1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Difference between Heat Death and the Big Freeze ?

  1. Mar 5, 2014 #1
    Difference between Heat Death and the "Big Freeze"?

    I'm a little confused. My understanding of the two is that once energy has been distributed evenly all through the universe from reactions and processes occurring, then there will be no more space for more energy to be distributed, and no more reactions or processes could take place, resulting in heat death
    However, my understanding of the "Big Freeze" is that eventually, the universe will expand, cooling as it does, eventually becoming to cold to sustain much of anything.

    But don't the latter contradict the former? If the universe is expanding at a pace similar to that of which entropy is increasing, then entropy can never reach a maximum, and energy can never have no place to go. This is where I am confused, and ideas? Am I complementary off track?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate and over vast amounts of time, stars will lose all of their energy and as the universe will STILL be expanding at an accelerating rate, all matter will eventually lose all energy except possibly the energy binding atoms. This is described variously as the big freeze or heat death.

    Your understanding of "no more space for energy to be distributed" is incorrect.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook