Nothingness is more difficult to imagine than Infinity - Until Now

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BrianW, Mar 6, 2003.

  1. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    The author of this article postulates that the acceleration of the Universe’s expansion is itself accelerating:

    http://dsc.discovery.com/news/afp/20...76.79919832484

    According to the theory proposed in this article, in the end, space will expand so fast that the very atoms that make up our bodies will fly apart in explosive, violent fashion. (But the end won't come for about 22 billion years.)

    The recent discovery of the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe has led almost all cosmologists and theoretical physicists to conclude that the Universe will end in a cold whimper rather than a firey crunch. But even in this scenario, absolute entropic death is a limit that will never be completely reached. In other words, the Universe will always continue on in some fashion. Though it will be dark, cold, and completely unable to support life, the Universe will still be a place in which “stuff” exists, and in which time passes. Even long after all the black holes have evaporated, subatomic particles, though separated by countless trillions of trillions of light years, will still exhibit gravitational force on one another, still move relative to one another, and still be close enough to exchange photons with one another, though photons will no longer exist by this time.

    So even if the Universe expands forever, as long as it doesn’t expand faster than light can traverse the expanding distances, the Universe will be the same as it is now in that no location will be capable of being experienced except at a particular time, and no time will be capable of being experienced except at a particular location.

    To put it another way, spacetime will never cease to exist.

    But if the “Big Rip” theory is true, then this is no longer the case. Space will expand faster than photons or gravity waves will be able to fill it, eliminating the possibility of any remaining subatomic particles having any influence on one another ever again. Without the ability of an observer to measure the influence or relative motion of objects in the Universe, the notion of spacetime becomes meaningless. Pick a spot – any spot, and it will be identical to any other post-expansion spot you might pick. Pick a time – any time, and it will be identical to any other post-expansion time you might pick. There will be absolutely nothing to distinguish one spot from another, nothing to distinguish one time from another.

    This will be the end of spacetime. Is this true nothingness?

    [Edited to correct stupid sentence structure.]
     
  2. David-S

    David-S Second Unit

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    I'm going to go home and hide under my blankets now...

    [​IMG]

    will plastic sheeting help?
     
  3. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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  4. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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  5. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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  6. AaronMg

    AaronMg Stunt Coordinator

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    I dont understand what they mean when they say that "the universe is expanding." Is the actual empty space of the universe expanding (...???[​IMG] ) or is it just that matter is being pushed out further into the depths of space?
     
  7. David-S

    David-S Second Unit

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    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html has some really good answers... but basically
     
  8. AaronMg

    AaronMg Stunt Coordinator

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    It boggles the mind! [​IMG]
     
  9. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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  10. VinT

    VinT Agent

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    Actually there is no such thing as Nothingness.
    Just by discussing it, it becomes a concept, which is something.
    Therefor the minute you think about it, you give it existence, so it is no longer 'nothing'.

    True nothingless is forever beyond our grasp so don't bother trying.
     
  11. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    Though it will be dark, cold, and completely unable to support life, the Universe will still be a place in which “stuff” exists, and in which time passes. Even long after all the black holes have evaporated, subatomic particles, though separated by countless trillions of trillions of light years, will still exhibit gravitational force on one another, still move relative to one another, and still be close enough to exchange photons with one another, though photons will no longer exist by this time.

    Not a physicist here, but seems like there are a few contradictions. I can imagine atoms evaporating into energy, buy not the non-existance of photons which is energy. Plus, if atoms cease to exist then so does time. Photons in flight don't experience time as that is a relationship thing between atoms.

    If subatomic particles exist but can no longer ever combine, then nothingness has been achieved. A universe without matter would seem to not exist.
     
  12. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    "But the end won't come for about 22 billion years.)"

    So i've got some time??

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Just wanted to make sure since I'm going to the driving range next week[​IMG]

    Brent
     
  13. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Yeah, Ashley, I could have been clearer. By “stuff,” I meant the matter/energy that the Universe started out with, in whatever proportions your preferred Doomsday Theory dictates. Recent (as in about fifteen years ago) studies have shown that proton decay may never take place as we originally thought, so I painted a picture of a dead Universe with a low density of subatomic particles rather than energy. (I also thought this would be easier to imagine and convey.) But whether it’s subatomic particles, energy, or both in any given proportion, it’s all the same Stuff. It might matter, as you say, whether this Stuff takes the form of mostly (or all) matter, vs. mostly (or all) energy in determining whether Nothingness has been achieved. But I tend to think it doesn’t really matter how much of each you have.

    Regardless of how low the density of this Stuff becomes, this Stuff never goes away, even in the Big Rip Doomsday Theory. It’s just that in the Big Rip Theory, the Stuff is so ultra-hyper-cosmically-rarified that every quantum particle exists exclusively in its own light cone, unable to exchange information with other quantum particles, even if it had the means to do so (like, say, a flashlight).
     
  14. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    Photons can interact with one another, as can be seen in a lab with the classic double-slit experiment, and such interactions are a function of time as well as space. So time still exists as long as photons are within interaction distance of one another.

    One theory I read wants to take time out of the the equation. Whatever equation you want I guess. That is why I said that you need matter to have time. You can't alter the speed of a photon, though as you say, you can alter it's path. Time is the measure of change in the relationship between matter/atoms. I just don't see a photon doing anything other than traveling - very fast - at light speed. Nothing more nothing less.
     
  15. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    So long as I can get a good table at Milliways, I'm sound as a pound. [​IMG]
     
  16. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    So they are saying this will happen 22 billion years from now?

    I wonder what kind of speakers they will have by then. Maybe by then we will have biological digital processors in our brains that read data and perceive it as sound. Or just have RCA ins and out in the back of our head that include gold plating to prevent oxidation.

    I know the cure to this whole end of the universe theory. We will ask all religious believers to ask their God(s) to create a new universe. All it takes is a little faith, prayer, and choir boys to make miracles happen. jk
     

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