Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Athabasca depends ...

Don't you want to see how it ends?
An expert on the fate of the cosmos and co-author with Greg Laughlin of The Five Ages of the Universe (Touchstone Books; 2000), Adams predicts that all this dead matter will eventually collapse into black holes. By the time the universe is 1 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years old, the black holes themselves will disintegrate into stray particles, which will bind loosely to form individual "atoms" larger than the size of today's universe. Eventually, even these will decay, leaving a featureless, infinitely large void. And that will be that—unless, of course, whatever inconceivable event that launched the original Big Bang should recur, and the ultimate free lunch is served once more.
Bummer, huh? It gets better ... as the universe is 30 times more "run down" than previously predicted.
Dr Lineweaver said that the next step in the research is to out how close we are to maximum entropy, how much entropy is being produced and how much time we have left before the universe and all life in it dies in the inevitable heat death.
That quote was what led me to the originally cited/quoted article in this blog entry.

Of course, as mentioned ... we're still a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years from this happening. Then again, we could always sterilize the Earth a few trillion years ahead of schedule making the universe a very empty place for all that remaining time.

*Blog entry title is a hat-tip to the Tragically Hip and their song "The Depression Suite".

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