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Thread: What will happen at the end of the Universe?

  1. #1
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    What will happen at the end of the Universe?

    I have been wondering about what will happen to the universe far into the future. I've heard of theories such as the big rip and heat death but what is the most plausible theory of what will happen at the end of the Universe?

  2. #2
    It will just keep spreading out and cooling off but that is in the range of billions of years and longer.
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    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    It will just keep spreading out and cooling off but that is in the range of billions of years and longer.
    That's pretty much it. We're already well past the time of peak star formation.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    ... in the range of billions of years and longer.
    Heavy emphasis on the "and longer".

    Wiki's take on the Big Freeze suggests star formation will continue for another 1 to 100 trillion years, before we even need to consider what happens after that.

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    I won't be there....
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #7
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    If you believe in the accelerating expansion of the universe, the end is the Big Rip.

    Galaxies will be torn apart, then stellar systems, then stars and planets. Not long after this, even atoms will be torn apart by Dark Energy.

    When this actually happens is uncertain. The data indicates it is many billions, if not trillions, of years off.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    If you believe in the accelerating expansion of the universe, the end is the Big Rip.

    Galaxies will be torn apart, then stellar systems, then stars and planets. Not long after this, even atoms will be torn apart by Dark Energy.

    When this actually happens is uncertain. The data indicates it is many billions, if not trillions, of years off.
    Just to be sure, this happens with certain types of accelerating expansion, but not all. Some possible cosmological models (in particular, ones where the parameter w is less than -1; w relates the pressure and density of dark energy) end in a Big Rip. Other possible models, though (where w >= 1) don't tear apart most gravitationally bound systems, so they end in a Big Freeze. Current observational constraints on the value of w put it very close to -1, without enough information to distinguish between whether it's exactly -1, or instead slightly larger or smaller.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

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