The End of Time? Not Quite

Theoretical physicists predict that time will end…but when and how?

The End of Time? Not Quite
The clock is ticking. [Image Credit: Dave Friel ]
By | Posted December 3, 2010
Posted in: Physical Science
Tags: , , ,

Though it’s still going strong after 13.7 billion years, the universe may be headed for the big sleep, according to a group of theoretical physicists. A recently published study provocatively suggests that time will end—and for our galaxy, the end will come within the next five billion years.

In keeping with popular theory, most physicists assume that the universe is expanding and will continue to do so infinitely in time and space. But researchers led by Raphael Bousso at University of California, Berkeley are confronting this idea, called eternal inflation, because it can result in some unsettling conclusions.If there is no end to the universe, suggests the new paper, submitted September 23 to Physics arXiv, then every event, even the most improbable, will occur an infinite number of times. When that happens, our concept of probability collapses.

“The kind of probabilities we’re talking about are not some obscure thing that only philosophers are concerned with,” said theoretical physicist Ken Olum of Tufts University, who studies cosmological inflation but was not involved in the new paper. For example, he asked, “What’s the chance that you’ll walk out your front door and get hit by a truck?” In an infinite universe, we have no sense of how likely this or any other event would be on any given day.

Physicists deal with this uncertainty by making a mathematical assumption that the universe won’t expand forever.  Specifically, they apply geometric cutoffs to the expansion, allowing them to impose probabilities on the universe and do their calculations. But the new paper argues that if physicists choose to use cutoffs in their work, they should take them seriously: “We should really imagine that the universe comes to an end, that cutoffs are not just a calculational device,” said Olum. If this is true, then every galaxy in the universe must eventually meet the cutoff, and different objects in the universe will encounter the cutoff at different times.

Publication of the article, which averages several of the most successful geometric cutoffs to get the five billion-year endpoint for our galaxy, prompted a torrent of blog posts—an unusual response to research in theoretical physics. But Bousso wasn’t surprised that the ideas received such wide coverage. “Whenever you write a paper that points out that some theory leads to a crazy-sounding conclusion,” he said, “people tend to read only the conclusion: ‘Physicists predict that crazy thing X happens!’”

And that is exactly what happened: headlines proclaimed that the end of time is nigh. While this doomsday hook isn’t solid science yet, Bousso is convinced that his team’s work will inspire significant research. Physicist Adam Brown of Princeton said that the paper reflects “a gathering consensus that there is a problem” with the current understanding of eternal inflation—this is one possible resolution of that problem.

Said Bousso: “Unlike in the economy, crises in physics are an extremely good thing. They tend to precede major upheavals or breakthroughs” in the field, which may lead to drastic changes in the way we conceive of the universe.

There is plenty of discussion and disagreement within the small community of scientists investigating this problem. Two physicists, Vitaly Vanchurin of Stanford University and Alan Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are working on a potential resolution of the problem of infinite expansion that doesn’t require the end of time. And Bousso acknowledges that the biggest question—whether there is actually a mechanism that could make time stop—remains unanswered. “If it’s really the end of time,” Olum said, “there ought to be a reason that time comes to an end then and not some other time.”

Only time—or maybe the end of it—will tell how these questions will be resolved.

Posted in: Physical Science

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  1. Planet earth rotates and that gives us our times of day. If the earth do not rotates then we don’t have days.One side of the earth that faces the sun has daylight all the times. The face on the other side has only darkness.WE don’t have the means to calculate and divide the rotation into 24 hours.Similarly if the earth do not go around the sun we don’t have the means to calculate months and years. If the universe is about 13.7 billion years old it simply means that
    it is measured against the earth movement around the sun. The earth has gone around the sun about 13.7 billion times. If a person is 40 years old, that means the person has gone around the sun 40 times riding on planet earth.
    If the universe has another 5 billion years more to go,that also means the earth has to go about 5 billion times more around the sun. That’s a mighty long times.
    In reality does time really exists? Doesn’t it exist only in our mind? We may see clocks and watches but we don’t see the times.We see numbers on their faces.We see the numbers and interpret it in our mind. 13 billion years ago is such a long time and it boggles our mind.But in reality our planet earth for that billion times has been going around the same route year in year out.
    The end of times could means something could have gone wrong with the solar system.The earth instead of rotating anti-clock wise has gone the other way and that makes the sun rise from the west.Everything would go haywire.
    Times also means to calculate speed. Like measuring how fast a boy running from point A to point B. If everything just stay in one place, no movement, there is no time. But as the earth moves all the times , thus we have times.

    A.Rahman, December 12, 2010 at 1:11 pm
  2. The End of Time? No one realises it but nature physics tells us that anything that is given birth most evidently will encounter and end. Science has lead us to believe that our unibverse will someday end. Possibly not in our time but in the universe’s life days a head of it. Theoretial physicists have never really giveen it a thought about how the universe will end. Some say the Big Crunch others it will expand out and the separation of the galaxy’s and the universe’s energy will dininish and all will die. Is all this possible? The answer is yes. Think of a dead universe – nothing but darken energy diminished shperes with nothing living anymore there. The universe’s suns have died and the energy that caused a universe to evolve in spectro-enlightenment has now all parished. Is this what stands a head for the Universe? A new study called ” The Quanta Physics Study ” has discussed and discovered new traits about our universe and its future of life. Among all the possibilities talked about in the universe’s end of time there is one probability that has never been raised in question about how the universe will end.
    Revised in this article is a short description about the universe we live in and its end of time. Discovered by Rodney Kawecki of Los Angeles California theoretial physicist whom in 2007 published his fiorst book in physics called ” The Supertellic Universe ” which explains a new theory for faster than light space travel. He has also discovered a new fate for the universe we live. His first work is a mathematical equation which fits within Albert Einstein’s E=Mc2 formula for light’ – but was never discussed. It was never discussed because no one knew about it. Its a mathematical formula that allows superluminal speed space travel to be measured within the famous equation for space travel. A long with this new adavnce in physics Kawecki has discovered a new theory that describes the fate of the universe’s future.
    Kawecki’s new insight has lead science to believe that what was thought to be a closed universe – which has been discovered in latter days to be a possibly evolving open universe Due to the discovery of the universe’s event horizon – physicists Rodney Kawecki has discovered that the event horizon’s pull on the inflated universe’s gravitational dark matter will evidentually be the universe’s end of time. In his new book ” The Celestial Nature of Gravity ” Kawecki describes how and why an open universe as he speculates it will finally reach an end of days.
    The Universe’s Event Horizon as it is called is an adjoining orbital crest line of the universe’s angular activity as it orbits space. Emitting from a closed universe in its early stages the universe has finally growth to its own exspectations of becoming an open universe. As a open universe its expansion of dark matter is racing through the event horizon into an unknown terrain of space > A void possibly or something more Kawecki can only speculate. But more evidence has lead Kawecki to believing this natural phenomenon will evidentually distingish the universe as we know it. Will it be the universe’s end or is there smething else we haven’t considered?
    In ” The Celestial Nature of Gravity” Kawecki speaks of a newer and more larger possibility that lays on the otherside of the event horizon. As event horizon’s at a local scale seem to be expalined as singularities dividing any part or system of planets, stars and galaxys – these event horizons are not sucking dark matter from one area to the next. So why is the Universe’s eevnet Horizon so different?
    The answer is told in Kawecki’s latest new book to be released in book stores soon. From a theoretial physicists whom has recoded space travel within the E=Mc2 travfel frames – his enlightenment and insight exceeds the normal scientist. Will the universe end or will we find prividence in anothet space and time?

    Rodney Kawecki, January 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm
  3. The End of Time as we know it…
    Physicists sci-fic futuristic writer Rod in the intermediate stage of developing a new theory about Black Holes never before imagined. His work illustrates a means of a universe which includes the developing stages and leaves nothing out. Meaning that the universe as we know it,,wasn’t created out of nothing as scientist believe it. No ..Kawecki says everything came from somewhere.
    Reading his books on the universe tell the tale about where and how everything formed from beginning to end. His new worl about black holes goes beyond Stepthen Hawkins work work on black holes and shows that black holes as explained in modern science is not all its out to be.
    Kawecki a former writer of already three new books titled under “” Quanta Physics Theory “” tell the whole story. Unbelievable…yes but a fact. He goes beyond Albert Einstein quantum mechanics and Hawkins and tells the whole story. Keep in tune with his work. He is a genius.
    In his next book he tells how the universe formed all its characteristics and why black holes told be todays physicists is not true. Hisw work about black holes wait and read it soon through PublishAmerica Book Publishing…
    He exlains why they exist and exactlt what they are and why. Seem impossible.. He’s beyond the era of of time and will explain why ….there exist an end to a beginner universe hypthesis…..
    You can e mail him and ask questions about ”The End of Time ” as we know it,,,at …

    Rod Kawecki, June 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm
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