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How will the Universe end?

  1. Open Universe theory

    2 vote(s)
  2. Flat Universe Theory

    0 vote(s)
  3. Big Rip Theory

    2 vote(s)
  4. Big Crunch Theory

    1 vote(s)
  5. Any other leading theories

    0 vote(s)
  1. Mar 22, 2003 #1
    What do you think will happen to the Universe? How long will it be until it ends? or will it go on expanding for ever?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2003 #2


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    hello parsons, this year the big news about the fate of the universe seems to be the MAP (microwave anisotropy probe) results and there seems to be a convergence of opinion
    around things like

    runaway expansion
    hubbleparameter 71 in the usual units
    darkenergy comprising some 73 percent of density (!)
    darkmatter and ordinary matter some 27 percent

    a good place to find out is at Ned Wright's cosmology tutorial site that also has an interesting cosmology FAQ
    on the introductory page he has "news of the universe"
    with a lot of the latest results, like MAP, which came out
    in february of this year (!)

    MAP is an incredibly elegant observer based at the L2 point
    a million miles out from the earth along the sun-earth line.
    that way the earth shields MAP from the light of the sun

    this kind of thing together with HST and keck are just totally revolutionizing cosmology. when you say "Flat Model" do you mean flat with vacuum contributing 73 percent or zero percent? it seems to make a considerable difference.
  4. Mar 22, 2003 #3
    I chose the Big Crunch. I have read reports of a "Great Attractor" that is causing galaxies to gather into one spot. I heard this from a 5 hour long Discovery Channel documentary on cosmic inflation.
    And also, the static universe thing should kick in sometime!
  5. Mar 22, 2003 #4
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say Big Rip; c'mon dark energy!
  6. Mar 22, 2003 #5
    Yes, I have considered the cycle it will create. But you have to admit that there are several versions of cycles in this universe. Furthermore, the fifth demension+ will be effected too. After all, such a demension is a "curled" demension. As Stephen Hawking puts it: if you look at a single hair, it appears to be only 1D. But, when you magnify it, the single hair is composed of 3D molecules. It has demension, and the demension is viewed through a variable magnification.
  7. Mar 22, 2003 #6
    Isn't the big rip the same as the big crunch?
  8. Mar 22, 2003 #7
    No, the Big Rip is the result of the expansion of the universe continuing to accelerate until eventually everything in the universe is literally ripped apart. The exact opposite of the crunch.
  9. Mar 22, 2003 #8
    SH says we'd need a particle accelerator(i think it was, if not, it must be an electronmicroscope) the size of this solar system in order to view these demensions. Do you think that's even feasible? could that be accomplised, the building of such an instrument?
  10. Mar 22, 2003 #9
    That doesn't make sense to me. Why do you believe it is tenable?
  11. Mar 22, 2003 #10
    Then the possibility exists that it might be very unhealthy to flee in them, don't you think?
  12. Mar 22, 2003 #11
    Suppose the acceleration never ceases? I'm not saying it's necessarily the most likely end of it all but it's an interesting possibility.
  13. Mar 22, 2003 #12
    But what will it tear ? I believe it is taking the space-time fabric anology too literally. I find it evidently untenable. Does the theory implie an open universe?
  14. Mar 22, 2003 #13
  15. Mar 22, 2003 #14
    I enjoyed the article. But it didn't make me change my mind about the big rip.

    This sounds a lot like the Big Crunch to me.

    Secondly, what rips the matter apart? The dark matter or the phantom energy (is the phantom energy, since the article related it with the cosmological constant)?
  16. Mar 23, 2003 #15
    There really is no "end". The universe is in an continual cycle.
  17. Mar 23, 2003 #16
    Yes, Turtle. The Big Crunch is in obvious favor of that.
  18. Mar 23, 2003 #17


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    1. Not really. Instead, they started off theorising on the big crunch, but found that if they theorised that the dark energy (the thing that is apparently causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate, not to slow down) is increasing, we would rip matter apart.
    Phantom energy kinda is dark energy, which is a suppose another way of saying cosmological constant.
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