Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Matter in a super condensed state?

  1. May 21, 2013 #1
    I was thinking about the big bang, the universe and thermodynamics, and it led me to the following question. What happens to matter in a cold, super condensed space? The reason I ask is because our universe is expanding and matter is getting further away from other matter. It would seem that if this continued for an extremely long time, all matter would be completely isolated. Eventually, there would be matter so far away from each other, that for all intents and purposes, that single piece of matter would alone in the universe. My question is what would happen to that piece of matter? Big Bang? Just thinking out loud, don't make fun.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2013 #2
    Huh? I don't understand why that would be "super-condensed"? In that scenario matter gets diluted.
  4. May 21, 2013 #3
    What would the conditions of a universe with only one atom in it be? And how would a single atom interact with those conditions. This is where I got the super condensed ideas, sorry.

    "Albert Einstein came to very similar conclusions with his theory of relativity. Just consider the effect of mass on time. A planet's hefty mass warps time -- making time run a tiny bit slower for a human on Earth's surface than a satellite in orbit. The difference is too small to notice, but time even runs more slowly for someone standing next to a large boulder than it does for a person standing alone in a field. The pre-big bang singularity possessed all the mass in the universe, effectively bringing time to a standstill."
  5. May 21, 2013 #4
    If all the atoms in the universe were eventually separated far enough away from each other, so that their mass had zero effect on each other. Wouldn't the conditions for another Big Bang be met? Since that atom would represent all of the mass in the "effective universe".
  6. May 21, 2013 #5
    How's so? During the big bang you have high energy particle crowding together in a hot soup, which is different from cold universe with matter far apart from each other.

    That said, Penrose's Conformal Cyclic Cosmology has similar idea of yours, for another reason: he wants to argue that late time universe loses the meaning of metric geometry [only conformal geometry] -- there is no matter to tell time and distance, and that is similar to the early universe where matter is essentially massless [since they are very relativistic]. However to have exactly conformal geometry, he also needs *mass* to slowly decay away -- so not only that matter has to be far apart in the late universe, they also have to become massless eventually. Not sure that will work! But I don't know much about his theory to say anything deep.
  7. May 21, 2013 #6
    I misrepresented, what the early universe was - pre big bang. I thought the conditions I described were the same as the early universe, because I'm just learning about this stuff, I miss quoted a source it seems. So can we now assume, that because of the second law, all matter eventually separates itself, and some time in distant future. A single atomic particle finds itself so far away from every other particle, that they essentially do not exist, because their effect is meaningless to the isolated particle. The isolated particle is in fact in a universe with many atoms but because they are so far away from each other, it is null. Does this make more sense now? Thanks for that second bit. I'll read up on that in a little while.
  8. May 21, 2013 #7
    Well, no one knows how a pre-Big Bang universe looks like! But anyway, one crucial issue is entropy. The Big Bang is a very low entropy event, and entropy has been increasing since then [2nd Law of Thermodynamics], and will be increasing into the future. So the far future -- which is basically just empty space, as you say -- is surprisingly a very high entropy state. How to get a low entropy initial condition to start a universe as we know it from a high entropy state is a problem. If you are interested in this issue, check out Sean Carroll's book: http://preposterousuniverse.com/eternitytohere/
    and his FAQ:
    http://preposterousuniverse.com/eternitytohere/faq.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  9. May 21, 2013 #8
    Maybe, I'm not understanding the second law, which seems entirely likely, but this is the exact problem my idea was trying to address. The only assumption you have to make is that energy exist, and has always existed, which coincides with the law of conservation of matter. It was my understanding that the early universe was essentially one atomic particle, low entropy, organized. And it exploded, causing fractional pieces throughout the universe, these pieces gained mass via the Higgs Boson, but are never the less becoming more fragmented - relative to the original structure. However as they get further away from each other, they become more isolated. Eventually they will become so isolated that a single atom will be left alone in space, so far away from every other atom that the effect of those atoms will not be felt by the single isolated atom (There may be many isolated atoms). Since this atom will not be affected by anything in space besides the mass of empty space (Higgs) it wouldn't be incorrect to to say that this single atom represents the mass of the entire "effective universe". Thanks for that information and for talking with me.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. May 21, 2013 #9
    No. The Big Bang is *not* an explosion.
    Also, energy is not conserved in cosmology: http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2010/02/22/energy-is-not-conserved/
  11. May 21, 2013 #10
  12. May 21, 2013 #11
    I imagined a particle fragmenting a apart but the pieces gaining mass like a snowball running down a hill of snow. The hill of snow in this example being the higgs boson. My wacky imagination is getting me in heaps of trouble, lol.
  13. May 21, 2013 #12
    From your article, this was essentially what I was talking about with the snowball theory.

    "The details aren’t important, but the meaning of this equation is straightforward enough: energy and momentum evolve in a precisely specified way in response to the behavior of spacetime around them. If that spacetime is standing completely still, the total energy is constant; if it’s evolving, the energy changes in a completely unambiguous way."

    Meaning if the fragments do not move, they will not gain mass. If they do move they will. Sweet article by the way. Thanks.
  14. May 21, 2013 #13

    This is not what happened at all. The universe is not considered as starting from some infinite particle or black hole style singularity. The singularity in the hot big bang model is simply a point where the mathematics can no longer accurately describe the beginnings. The fragmented pieces is also incorrect. Higgs is also not the mass of empty space, rather its a field that provide mass to the quarks, leptons?. Not sure on leptons. however it only accounts for a miniscule portion of mass.
    As far as what occurs at heat death and an individual particle no one really knows for sure, there are numerous cosmogony/ multiverse models such bounce, cyclic and bubble universes etc. I would think the situation you described would best match up as a bubble universe style model.

    edit didn't see the other posts but I'll keep mine as is
  15. May 21, 2013 #14
    "The universe is not considered as starting from some infinite particle or black hole style singularity." Not what I was implying or rather meant to imply. I'll try and rephrase that.

    "The singularity in the hot big bang model is simply a point where the mathematics can no longer accurately describe the beginnings." Right, planck time. I'm aware of that.

    "The fragmented pieces is also incorrect. Higgs is also not the mass of empty space, rather its a field that provide mass to the quarks, leptons?. Not sure on leptons. however it only accounts for a miniscule portion of mass." Seemed like semantics up to the miniscule portion of the mass. I wonder why that is? Thanks.
  16. May 21, 2013 #15
    "The universe is not considered as starting from some infinite particle or black hole style singularity."
    I was suggesting that energy exist. Atomic particles just exist and are part of nothingness, as in pre-big bang. Not nothingness as in absolutely nothing. I don't think that ever existed nor have I ever heard of any proof of it existing. It might be that some parts of space are curved and others are not - when a particle hits a curve it gains mass. Hmmm...Good talk. I think we are all now dumber for having listened to me. Thanks guys.
  17. May 21, 2013 #16
  18. May 21, 2013 #17
  19. May 21, 2013 #18
    you might want to look at chaotic eternal inflation,


    actually found a model which matches better to your opening post

    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  20. May 21, 2013 #19
  21. May 21, 2013 #20
    I am sorry but that really doesn't make much sense. Spacetime curvature changes the path of a particle, not its mass.

    Here's another good article about Higgs mechanism:
  22. May 21, 2013 #21
    Haha, what are you sorry for? It's all good brother. I have a grade nine education. If you think I thought that I was going to come on here and school a bunch of physicist. You're mistaken, just thinking out loud is all. I appreciate your help. If I ask a dumb question maybe it will illicit a smart response on occasion, lol
  23. May 21, 2013 #22
    If you have a specific topic that you would like to learn, we could perhaps suggest some books. Have you read any popular-science books?
  24. May 21, 2013 #23
    I've read a universe from nothing and a brief history of time. I'm open to any new books that you may have in mind.
  25. May 21, 2013 #24
    If you are interested in cosmology, I strongly recommend "Your Cosmic Context" -- it is a strange mix of popular-science book and a textbook, so there will be minimal math, but the explanations are very good.

    Barrow recently wrote a book to describe various cosmological models, so you may want to check that out too: The Book of Universes.

    I have not read personally, but I heard Weinberg's "The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe" is pretty good too.

    But if you are *really* interested in cosmology, you should start by learning a lot of math and physics to eventually be able to understand the theories in all its details :-)
  26. May 21, 2013 #25
    Nice, I'll look into those. Yes, when I get the money someday I will definitely be going back to school.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook