Universe may be on the brink of collapse (on the cosmological timescale)

March 23, 2015 by Lisa Zyga, Phys.org feature

This is the "South Pillar" region of the star-forming region called the Carina Nebula. Like cracking open a watermelon and finding its seeds, the infrared telescope "busted open" this murky cloud to reveal star embryos tucked inside finger-like pillars of thick dust. Credit: NASA
(Phys.org)—Physicists have proposed a mechanism for "cosmological collapse" that predicts that the universe will soon stop expanding and collapse in on itself, obliterating all matter as we know it. Their calculations suggest that the collapse is "imminent"—on the order of a few tens of billions of years or so—which may not keep most people up at night, but for the physicists it's still much too soon.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, physicists Nemanja Kaloper at the University of California, Davis; and Antonio Padilla at the University of Nottingham have proposed the cosmological mechanism and analyzed its implications, which include an explanation of dark energy.

"The fact that we are seeing dark energy now could be taken as an indication of impending doom, and we are trying to look at the data to put some figures on the end date," Padilla told Phys.org. "Early indications suggest the collapse will kick in in a few tens of billions of years, but we have yet to properly verify this."

The main point of the paper is not so much when exactly the universe will end, but that the mechanism may help resolve some of the unanswered questions in physics. In particular, why is the universe expanding at an accelerating rate, and what is the causing this acceleration? These questions are related to the cosmological constant problem, which is that the predicted density of the universe causing the expansion is much larger than what is observed.

"I think we have opened up a brand new approach to what some have described as 'the mother of all physics problems,' namely the cosmological constant problem," Padilla said. "It's way too early to say if it will stand the test of time, but so far it has stood up to scrutiny, and it does seem to address the issue of vacuum energy contributions from the standard model, and how they gravitate."

The collapse mechanism builds on the physicists' previous research on vacuum energy sequestering, which they proposed to address the problem. The dynamics of vacuum energy sequestering predict that the universe will collapse, but don't provide a specific mechanism for how collapse will occur.

According to the new mechanism, the universe originated under a set of specific initial conditions so that it naturally evolved to its present state of acceleration and will continue on a path toward collapse. In this scenario, once the collapse trigger begins to dominate, it does so in a period of "slow roll" that brings about the we see today. Eventually the universe will stop expanding and reach a turnaround point at which it begins to shrink, culminating in a "big crunch."

Currently, we are in the period of accelerated expansion, and we know that the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old. So in order for the new mechanism to work, the period of accelerated expansion must last until at least this time (needless to say, a mechanism that predicts that the universe has already collapsed is obviously flawed). The collapse time can be delayed by choosing an appropriate slope, which in this case, is a slope that has a very tiny positive value—about 10-39 in the scientists' equation. The very gradual slope means that the universe evolves very slowly.

Importantly, the scientists did not choose a slope just to fit the observed expansion and support their mechanism. Instead, they explain that the slope is "technically natural," and takes on this value due to a symmetry in the theory.

As the physicists explain, the naturalness of the mechanism makes it one of the first ever models that predicts acceleration without any direct fine-tuning. In the mechanism, the slope alone controls the 's evolution, including the scale of the accelerated expansion.

"The 'technically natural' size of the slope controls when the collapse trigger begins to dominate, but was it guaranteed to give us slow roll and therefore the accelerated expansion?" Padilla said. "Naively one might have expected to have to fine-tune some initial conditions to guarantee this, but remarkably that is not the case. The dynamics of vacuum energy sequestering guarantee the slow roll."

The idea is still in its early stages, and the physicists hope to build on it much more in the future.

"There is much to do," Padilla said. "Right now we are working on a way to describe our theory in a way that is manifestly local, which will make it more conventional, and more obviously in keeping with some of the key principles behind quantum theory (namely, linear superposition). We would also like to devise more tests of the idea, both cosmological and astrophysical.

"Over the longer term, we would like to understand how our theory could emerge from a more fundamental theory, such as string theory. It is also important to ask what happens when we consider vacuum energy corrections from quantum gravity."

If there was ever a justification that more work is needed, it may be in the paper's conclusion:

"The present epoch of acceleration may be evidence of impending doom. . . A detailed analysis to better quantify these predictions is certainly warranted."

Dr Tony Padilla on some recent work he has been doing. See the papers (not the faint-hearted) here: http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:1309.6562 AND http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:1406.0711

Explore further: Gravity may have saved the universe after the Big Bang, say researchers

More information: Nemanja Kaloper and Antonio Padilla. "Sequestration of Vacuum Energy and the End of the Universe." Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.101302

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syndicate_51
3.3 / 5 (8) Mar 23, 2015
More data needed. Why is it the hope I look for in science constantly dims. Not much point in anything if all is for naught regardless.

I can see by the votes that such an eventuality is unpalatable to almost all. These questions must be explored fully to prove or disprove such things no matter what it may mean.
Whydening Gyre
4.2 / 5 (13) Mar 23, 2015
Why is it stories like this are always start a "everything is gonna end!" bent?
After a while it ain't fun or funny, it's annoying...

It's ok if you're writing a movie script, but not an info piece...
gkam
3.6 / 5 (8) Mar 23, 2015
See? That guy on the corner with the sign is right.

Time to party!
casualjoe
not rated yet Mar 23, 2015
These questions are related to the cosmological constant problem, which is that the predicted vacuum energy density of the universe causing the expansion is much larger than what is observed.


Much larger being 120 orders of magnitude larger.

Maybe our universe will collapse at the precise moment we die, who knows?
Nanook
1.7 / 5 (15) Mar 23, 2015
Nothing like a theory you can't test to avoid being wrong, the Big Bang has been milked for decades, why not a Big Collapse?
Noumenon
2.5 / 5 (21) Mar 23, 2015
Probably caused by man. We need the government to come in and save us from anthropocentric cosmological collapse.
shoebox22
5 / 5 (1) Mar 23, 2015
in the past people believed that we were the center of the universe, and people now believe in the big bang and big crunch, I wish I could be around for another 1000 years when the theory of the universe is totally changed and our beliefs suite, more importantly to me I wish I could make a discovery that would be a game changer about the universe.
Stevepidge
1.4 / 5 (11) Mar 23, 2015
Why is it stories like this are always start a "everything is gonna end!" bent?
After a while it ain't fun or funny, it's annoying...

It's ok if you're writing a movie script, but not an info piece...


See Velikovsky's Theory on the repression of human fears in regards to a past catastrophic experiences. It is hard wired because culturally we are trying to remember the past traumas experienced on this earth b our ancestors and the electrical interaction that accompanied the formation of the myths of creation and gods err planets.
yyz
5 / 5 (14) Mar 23, 2015
"Why is it stories like this are always start a "everything is gonna end!" bent?"

Maybe it has something to do with the title of the preprint of this PRL paper, which is simply 'The End':

http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.7073
humy
5 / 5 (11) Mar 23, 2015
See? That guy on the corner with the sign is right.

Time to party!


What? For the next few tens of billions of years?
thefurlong
4.8 / 5 (19) Mar 23, 2015
Nothing like a theory you can't test to avoid being wrong, the Big Bang has been milked for decades, why not a Big Collapse?

The Big Bang is backed by sound evidence such as the CMBR, and the fact that we are in an expanding universe in the first place.
Stevepidge
1 / 5 (12) Mar 23, 2015
Nothing like a theory you can't test to avoid being wrong, the Big Bang has been milked for decades, why not a Big Collapse?

The Big Bang is backed by sound evidence such as the CMBR, and the fact that we are in an expanding universe in the first place.


I think you are confusing "fact" with "theory".
justindadswell
1.4 / 5 (10) Mar 23, 2015
Define the mid point of infinity.
Isn't 1/2 infinity sill infinite.
It's my belief the universe is already collapsing, but wave frequencies of matter is collapsing as well. Because of relativity, it's very hard to define these separately. And if you do (as they claim to have done), you still have an issue of knowing where Earth sits in the universe and how that affects these curves.
Whydening Gyre
4.5 / 5 (8) Mar 23, 2015
Nothing like a theory you can't test to avoid being wrong, the Big Bang has been milked for decades, why not a Big Collapse?

10 billion years is a lot of milking...
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.9 / 5 (11) Mar 23, 2015
Sigh. I had hoped the article should be about some advance on inflation, which in some cases (see Bousso et al's work) means local universes are finite in time.

Instead it is the usual claim based on exotic physics and/or a reformulation of standard physics which is even worse since it is an extraordinary claim without evidemce. This groups with the latter, a modification of the so successful general relativity. [ See http://arxiv.org/abs/1406.0711 , an earlier paper. ]

And we know what they say about extraordinary claims...
Rotoscience
5 / 5 (2) Mar 23, 2015
Perhaps I should get insurance now. :)
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (16) Mar 23, 2015
@Stevepidge: And you are confusing fact with colloquial theory. A validated science theory with no competitors is, like an image being better than a thousand words, better than the thousand facts it comprises. (Because they are not an ad hoc collection of facts, but a mutually supporting whole.)

Today's cosmology is a fact. One would need to hide under a rock not to know that. [See Wikipedia on Big Bang, say.]
Stevepidge
1.7 / 5 (17) Mar 23, 2015
@Stevepidge: And you are confusing fact with colloquial theory. A validated science theory with no competitors is, like an image being better than a thousand words, better than the thousand facts it comprises. (Because they are not an ad hoc collection of facts, but a mutually supporting whole.)

Today's cosmology is a fact. One would need to hide under a rock not to know that. [See Wikipedia on Big Bang, say.]


There are no facts. The lens through which you interpret the universe is subjective, eternally fluctuating through the vastness of time and collective human experience. It is meaningless to ascertain meaning or understanding from a singular perspective or vantage point. Even math is nothing but a construct obfuscated by the lens of the mind through which meaning is gleaned.
Whydening Gyre
4.3 / 5 (11) Mar 23, 2015
There are no facts. The lens through which you interpret the universe is subjective, eternally fluctuating through the vastness of time and collective human experience. It is meaningless to ascertain meaning or understanding from a singular perspective or vantage point. Even math is nothing but a construct obfuscated by the lens of the mind through which meaning is gleaned.

Smokin' a bowl and watchin' "Pulp Fiction" again this morning, Steve?
Put enough "subjective" lenses observing TOGETHER and guess what? You can pretty much accept an observation as a fact...
Stevepidge
1.9 / 5 (14) Mar 23, 2015

Smokin' a bowl and watchin' "Pulp Fiction" again this morning, Steve?
Put enough "subjective" lenses observing TOGETHER and guess what? You can pretty much accept an observation as a fact...


No, we are working on the same hardware, just potentially at exponential levels of operation. Are telling me that alien minds are potentially formed in the exact same manner as human minds? Are you telling me that alien minds would approach problems and understand the universe in the same ways in which we have? Our collective intelligence is just a small sampling of ways in which matter can be arranged to form intelligence ( whatever that is ) and in that regards most certainly does not possess the keys to the kingdom.
Tektrix
4.7 / 5 (13) Mar 23, 2015
"There are no facts." - Stevepidge

In which case, you and the things you say are non-existent.
baudrunner
1.5 / 5 (10) Mar 23, 2015
Currently, we are in the period of accelerated expansion, and we know that the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old.
The expression, "the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old" has been deprecated, in favor of, "the observable universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old". It just keeps on going, so far that light from distant objects will never reach us in the history of this galaxy. It is infinitely older.
"Right now we are working on a way to describe our theory in a way that is manifestly local.
There's our problem, the inability of the observer to climb outside of the box labelled "finite". Sorry, the information in this article was obsolete before it hit the presses.
Stevepidge
1.9 / 5 (14) Mar 23, 2015
We haven't even physically set foot outside of near earth objects, yet we presume some grand understanding of life. We don't even know the mechanisms that instituted "intelligence" into baryonic matter, yet you talk about understanding the universe, it's origins and ultimately it's purpose. Arrogance and hubris abounds today no less than it did for all of human existence. That is the only FACT I see presented.
Victorag
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 23, 2015
Caused by climate change, no doubt.
tothal
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 23, 2015
The universe is just breathing.
Benni
3.7 / 5 (6) Mar 23, 2015
Perhaps I should get insurance now. :)


Wait a couple of days, all this could change :)
ThomasQuinn
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 23, 2015
See? That guy on the corner with the sign is right.

Time to party!


What? For the next few tens of billions of years?


Hey, it's better than waging war. In fact, I can think of a lot of things that would be considerably worse than a party that lasts several tens of billions of years. That might be a record in the universe, btw.
OdinsAcolyte
2 / 5 (7) Mar 23, 2015
Hindu cosmology triumphs again...cyclic ages. Collapse and rebirth.
thefurlong
4 / 5 (8) Mar 23, 2015
Probably caused by man. We need the government to come in and save us from anthropocentric cosmological collapse.

There's ample evidence of anthropogenic forcing of climate change, and while you might not believe it is evidence, at least the majority of people studying this stuff do. There's no indication that humans have a measurable influence on the evolution of the universe, and no contingent of cosmologists or astronomers is suggesting this.

thefurlong
4.2 / 5 (10) Mar 23, 2015
Nothing like a theory you can't test to avoid being wrong, the Big Bang has been milked for decades, why not a Big Collapse?

The Big Bang is backed by sound evidence such as the CMBR, and the fact that we are in an expanding universe in the first place.


I think you are confusing "fact" with "theory".

You are confusing me for somebody who doesn't mock condescending internet buffoons for not understanding what "theory" means in a scientific context.
thefurlong
4.3 / 5 (6) Mar 23, 2015
Sigh. I had hoped the article should be about some advance on inflation, which in some cases (see Bousso et al's work) means local universes are finite in time.

Has inflation achieved the status of scientific fact, or is it still a hypothesis? I'd thought it was the latter. I know it makes a bunch of nice predictions, but I thought physicists were still debating on its correctness.
Instead it is the usual claim based on exotic physics and/or a reformulation of standard physics which is even worse since it is an extraordinary claim without evidemce.

Well, I would argue that because their model unintentionally predicts something that has been observed. It is, by no means, definitive, but we shouldn't just dismiss it simply because it is a reformulation.

(to be continued)
thefurlong
4.2 / 5 (5) Mar 23, 2015
(continued)
We need to also be careful in which theories should be considered so extraordinary as to require more amounts of evidence to be worth considering. It depends on the premises of the theory, and on its conclusions. I guess my question to you is, why do you think that this paper falls into this category?

From my cursory (and glib) appraisal of the preprint you provided, it seems like they start with the premise of modifying the action to add global constraints, which, to me, is a far cry from, say, suggesting the universe contains several other spatial dimensions we can't measure because they are rolled up into compact balls, but then again, I am still learning about parallel transport, and know little of QFT, so you could certainly be justified in your conclusions.
thefurlong
5 / 5 (3) Mar 23, 2015
Well, I would argue that because their model unintentionally predicts something that has been observed

Damn typo! I meant to write,
Well, I would argue that because their model unintentionally predicts something that has been observed, there IS evidence.


vic1248
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 23, 2015
The Second Law of Thermodynamics already posits that the universe is winding down to a state of "equilibrium" where the total "usable" energy is at zero and entropy is at its max, hence the death of the universe.
vic1248
1.7 / 5 (6) Mar 23, 2015
What if the universe is here and expanding because there is a force outside of it and not subject to its realm, time and Laws of Nature/Physics acting upon it? I believe the key lies in the "Origin" of life and matter.
thefurlong
5 / 5 (3) Mar 23, 2015
The Second Law of Thermodynamics already posits that the universe is winding down to a state of "equilibrium" where the total "usable" energy is at zero and entropy is at its max, hence the death of the universe.

I think that's a spurious argument. In this case, the usable energy could be contained as part of the global parameter introduced in the action (a horribly crude analogy would be the part of the energy of the potential of a vibrating spring going into, say, self-heating). I don't think you know enough about this to make that argument. Also, general relativity supplants energy conservation with the zero divergence of the non-gravitational stress-energy tensor, so I am not even certain your argument would apply even if my above suggestion weren't true.
katesisco
5 / 5 (1) Mar 23, 2015
Breathing sounds about right.
The astronomers Burbidge called it, and this is after describing the nuclear action still the standard today, the CONTRACTING/EXPANDING UNIVERSE.
vic1248
3 / 5 (2) Mar 23, 2015
@thefurlong

Well, I don't necessarily understand your argument but the main postulate of the Second Law of Thermodynamics is that there is a finite amount of "usable" energy in the universe that is inversely proportional to Entropy, aka "increasing disorder," and that "usable" energy and transformed energy are not the same, even though energy is conserved as per the First Law of Thermodynamics. Once "usable" energy is transformed/used, it is irreversible, hence Entropy!
Stevepidge
1.4 / 5 (12) Mar 23, 2015
Nothing like a theory you can't test to avoid being wrong, the Big Bang has been milked for decades, why not a Big Collapse?

The Big Bang is backed by sound evidence such as the CMBR, and the fact that we are in an expanding universe in the first place.


I think you are confusing "fact" with "theory".

You are confusing me for somebody who doesn't mock condescending internet buffoons for not understanding what "theory" means in a scientific context.


I think you are an idiot if you consider anything scientific "fact"
jyro
1.3 / 5 (13) Mar 23, 2015
God created the Universe in a instant, he can end it in the same instant.
gunnqu
1 / 5 (6) Mar 23, 2015
Dark Matter and Dark Energy are mirage
http://vixra.org/...51v6.pdf pp.159--167
warmonger
5 / 5 (11) Mar 23, 2015
We don't even know the mechanisms that instituted "intelligence" into baryonic matter, yet you talk about understanding the universe, it's origins and ultimately it's purpose. Arrogance and hubris abounds today no less than it did for all of human existence. That is the only FACT I see presented.


I guarantee that you use the exact same language about knowing things that everyone uses, and I also guarantee that you use actual evidence as the basis for your decisions. So, all of the stuff that you're claiming about knowledge being subjective, is bull$&@#. Every intelligent person knows there are no absolute truths. But there are certainly truths that can be taken as fact under normal conditions.

I'd love for you to come home to your wife naked in bed with your best friend. They say they were sleepy and it was warm. If you think it's hubris to conclude that they were having sex, then imagine the arrogance needed for them to claim it wasn't, and that you can't prove it.
johnvasil
not rated yet Mar 24, 2015
Wasn't there a point made that there may be trillions of possibilities
collapsing is one of them
Dethe
1 / 5 (8) Mar 24, 2015
The Big Bang is backed by sound evidence such as the CMBR
The CMBR can be explained with scattering of light with quantum fluctuations of vacuum - after all, in the same way, like the red shift, dark energy and another cosmological phenomena. We can observe analogies of all these effects even at the water surface filled with Brownian noise, which is otherwise quite flat and steady-state.
Dethe
1.8 / 5 (10) Mar 24, 2015
BTW If the dark energy indicates, that the Universe is allegedly "expanding with accelerated speed", then I don't understand, how it could be on the "brink of collapse". Apparently the physicists generate random opinions about it..
Accata
1 / 5 (3) Mar 24, 2015
Even the physicists apparently don't value the Big Bang theory way too much, if they believe, that LHC experiments could debunk it.....
Vietvet
2.6 / 5 (5) Mar 24, 2015
Even the physicists apparently don't value the Big Bang theory way too much, if they believe, that http://www.telegr...tml.....


Two physicists out of how many thousands?
Accata
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 24, 2015
Some others wrote Big Bang not yet dead but in decline in 1995 already....;-)
rpaul_bauman
1 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2015
If your first statement is somewhat correct, the rest has a better change of doing the same. So space can't collaspe because; Space is a particle. Anyone disagree ?
davejg77
5 / 5 (1) Mar 24, 2015
"we have yet to properly verify this."
Understatement of the year.
Cosmological data is constantly increasing, and consequently cosmological theories constantly changing.
Next week: fresh new theory!
Bob Osaka
not rated yet Mar 24, 2015
"It's way too early to say if it will stand the test of time..," is that a double entendre? Deja vu, we're back to the big crunch again. The big freeze and the big rift adherents may be disappointed. The trouble with all of these ultimate fate theories is they allow for an evolving universe but not for evolving dynamics.
This paper depends on this current state of expansion to remain constant and for vacuum energy to remain steady. Inflation is periodic acceleration and deceleration of expansion. Crunching is inconsistent with observations.
Assuming the paper is correct, when space folds on itself, time will also fold on itself and everything which has happened will unhappen in reverse. The dead will live again and walk backwards all of their lives until they're stuffed back into their mother's wombs, life will devolve back to the single cell that started it all. Sounds fantastically impossible but that's what they're saying.
thefurlong
5 / 5 (6) Mar 24, 2015
I think you are an idiot if you consider anything scientific "fact"

Do you even know what a scientific fact is? Why are you even on a science site? Go study fairies, or something.
thefurlong
4.8 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2015
The CMBR can be explained with scattering of light with quantum fluctuations of vacuum -

Do you have calculations showing this?
Cin5456
not rated yet Mar 24, 2015
I was under the impression that in any physical motion there is a longer period of deceleration than the period of acceleration after an initial impelling cause. Why is this article suggesting otherwise? They make it sound like deceleration will not only occur relatively soon on the cosmological scale, but that the period of deceleration will be shorter than the period of acceleration, leading to a short time period for collapse. That means, (using random numbers in this example) for instance, say acceleration lasts 14. billion years, but deceleration lasts only (random numbers - not derived scientifically) 8 billion years, followed by collapse that only takes 7 billion years, making the entire process from the beginning of deceleration of expansion to total collapse about 15 billion years. That would mean that matter would rush back together at a faster rate "speed" than it achieved during acceleration. That is not logical. Collapse could not occur faster than expansion.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2015
Probably caused by man. We need the government to come in and save us from anthropocentric cosmological collapse.

There's ample evidence of anthropogenic forcing of climate change, and while you might not believe it is evidence, at least the majority of people studying this stuff do. There's no indication that humans have a measurable influence on the evolution of the universe, and no contingent of cosmologists or astronomers is suggesting this.


Does thefurlong actually believe that Noumenon thinks that humans have an effect on the evolution of the universe, and not on climate? Was it not obviously a joke?
thefurlong
5 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2015
Does thefurlong actually believe that Noumenon thinks that humans have an effect on the evolution of the universe, and not on climate? Was it not obviously a joke?

No, I understood that it was a joke. It just sounded like a passive aggressive jab at the Climate Science community. I apologize if I misunderstood your intent.
rpaul_bauman
1 / 5 (1) Mar 24, 2015
Hello; "Space is a particle." If that's correct, every thing else so far in physics is useless !
Nanowill
1 / 5 (1) Mar 24, 2015
Its amazing how many comments this piece of nonsense has generated.
Evidently some people will theorize anything to get published in a journal. Shame on the editors.

Dark matter does not exist, the data is misunderstood; and the Big Bang is just a Judeo-Christian notion of instant creation....which is completely and provably wrong.

Silly notions make me cringe, I fear simple logic has long been abandoned by most of the community and we are heading into a new dark ages.

thefurlong
5 / 5 (5) Mar 24, 2015
Its amazing how many comments this piece of nonsense has generated.
Evidently some people will theorize anything to get published in a journal. Shame on the editors.

Did you actually look at the preprint that Torbjon so kindly provided?
Dark matter does not exist

And you know this, how?
and the Big Bang is just a Judeo-Christian notion of instant creation

The Big Bang is not about creation. It is about the overwhelming evidence that the universe was once in a hot, dense, state, that rapidly expanded. It says nothing about why that happened, or where the universe came from.
Silly notions make me cringe

People who decry accepted scientific fact, based off of their glib understanding of the underlying principles make me cringe.

Guys, calm down. Adults are trying to advance scientific knowledge. Sometimes, a hypothesis generates startling conclusions. That's just the way of science.
Noumenon
4.4 / 5 (7) Mar 24, 2015
Most hypothesis are wrong in fact. While I think Nanowill is likely a nutter, the BB and DM certainly can't be said to be a "scientific fact",... rather, it is the best theory and hypotheses available at present that accounts for the observed facts. It is up to Nanowill to explain how it's fails to account for the facts or how his alternate hypothesis does a better job.
thefurlong
5 / 5 (6) Mar 24, 2015
Most hypothesis are wrong in fact.

True. We humans live in deep ignorance. I don't think one can be a good scientist without acknowledging this.
While I think Nanowill is likely a nutter, the BB and DM certainly can't be said to be a "scientific fact"

On DM, I would agree with you. It is still a hypothesis. It is one, for which there is tantalizing evidence, and the simplest one we have, which explains what we measure, but it has not yet achieved the status of fact. This is why we have several experiments underway to detect it, here on earth.

OTOH, my understanding is that the evidence supporting the big bang is about as overwhelming as say, that the sun has fusion in its core. It's something that, if not true, would completely overturn everything we understand about cosmology.
thefurlong
5 / 5 (4) Mar 24, 2015
,... rather, it is the best theory and hypotheses available at present that accounts for the observed facts. It is up to Nanowill to explain how it's fails to account for the facts or how his alternate hypothesis does a better job.

I think it goes deeper than that. The purpose of science is to recognize rules in the universe that can be dependably verified to high degree. I don't think most people understand what an accepted theory must go through to graduate from popular hypothesis to established fact. An accepted theory is one that we keep confirming, no matter how hard we try to falsify it. If that's not evidence for its veracity, we should just give up, because, it means that the universe is fundamentally disordered in its behavior.

Again, in the case of DM, I agree with you, but I think the BB hypothesis has reached the point I have referred to above. Therefore, Nanowill needs to provide not just an alternative, but to show that this one is, somehow, flawed.
baudrunner
not rated yet Mar 24, 2015
The Second Law of Thermodynamics already posits that the universe is winding down to a state of "equilibrium" where the total "usable" energy is at zero and entropy is at its max, hence the death of the universe.
That does happen, but the creation process is like an ever expanding smoke ring. As I see it, space, time and matter are created at the periphery of this expanding smoke ring, and inside this ring your scenario has occurred and all is still. Inside the smoke in between, galaxies evolve, peak, have their heyday, then peeter out as you describe it.

Creation is just an orgasm.
N6FB
1.8 / 5 (5) Mar 24, 2015
I think Al Gore predicted this, afew months after he invented the internet. Now he has the ammo to take another tun at the presidency
mike4ty4
4.7 / 5 (3) Mar 25, 2015
Geez. I was hoping to see a useful discussion on the science underlying the claims and how valid or invalid it is, but instead I see a bunch of blather revolving around some cranks and trying to defuse them. Why not just ignore the cranks and talk about the actual claims here? Cranks will never be convinced by anything anyway, they're just a waste of time.
thomowen20
5 / 5 (2) Mar 25, 2015
See? That guy on the corner with the sign is right.

Time to party!


What? For the next few tens of billions of years?


Yes.
Dethe
1 / 5 (3) Mar 25, 2015
Do you have calculations showing this?
Do you have calculations proving you're real? Only the contemporary physicists believe, everything must be calculable - or it cannot exist. For example, they believe, that the cold fusion cannot be computed from existing models, so it's denied by the whole century. In another words, the belief in calculability, which is promoted by existing priests of science at universities has replaced the medieval religion and belief in God. The concept of mathematical universe is an economical theorem - rather than something else. In fact it only provides the social credit and job for these people in the same way, like the belief in God provided an income for medieval priests.
thefurlong
5 / 5 (5) Mar 25, 2015
Geez. I was hoping to see a useful discussion on the science underlying the claims and how valid or invalid it is, but instead I see a bunch of blather revolving around some cranks and trying to defuse them. Why not just ignore the cranks and talk about the actual claims here? Cranks will never be convinced by anything anyway, they're just a waste of time.

There is some discussion of this amidst the morass. See Torbjorn's comments and my response to him, for example.
thefurlong
5 / 5 (5) Mar 25, 2015
Do you have calculations proving you're real?

Well, yes. I have recorded weight, height, eye color, blood type, birth certificate, college transcripts, and so on. But even if that weren't true, I don't need calculations showing I am real because I have plenty of direct evidence for it. It is confirmed for me, and those around me, every day. This evidence is unambiguous.

OTOH, if somebody told me that I was not real, but a simulation in a secret government facility, I would be justified in asking them for evidence that I don't already use to confirm that I am real.

For example, they believe, that the cold fusion cannot be computed from existing models, so it's denied by the whole century.

There are other reasons cold fusion has been ignored. Experiments to test it have mostly produced negative results, and those that have tested positive have been shown to be flawed in some manner. Utah invested $4.5 million into it, and they still came up empty handed.
thefurlong
5 / 5 (4) Mar 25, 2015
the belief in calculability, which is promoted by existing priests of science at universities has replaced the medieval religion and belief in God.

So, it doesn't matter if you actually do the calculation and find that it doesn't actually do what you said it would do? Give me a break. Why, on earth, would you expect me to dismiss a theory that has been confirmed, time and again, in favor of your hypothesis, when you cannot furnish me with a modicum of evidence to unambiguously support it? Just provide calculations. Don't you want people to believe you?

The concept of mathematical universe is an economical theorem

Physicists don't require that the universe is made of math, but they do require that it follows predictable laws that can be modeled using it.
vic1248
5 / 5 (1) Mar 25, 2015
After all that has been said and done, here is an interesting thought:

If the universe is expanding, that means "space" itself is increasing, so, doesn't that mean new "space" is being "created" all the time?!
cracker_mon
1 / 5 (1) Mar 26, 2015
It could also be argued that the slow roll to destruction of the universe has already begun, but it has begun at a distance so far away that it will never reach this part of the universe. That would only be possible if the universe were truly infinite and unfortunately our limited intellect will never let us actually comprehend that, no matter how much the most intelligent of us wish that to be the case.One can think about infinity all one wants, but my God, when or where will it all end?
Never ??? No place??? What a concept.
Aledrus
1 / 5 (1) Mar 27, 2015
"Slow roll"? Really? Why did they choose that way to describe how the universe will end?

It is too similar to this description:
"On That Day when We roll up the heavens like a scroll of books is rolled up. As We initiated the first creation, so shall We return it. It is a promise of Ours that We will do this." Holy Qur'an 21:104
Rustybolts
3 / 5 (2) Mar 29, 2015
See what that big bang theory does? It creates tons of crap...
ROBTHEGOB
not rated yet Mar 29, 2015
Here we go again - you just can't admit that the world is not flat. Duh. There is no beginning, and there is no end; no up, no down. Get over it.

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