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Space Science

New Universes Will be Born from Ours 440

Posted by Zonk
from the crisis-on-infinite-earths dept.
David Shiga writes "What gruesome fate awaits our universe? Some physicists have argued that it is doomed to be ripped apart by runaway dark energy, while others think it is bouncing through an endless series of big bangs and big crunches. Now, scientists have combined these two ideas to create another option, in which our universe ultimately shatters into billions of pieces. Each shard would then subsequently grow into a whole new universe. The model could solve the mystery of why our early universe was surprisingly well ordered."
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New Universes Will be Born from Ours

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  • Please... (Score:5, Funny)

    by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:24PM (#17950360)
    Now it sounds like these guys aren't even trying anymore. I could've sworn I saw this in an episode of Star Trek.
    • by Elemenope (905108)

      It used to be that metaphysicians were physicists with a massive inferiority complex. But now it seems that the physicists have decided to become metaphysicians. It would be as if all of a sudden all other engineering students decided they would like nothing other than to become Civil Engineers. Sound likely to you? Me either.

    • by operagost (62405)
      Yup. The new universe got stuck on the starboard nacelle of one of the DS9 runabouts. They discovered it was a protouniverse and was about to wipe out the entire quadrant, so naturally they solved this problem by carting it back through the wormhole. It's the Gamma quadrant's problem now!
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:25PM (#17950376) Homepage Journal
    . . . witty, and profound, but the announcement that the free bagels and donuts we get every Friday have arrived.

    Just think, if only one percent of those billions of new universes repeat our time-stream, this joyous moment will be repeated . . .

    whoa, they maple bars this morning. I'm out of here. Priorities . . .
    • One of the best sci-fi stories ever. Kudos for the link.
    • I was told that story by a friend. Quite interesting. It was the shortened version (as in a 5 minute telling), but I think I got everything.

      I do wonder though: How did the very first one occur? If this universe is from the last one, then there must have been a first one somewhere.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by silentounce (1004459)
        Maybe the first one IS the last one. You may scoff at the notion. But does the Earth have a beginning and an end?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Pfhorrest (545131)
        I was told that story by a friend. Quite interesting. It was the shortened version (as in a 5 minute telling), but I think I got everything.

        I do wonder though: How did the very first one occur? If this universe is from the last one, then there must have been a first one somewhere.


        No, there doesn't have to be a first one. It's perfectly possible for there to have been an infinite series of previous ones.

        In fact, if you accept that something can't come from nothing, then the very notion of a first one at all
    • But he is wrong in the essay...

      Asimov writes:
      "I get it," said Adell. "Don't shout. When the sun is done, the other stars will be gone, too."
      100% incorrect. Stars are born right now that will last billions of years longer than the sun. Stars don't die out all at the same time.
  • by Dareth (47614) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:27PM (#17950400)
    ... is there something somewhere else blowing?

    And no, that wasn't a Spaceballs reference!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:27PM (#17950404)
    ... when my woman left me.

    Baby come back!! No more dark matter - I promise you a Big Bang this time!

  • Bah humbug (Score:5, Funny)

    by Fist! Of! Death! (1038822) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:27PM (#17950406)
    I propose that the universe is actually a cheap science kit awaiting purchase on the shelf of a hyper-dimensional Toys-R-Us. I could probably prove it too if I had the funding...
    • by foobsr (693224)
      3.02 A thought contains the possibility of the situation of which it is the thought. What is thinkable is possible too.
      Lugwig Wittgenstein
      Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus [uni-heidelberg.de]

      The question is how to let thoughts seem to be reality, though.

      CC.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Verteiron (224042)
      Close, but no cigar. The Universe is actually the ultimate firework. The Grand Finale. Imagine if you could see the universe's evolution, sped up tremendously. A huge blast, dissipating into countless trillions of sparks, swirling into fiery whirlpools of energy, structures so complex that you could spend a thousand lifetimes exploring them and never see everything. All the sparks dying away, but also forming new sparks as they go, but fewer and fewer... and finally, nothing left behind but the smoke trails
  • The universe is ending, get to the beer store before it closes! Actually, this theory may be in fact true, however it falls under the category of one that can never be proven fully because the universe has to end to really find out if the models were correct. You can tweak models. Reality is a little different. Sounds like a good experiment for the new satellite, or at the very least, a good source of grant money for the researchers.
    • by ardor (673957)
      It just has to be falsifiable. A well-constructed theory depends on several factors. Disprove one, and at least parts of the theory are no longer valid.
  • Hopefully (Score:5, Funny)

    by shirizaki (994008) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:37PM (#17950592)
    We'll stick around to stay in our little galaxy's lives, as we want to pass on our knowledge and provide care for them. That and the threat of paying child support.
  • Possible (Score:5, Interesting)

    by styryx (952942) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:39PM (#17950644)
    There has been a lot of research showing that Black Holes themselves are essentially fundamental particles. Coupled with (even if string theory isn't true the fundamental particle geometry is interesting) two concepts of measuring distance. Such that when one passes the Plank Length the 'easy' way of measuring distance becomes hard and measures the reciprocal instead, while the previous hard way becomes easy. Then throw into all of this the notion that we are all moving through space-time at constant velocity (light speed - this is why when you travel faster through space time slows down. so no-one really understands what time is, or how many dimensions (of 11, say) are time, or whether they are essentially different from space, mathematically, physically or philosophically.

    So yeah, i'm just about willing to believe anything right now.
  • by Aqua OS X (458522) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:40PM (#17950650)
    Prominent bizarro physicists believe the new universe will be inverse of our own, controlled by the indigent, and known as the hobo-verse. This new hobo-verse will be controlled by a singular omnipotent box car hobo named "Klackity Klack." Also, it will smell like pee.
  • Evidence (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CGP314 (672613) <CGPNO@SPAMColinGregoryPalmer.net> on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:44PM (#17950704) Homepage
    I'm a physics teacher currently teaching about the Big Bang and possible ends of the Universe. I'm just wondering if there are any research physicists in the room who could tell me which theory of the end of the Universe has the most physical evidence to support it at the current time.

    Thank you,

    -CGP [colingregorypalmer.net]
    • Re:Evidence (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:54PM (#17950868)
      Right now, the theory with the most evidence in its favor is the theory which includes a dark energy described by Einstein's cosmological constant. In that theory, the universe's expansion will continue to accelerate forever, although not at such a great rate that there is a "Big Rip" which tears atoms apart. That is the "heat death" scenario, in which the universe lasts forever and runs down until nothing much is going on. Because of the accelerating expansion, we will see fewer and fewer distant galaxies as time goes on, because they will accelerate away from us faster than light can reach us. Ultimately we will only see a few local galaxies in the cluster in which we are bound.

      This scenario is explored in more detail here [ucr.edu].

      However, it's possible that the dark energy is dynamical instead of constant, and so the expansion of the universe could accelerate or possibly even reverse and decelerate. With enough deceleration, a Big Crunch is still feasible. There are also the scenarios in which our universe spawns new "universes", such as the one discussed here.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by shma (863063)
        I would like to add something to the previous post. While it's true that there will not be a big rip, in an accelerating universe we will still end up with a universe with no atoms. The reason is that in an accelerating universe, the horizon (the maximum distance at which we can interact with objects*) is forever shrinking. That means that after a long enough time, it will be smaller than the distance between electrons and protons in atoms. Wih the electron outside the proton's horizon, there will be no int
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Ambitwistor (1041236)
          I don't wholly agree with your analysis. An atom is an electromagnetically bound system and resists expansion; you can't just take a straight Friedmann GR solution and make conclusions from that. That's why the Big Rip scenario was invented: it is an acceleration so severe that even bound systems become unbound by the cosmological expansion. A cosmological constant (w=-1) is right on the boundary: atoms become unbound only asymptotically. There is no actual finite time at which atoms (or galaxies) fa
    • by Sciros (986030)
      I'm not a research physicist, but of the two more prominent competing theories -- pulsating and ever-expanding -- the latter I believe has more support. There is evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, and this is attributed to the presence of "dark energy."
  • by davidwr (791652) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:44PM (#17950720) Homepage Journal
    You frequently get the question "Why is the universe {whatever}?" or "In order to support human life, the universe had to be {whatever}."

    This is frequently used to support the idea of divine intervention.

    If you ask such a question or make such an observation, you have to remember:

    The fact that we are here to observe it greatly restricts the possibilities, so what seems like "long odds" isn't long odds after all.

    To put it another way:
    If you play in the Superbowl and win, and your friends congratulate you, you don't say "What are the odds of my friends congratulating me for winning the Superbowl? There are 300,000,000 million Americans and only a few dozen have friends who congratulated them for winning the 2007 Super Bowl. That is rare, this is proof of divine intervention in my life."
    • by geekoid (135745)
      "
      The fact that we are here to observe it greatly restricts the possibilities, so what seems like "long odds" isn't long odds after all."

      actually it was extremly long odds over a very long time.

      The fact that it happened doesn't mean ther odd were long.
      If you have a 1 in 80,000,000 chance of getting the winning lottery numbers and you get them, your odds were still 1 in 80,000,000.

    • If you play in the Superbowl and win, and your friends congratulate you, you don't say "What are the odds of my friends congratulating me for winning the Superbowl? There are 300,000,000 million Americans and only a few dozen have friends who congratulated them for winning the 2007 Super Bowl. That is rare, this is proof of divine intervention in my life."

      The correct analogy would involve you having no idea whether other Americans exist, but thinking: "Hmm, the more Americans there were, the lower the lik

  • by isomeme (177414) <cdberry@gmail.com> on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:56PM (#17950894) Homepage Journal
    Each shard would then subsequently growing into a whole new universe.

    ...with its own new laws of physics and grammar.

  • The paper (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Friday February 09, 2007 @01:56PM (#17950906)
    I think the work being referred to may be in this paper [arxiv.org], in which the universes are "causal patches" which are disconnected from each other causally by the Big Rip.
  • Engrish? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Bryansix (761547) on Friday February 09, 2007 @02:01PM (#17950976) Homepage

    Each shard would then subsequently growing into a whole new universe.
    Is this some newfangled way to form a sentence I have not heard of before?
  • I've got an idea that satisfies both Creation and Big Bang.

    I call it the "Big Burrito" theory.

    Details forthcoming after lunch....

  • yeah.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 40ozFreak (823002)
    The idea is called Kabbalah. It's nothing new.
  • Well-ordered? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by g_adams27 (581237) on Friday February 09, 2007 @02:17PM (#17951250)

    > The model could solve the mystery of why our early universe was surprisingly well ordered.

    Not really - you've just pushed the problem back one level. Where did the well-ordered universe shards that made this universe come from? It can't be "turtles all the way down"

  • by Progman3K (515744) on Friday February 09, 2007 @02:21PM (#17951320)
    If you define a different universe as being physically distinct from ours, then yes;
    If parts of our universe started out in the same singularity as us but are now outside of our light-cone, then they are in effect physically separate from us, so that places them in a different universe, doesn't it? If they are outside our light-cone, and can no longer affect us, then they are not in our universe anymore but since they still exist, I think you have to consider them as being in a different universe.
    Of course it means they have to be outside of our entire universe's light-cone...
  • Baby universes? Let's name one "Bob"!

    What, our universe gives its life up so another can be born, and we don't even get to name it?
  • Hopefully in at least one of them, people won't kill each other over political or religious ideology. Bring on the cataclysm, whatever comes next is sure to be better.
  • They believe that some can obtain God status and then rule their own universe, which would match up to this theory, i guess South Park was right in their movie after all...
  • sounds like the universe is just another one of those damn dandelions in my yard: it turns white, pops, and sends the seeds around to invest my yard with more of their damn yellow Somethingness on my perfect bed of green Nothingness. -- old man Void

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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