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I'm curious to hear others thoughts on the following written by Dr. Brian Cox.... I asked the same thing of a different forum which turned out to be controversial in the extreme although I still don't understand as this is a subject with FAR more questions than answers, none of which can be currently proven or even observed. This all speculation, clean and pure. Some even believed that Dr. Cox, in an effort to be eloquent, was intentionally forgoing being factual. I'd love to hear your thoughts!!

"The fate of the sun is the same as for all stars, one day they all must die and the cosmos will be plunged into eternal night.

As the age of starlight ends, all but the dimmest flicker of light in the universe will go out. The faint glow of white-dwarves will provide the only illumination in a dark and empty void, littered with dead stars and black holes. By this point the universe will be a hundred-trillion years old”.

“[black dwarves are] White dwarves that have become so cold they barely emit any heat or light. Black dwarves are dark dense decaying balls of degenerate matter, little more than the ashes of stars. With the black dwarves gone, there won’t be a single atom of matter left. All that will remain of our once rich cosmos will be particles of light, and black holes. After an unimaginable length of time even the black holes will have evaporated and the universe will be nothing but a sea of photons gradually tending towards the same temperature … absolute zero”

“The story of the universe finally comes to an end. For the first time in its life, the universe will be permanent and unchanging. Entropy finally stops increasing because the cosmos cannot get any more disordered. Nothing happens, and it keeps not happening, forever. It’s what’s known as the heat-death of the universe. An era when the cosmos will remain vast and cold and desolate for the rest of time … the arrow of time has simply ceased to exist. It’s an inescapable fact of the universe written into the fundamental laws of physics, the entire cosmos will die.”

- Nate

Birmingham, AL

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We can't even predict next weeks weather with any real certainty, never mind dictate the universes coarse.

What's more graceful and beautiful than being torn apart at a molecular level?! - Nate Birmingham, AL

Since we don't have a very robust theory of time I suspect that theories operating at the very edges of the theory of time that we do have will come up for revision should we ever do better... Olly

I think its largely correct. There are some fine detail I might quibble with - but it largely follows the current view.

Also note, he is summarising current scientific thinking, not his own research.

What parts do you have issue with?

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I agree with his summation. On the other forum almost all the responders took issue, with no supporting documentation, with the concept of the heat death of the universe. Most were of the belief that the universe will continue to expand and accelerate for all eternity without end. I simply do not understand how this is possible. Without a source of new matter it seems the heat death theory makes the most sense... of course these things are far to complicated for the lay person but logic must play a role.

- Nate

Birmingham, AL

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"With the black dwarves gone, there won't be a single atom of matter left".

The question is, where has all the matter gone.

The dead cold stars would still be floating around in space.

Due to gravity there could be collisions between stars, gas and dust released and then again due to gravitional forces new stars could be formed etc, etc.

Avtar

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"With the black dwarves gone, there won't be a single atom of matter left".

The question is, where has all the matter gone.

The dead cold stars would still be floating around in space.

Due to gravity there could be collisions between stars, gas and dust released and then again due to gravitional forces new stars could be formed etc, etc.

Thats the bit that I think is dodgy. The dead stars will just stay there. Its unlikely there will be enough mass to let them collide together to form new stars - you really need hydrogen gas for stars, anything else is much harder to get going and gives off little energy in comparison. 

The big rip is a possibility - but only if the cosmological constant isn't - so to speak. So far the evidence is that it is constant.

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I'm leaning more towards this one... It makes very good sense and considers the constant...

A new cosmology successfully explains the accelerating expansion of the universe without dark energy; but only if the universe has no beginning and no end.

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/419984/big-bang-abandoned-in-new-model-of-the-universe/

- Nate

Birmingham, AL

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It seems like any version which includes a Big Bang must have an end which means the end of infinite space... an eventual end to expansion and the heat death of the universe. Again, what do I know, but it makes sense to me.

- Nate

Birmingham, AL

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The evidence is very high that our universe is expanding and accelerating  This acceleration seems to actually have become significant in recent times, last 4-5 billion years. Isn't there in Einsteins Relativity the possibility that gravity ceases being attractive and becomes repulsive at large distances? Seem to recall this from somewhere.

It was all mixed up in the Cosmological Constant where Einstein "tweeked" the equations to account for the universe being stable and unchanging. Which is what he was told but as we now know was incorrect, and as he during his life found was incorrect information. Always seemed odd that his equations changed how we consider so many things yet he listened to others and made adjustments for what was said. The two just seems at odds

The burning stars will have to use up the available matter for fusion at some time, so they will have to decrease, assuming we started with a big bang as that will have defined the available matter/energy in this universe. If Hoyle was correct the there may not be an end but Hoyle (I think) excluded the big bang. Sort of the consequence of a "Start" is an "End".

Bet when the last star goes out it will be a cloudy night however. :BangHead:

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If existence is just a very temporary and fleeting state for ourselves and all things universal, will that not apply to the universe itself and space and time (as we perceive it) itself, or do we create new rules for those?

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All the theorising is superb and we must continue to use our imagination and knowledge to try and predict what is happening out there. Personally I don't think we know anything like enough to truly predict what will happen to the universe, we are after all in our infancy scientifically. We do not know what if anything is outside the observable universe, it could be a timeless void, with everything we can see being everything there is, expanding to its destiny or it could be that outside what we see is even more space with even more events going on, big bangs happening so far away from ours that we have no clue they even exist.  All we know is after all, all we can see, we have absolutely no evidence of what may or may not exist outside our observation. We have theory, and those theories will evolve and be replaced over time, one may even be right but for now... Its all speculation, no matter how many numbers you place on a thing, the truth is we actually don't know. I expect there are innumerable things we havn't even discovered or imagined going in our universe.

One thing I don't like is when people try to debunk other peoples theory simply because it doesn't fit into their scientific view.

The excitement is seeing theories change, be wrong and be replaced with new ideas. Like one of the scientists at CERN said when looking for the Higgs boson; the most exciting outcome would be to find it doesn't exist, because then we would need whole new theories and exploration!  There is so much left to learn, we are like children wandering around a museum staring at everything in awe and trying to understand what we are seeing.

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Since we don't have a very robust theory of time I suspect that theories operating at the very edges of the theory of time that we do have will come up for revision should we ever do better...

Olly

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Supposing the end of time to be signified when The Universe reaches a state of maximal entropy seems entirely natural. To gain possible knowledge of such an event is hugely difficult. Physicists have poured an awful lot of effort into gaining a partial understanding of the last 10^7 yrs or so, the next 10^80 yrs is clearly a MUCH bigger task, especially when we consider that our telescopes don't point into the future. Possible maximal entropy is a long way away.

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Obviously... but isn't it interesting to theorize? We always have and always will postulate, based upon current knowledge, what happens next. What will "the end" look like? Personally I plan on being there. I believe that if the heat death, maximum entropy... a space left with black dwarves and black holes, given an eternal time span, eventually all those wandering black holes will encounter each and merge into a single super black hole, a Big Bang. There isn't a way to prove this but I adore the idea.

- Nate

Birmingham, AL

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