Believe it or not one day our universe will end. I looked back through my old posts and tried to see if I have talked about this before and I couldn’t find anything. I am sure I have mentioned this before, but o well.
So eventually many many billions of years from now the universe will come to an end one way or the other. Some believe that it will happen because inflation will basically pull everything apart resulting in a big rip, while others say that the universe will somehow pull back in on itself resulting in a big crunch. Based on what we know I think most scientists think the big rip is a real possibility, as everything, galaxies and stars, is still flying away from us faster and faster. So there is a possibility that everything could just become so infinitely far from us that we could no longer see it.
Regardless of which of those you believe will happen there is the fact that eventually the second law of thermodynamics will play out. What that means in simplest terms is that is the gradual movement to disorder. This means that things will be going from ordered state like a human being or a star to just complete disorder. So eventually particles will be spread out into the infinite abyss in complete disorder, there will be no stars and just particles spread out. In more scientific terms it states that there will no longer be any energy available in the universe, hints the name heat death.
So with all that being said, eventually in the far future there will be no energy left in the universe and molecules will basically come to a complete stop. At this point time will lose all meaning as nothing will be moving so should there be a intelligent being alive to observe, it would be impossible to determine one moment to the next. Nothing will change from one second to the next. Think of a pot of water on the stove. To boil it you are adding energy to the system and eventually the water will boil, but when you stop adding energy the water will settle down and there will be on movement, that is what will happen to the universe.
The other thing to consider is that we believe the universe is a closed system, meaning there is nothing outside the universe that can influence the universe. The Earth is not a closed system, the sun, asteroids, any number of cosmic events can influence the Earth. We don’t know if there is anything outside the universe, so we just kind of have to accept that one. Now there are theories that there is something outside our universe, mainly other universes, but I am not sure how they would affect our own universe. So with all that being said, if somehow some distant relative of the human race is still around what will happen as the universe comes to an end?
If we are able to make it to this point, which I highly highly doubt what will we do? What I am trying to discuss is how will we deal with the inevitable. What will our ancestors look like and more importantly what will they do about the apparent end of our universe?
There are a few schools of thought to talk about. One is that nothing will be alive at this point. For a variety of reasons all life in our universe will have died out by this time and no one or anything will be around to witness what happens. A more interesting idea is that there will be something still around, and what that something is is beyond me, but for the sake of argument let’s say that it is alive.
If something is alive at this point I would imagine that its days would be numbered unless it had some crazy superior technology that it could live and function. I would think it would need some sort of space ship that would never run out of fuel, that would be the most important. That is one scenario that a being may survive the end of the universe. I suppose technically some sort of robot could survive with very little sustenance and be fine. I would think that this would be very strange for any beings alive on this ship. The universe has ended more or less, and we now live on a ship in the nothingness, pretty bizarre.
But what if we could prevent the end of our universe. What if we could eventually invent and or harness the technology to create a star? Would that stave off the end of the universe? Again this sounds like a plot in a some science fiction novel where our purpose is to create stars so the universe will continue to live on, sustaining life and prolonging the death of the universe. I would think this could be possible with enough technology as stars are just a bunch of compressed gas and elements, so I would think that if we have a machine large enough we could capture enough gas to create a star. So because of that I wonder if a civilization possess this technology it could create a new solar system, or its own pocket galaxy where it could live if the rest of the universe burned out.
While I think the above idea is certainly plausible, I also wonder if creating a star is not possible for whatever reason. Perhaps it would take too long to collect enough gas to create a star artificially. So what then, what could or would we do if we knew the universe was coming to an end? To error on the side of technology, what if we were just able to leave, and travel to another universe that was better suited for us. I think again this is technically possible as many scientist believe that there are multiple universes. If that is the case, they why couldn’t we travel to one or move our civilization there? But then what, would we spend the rest of eternity just hopping from universe to universe? I do not think there is an infinite number of universes, but it is some extremely high amount, but still not infinite. So again if we are able to make it that long will we eventually run out of universes to visit and live in? What then, what, if anything is outside the universe?
Another alternative could be that we will neither possess the technology to create stars or leave the universe and travel to another one. So what then, do we just sit around and look at each other and wait for the universe to come to an end? So if we cannot do any of these things could we create an exact copy of the universe in a simulation and transfer the entire populations minds into the simulation to live out the rest of time? Basically could we create some sort of super computer that could survive the vacuum of space that would run the simulation forever. There are many philosophical questions that go along with this, the main being that it would not be “real” but I would think that it would be better than death. But even if it was not “real” if it was distinguishable from the “real” world one could not tell the difference, then technically there would not be a difference, it would in a sense be real. So if there was nothing we could do to stop the end of the universe, could this be an alternative? I guess the problems with this would be, what would power the computer, and what would happen if it stalled or something else happened. It would seem that in an instant an entire civilization would be destroyed.
What is crazy to imagine is that if we take this route, and we solve the problems that the computer will work flawlessly, the consciousness transfer issue, and basically never run out of power, could it survive the birth of the next universe? There is a theory that even after the heat death of the universe that given enough time the universe could reboot itself, basically the big bang all over again, more or less an extremely long cycle. Got this from Wikipedia-
Possibly another universe could be created by random quantum fluctuations or quantum tunneling in roughly years. Over an infinite time, there would be a spontaneous entropy decrease via the Poincaré recurrence theorem, thermal fluctuations, and Fluctuation theorem.
Poincaré recurrence theorem states that certain systems will, after a sufficiently long but finite time, return to a state very close to the initial state. I am not a scientist but, I would assume this means that eventually the universe will return to a big bang and start all over again. So a question that might blow your mind is, how many times do you think this has happened before?