So Fuck Yeah Space is one of my favorite Tumblr’s to read on a daily basis. Most of the articles are the type that will give you a headache for a bit but totally worth reading. What I’ve pasted after the jump is one of the most interesting I’ve read lately. However if you believe in god or some higher power this won’t be interesting to you at all, sorry.
damn-hipsters asked: So according to a BBC article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11030889), scientists are now pretty sure, if not certain, that the universe will expand forever until everything suffers heat death and becomes a wasteland. If this is true, does it mean that there can never be a “big crunch” type of event, and therefore no more “big bang”-type events? It would just end there? Couldn’t that mean this universe is the first, and last, of its kind?
I only ask because I’ve always been a supporter of the theory that claims the universe goes through cycles of big bangs and big crunches, and this heat death thing seems really depressing.
I’ve talked a little bit about this before, but the topic comes up a lot in my ask box. We can never be completely certain of how the universe is going to end. It’s very hopeful to believe that there may be a big crunch (the universe stretches as far as it can and then it doubles back and implodes on itself), but it’s not necessarily useful in science to be hopeful. The stark truths of scientific evidence can be beautiful and majestic to some people, but to others the reality of reality is unbearable. This is why we trick ourselves into believing hopeful things like religions and crazy theories about things (aliens will come in 2012 and kill everyone except those who ~believe~ and then we’ll have a whole world all to ourselves with no one to judge us!!!); we do it because we like being able to feel hopeful and infinite. It’s product of the survival instinct: we like to think our species will live forever. That heat-death may be a fact is certainly a disturbing idea, but think some more about it:
- Will humans or human ancestors really live 100 trillion years? This is the point where atoms start to decay and most forms of life would have difficulty surviving (that is, of course, if they made it through the dark ages when stars stopped forming and shining).
- If we do live 100 trillion years, we’ll have 100 trillion years-worth of knowledge. Would we be able, by then, to travel backwards in time? Travel to a parallel universe? Travel the multiverse? With that much knowledge, who knows what we could accomplish.
- What is consciousness? We’re just atoms with electricity flowing through us. That’s us; that’s life. We’re electricity and atoms. So maybe in hundreds of trillions of years when all the matter in the universe is sucked into black holes, our atoms will be sucked in there as well. Your atoms, my atoms, your parents atoms. We don’t know what happens to matter inside black holes. A leading theory suggests that every piece of matter which enters a black hole is creating a big bang for another universe. Maybe every atom inside of you will produce another universe?
Maybe there is no hope. Maybe the universe will disperse all its energy and become a cold, dead place. Even though there will be no sentient life there to see it, to recognize the end of the universe which produced humans and spiral galaxies and iPads, it’s still beautiful to me to think that our universe will be preserved forever, just chilling out (no pun intended) like a monument to its former glory.
My uneducated theory is this: we can’t expand forever. As a strong believer of the multiverse, I think that we’ll eventually hit something and collide with another universe. I think other universes are the dark force beyond our universe that’s pulling our universe out at an accelerating rate. So I think that there will me a merger—a second big bang of sorts. And I believe this will go on forever.