anna737's avatar

I love it when Science claims to Know. Riiight…

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