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!

B What happens at the end of entropy?

  1. Mar 12, 2017 #1
    If all the matter in the universe is eventually headed towards dis-integration into it's most basic form. Not sure what that is but for this thought experiment, let's say its single protons.

    What would happen if all those protons formed a single mass? Would that be a singularity exhibiting no entropy? Does entropy lead to an eventual re-integration of all matter into one common form?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 12, 2017 #2
    The most widely accepted idea is that the Universe will continue to expand until every particle is too far away from other particles for any interactions to occur.
    That is the maximum entropy state, thermodynamic equilibrium.
    If you somehow could push the bits back together so that interactions can occur again, the act of doing so would reduce the entropy of the Universe.
    It no longer is at maximum.
    That can't be done of course because it would require something external to the Universe to accomplish the feat.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  4. Mar 12, 2017 #3
    Ok so the big bang is the point at which entropy begins within the most highly organized state matter has ever or could ever exist? and that was what, a super massive super dense orb? or was it so organized and compact that it was tiny? and existed in a single point the size of a Planck?
  5. Mar 12, 2017 #4
    The big bang theory does not attempt to describe an initial state of the Universe.
    Whatever it was though, it was 'singular', there is only one possible state that it could exist in.
    It gets worse, there could be NO possible states.
    When math produces conclusions like that, it means our theories need working on.
  6. Mar 13, 2017 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  7. Mar 13, 2017 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Since the universe is expanding, anything that is not gravitationally bound will be separated. The largest gravitationally bound objects are superclusters. As far as I know, anything gravitationally bound will decay by gravitational radiation until the whole cluster collapses into a big big black hole. This takes a very long time.

    Also, black holes will eventually evaporate by Hawking radiation. Currently, the cosmic microwave background is hotter than macroscopic black holes, so black holes do not evaporate. But as the universe expands, the CMB temperature continues to decrease, so eventually the temperature will be low enough for black holes to evaporate (mostly into photons). Evaporation also takes a very long time, and I have no idea if it is faster than orbit decay. If it is faster, then I suppose systems that were gravitationally bound could become not gravitationally bound*, as the black holes holding them together evaporate. Maybe you will end up with some separated stable macroscopic objects which are too small to form black holes.

    So, maybe eventually everything will be an occasional stray photon and a dilute background of gravitational waves. Or maybe you will have macroscopic objects like dead stars which cannot decay any further.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted