The Nature of the Universe

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The Nature of the Universe

I've heard a lot of different discussion and debates in which opponents attempt to explain the laws of the universe and the rules that govern nature.  But I've never heard an idea about the fundemental nature or purpose of material in the universe.

I have a question for a scientist or anyone who wants to reply.

According to the Big Bang Theory, the universe started from a point called the singularity, then rapidly expanded into the universe we observe today.

My question is...Could the nature of the universe be a constant transformation from the molecular to the material and vice versa?  Like when water evaporates, forms a cloud, and then rains?  Or when sperm meets and egg, which forms into a fetus, grows into a person, then that person lives and dies and decays.  A star forms from gas particles, condenses, becomes a star, burns out and then colllapses into it's self.  Therefore, will the universe one day will eventually collapse back into that singular point and begin a new?  And we could be living in the 1st universe or the 100th universe.

 

Can someone tell me if this is a misguided idea?


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 its a bit misguided. that

 its a bit misguided. that theory was one of the earlier theories about how the universe is going to end. it was nicknamed the big crunch, the universe explodes and expands rapidly, gravity slows the expansion down until everything starts moving back towards the center and eventually the universe ends in a big crunch. the only question from there was if there is enough mass to produce a large enough gravitational force to cause this to happen. It turns out that there isnt. this means that the universe was going to expand indefinitely and end when all of the energy disperses so much that everything freezes. recently however, scientists have discovered that the rate of expansion of the universe is actually increasing which runs counter to our traditional conception of gravity. this is like discovering a ball that when thrown upward, starts accelerating upward against the gravitational force of the earth. they have dubbed the accelerating expansion to be dark energy because they have basically no idea about what is causing the expansion. Taken to an extreme, the acceleration of the expansion might become so great that eventually everything gets thrown apart even atoms, quarks etc. this theory about how the universe will end is known the big rip.

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The universe being a

The universe being a cyclical event is one of the competing theories.  Last I heard the universe was not predicted to collapse, but rather to keep expanding towards eventual heat death.  But this stuff changes, and so who knows what the future will bring?

Wiki summary:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_fate_of_the_universe#Theories_about_the_end_of_universe

 

You might want to abandon the phrase, 'molecular to material' though, because that doesn't make sense.

 

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Thanks...looks like i've got

Thanks...looks like i've got some homework to do.  But that's what's great about this site, that i've seen so far, it's a place to learn.

 

"You might want to abandon the phrase, 'molecular to material' though, because that doesn't make sense."

 

I'll do that.


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OK, liberatedatheist has

OK, liberatedatheist has this mostly right. Except for the bit about the “big rip”.

 

That could be one way that the universe might end. However, a problem arises in that it is a conjecture only and is not based on any accepted theory (and only a slight shred of evidence, which at this time is not accounted for in accepted theories either).

 

Sticking to firmer ground, as the universe expands, the farther a galaxy is from another, the greater the rate of recession. Eventually, most of the universe will be receding from the rest of the universe at greater than the velocity of light.

 

>>>On a side note, Special Relativity does not prevent this as the expansion of the universe is quite different from other forms of motion<<<

 

Note that I said “most of the universe”. There is a large exception here. While the universe as a whole is expanding, specific clusters of galaxies are in some cases known to be bound gravitationally in such a way that the cluster itself is collapsing. Our own galaxy appears to be part of a group of about two dozen galaxies which are undergoing gravitational collapse.

 

Presuming that dark energy does not eventually overwhelm gravitation all together, eventually, all of those galaxies will merge into a single “super galaxy”. Probably in about 5*10^9 or so years.

 

As to the ultimate fate of that group of stars, we don't have enough data on stellar evolution just yet but it seems that eventually, the super galaxy will exhaust the availiable supply of material from which stars can form. Eventually, there will be red dwarfs, white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. After a few 10^11 or so years, even the red dwarfs will finally become white dwarfs and that will be pretty much it. Apart from one last change...

 

Current theories of black holes suggest that they are not eternal. However, in order for black holes to decay, the universe has to reach the stage where there are few if any actual burning stars left. Then they will begin to evaporate. As far as I am aware, nobody is willing to speculate further.

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 Would you say then that

 

Would you say then that until we have a better understanding of what dark energy is and it's values, that all theories of what eventually will happen to the universe are higly speculative?


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Oh is is certainly too soon

Oh is is certainly too soon to do more than guess as to what may happen in the future. Don't get stuck on dark energy like it is somehow the end of all possible scientific thought though. Before I get into a more of this, let me pull back to something rather more basic.

 

>>>>>>>>>>

There is a general order of steps in the process of doing science. This is called the scientific method.

 

Pretty much the process goes like this:

 

First, observing something that does not fit with what is already well established.

 

Second, confirming that the new observation is actually viable and not an error in measurement.

 

Third, coming up with a guess as to how the new observations might change current thought. Nearly all guesses at this point will be wrong but you still have to guess or you are not doing science.

 

Fourth, figuring out what else may be found if the guess is actually right.

 

Fifth, making new observations based on the conjecture from step four. If you got steps three and four right and the new data from step five matches, then you probably have something.

 

At any of these steps, you still have to tell the rest of the world what you are on about. Then other scientists in the same field will go over your work to see what they can come up with. Sometimes they find errors that you did not know you had made. Other times, they gain new insight into stuff that they were thinking about.

 

If you get all the way to this point, then you very probably have something new to claim credit for.

 

The study of dark energy is still pretty much at step two. Other scientists have checked the observations and they seem to be valid. However, what they mean is still very much open ended. The “big rip” is a possible step three. By no means is there all that much of a reason for saying that it must certainly happen.

<<<<<<<<<

 

Anyway, we do not know much about dark energy apart from the very general idea that it seems that galaxies are farther away from us than we thought. The more distant a galaxy seems to be based on previous measurements, the farther away it seems to be based on newer measurements. At this point, the safe money is on we made inaccurate measurements in the past.

 

The consequence from this could be one of a number of possible ideas such as a big rip. It could also lead to the galactic collision scenario that I outlined before.

 

Heck but we are still learning new stuff about gravity that could potentially change everything and render both scenarios (and others that I did not go into) on the great historical scrap heap.

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Thanks for the breakdown...I

Thanks for the breakdown...I can understand that.

I have another question...If the universe is expanding, and the shape of the universe isn't spherical, then wouldn't that mean that all galaxies, stars, gas, dust, and all other matter not on the x axis are moving away from the center at a slower rate?  If that isn't true, why isn't the shape of the universe a perfect sphere? 

And if the "big rip" is the most likely scenario, and objects farthest away are traveling at a faster rate than objects closer, wouldn't that suggest that the universe will eventually become disc shaped?


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Their is some evidence that

There is some evidence that the Universe is not symmetrical in all directions.

There is no "center". 

It is at least some kind of 4-dimensional thing, and what we see as three-dimensional space has no center, any more than the two dimensional surface of a sphere has a center on its surface.

Just as there is no point on the surface of the Earth that has any special 'central' position.

The classic analogy is to think of the clusters of galaxies as dots on the surface of a balloon which is expanding. The further apart any two spots are, the faster the distance between them, measured along the surface of the balloon, will be increasing. But there is no central spot.

There are alternative theories which propose the geometry of space, or space-time, to be something different than some higher dimensional version of a sphere, but that tends to get even harder to imagine.

Hope that helps.

 

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The universe came from an

The universe came from an invisible pink unicorn, just accept it. Science is just a silly denial of invisible friends.

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BobSpence1 wrote:There is

BobSpence1 wrote:

There is some evidence that the Universe is not symmetrical in all directions.

There is no "center". 

It is at least some kind of 4-dimensional thing, and what we see as three-dimensional space has no center, any more than the two dimensional surface of a sphere has a center on its surface.

Just as there is no point on the surface of the Earth that has any special 'central' position.

The classic analogy is to think of the clusters of galaxies as dots on the surface of a balloon which is expanding. The further apart any two spots are, the faster the distance between them, measured along the surface of the balloon, will be increasing. But there is no central spot.

There are alternative theories which propose the geometry of space, or space-time, to be something different than some higher dimensional version of a sphere, but that tends to get even harder to imagine.

Hope that helps.

 

 

Is there any hypothesis that attempts to explain what determines the shape or what force contains the surface of the "balloon"?


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Aaron_1221 wrote:Is there

Aaron_1221 wrote:
Is there any hypothesis that attempts to explain what determines the shape or what force contains the surface of the "balloon"?

 

Well, since there is no center, there is also no surface to this particular balloon. The analogy is useful for some purposes but it should not be pushed too far.

 

When we look out with a gigantic telescope, we see most of the galaxies moving away from us. However, from any other galaxy, the same observation would obtain.

 

As far as the relevant forces go, the one that we know the most about is gravitation. For the first several decades of the last century, the general idea was that a gravitation dominated universe has to be collapsing. However, no amount of observation could establish that such was happening. Even Einstein could not figure out a way around that issue.

 

Eventually, we learned that the universe is expanding. That pretty much wraps it up for the gravitational collapse model. Today, the evidence strongly suggests that not only is the universe expanding but there seems to be an outward directed force that is driving the expansion. What that force is, nobody knows for sure. Today, we are calling it “dark energy” but that is just a place holder until we have a better idea of just what is going on.

 

There is also ample evidence of a third force called inflation. As far as we can tell, inflation is most active over fairly short distances and thus it dominated the early universe. However, as the universe expanded, it faded from dominance and eventually gravitation became the dominant force. Then, apparently in the range of 7 billion to 10 billion years ago, gravity may have “lost it's ginger” and dark energy may have taken over.

 

However, we still do not have all the details of gravitation worked out, let alone inflation and dark energy. I suppose that they could all be the same force but that it manifests differently under different conditions.

 

Certainly we know from particle physics that something similar goes on as we reach higher energies. There is a force called the weak force that is normally only relevant inside the nuclei of atoms. At large enough energy though, it essentially becomes identical to the electromagnetic force. The weak force is called that to set it apart from the strong force, which is also believed to merge with what is called the electroweak force at large enough energies. However, as far as we can tell, that only works under certain underlying assumptions that we cannot yet test.

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Brian37 wrote:The universe

Brian37 wrote:

The universe came from an invisible pink unicorn, just accept it. Science is just a silly denial of invisible friends.

That's just silly.

This guy has it figured out.

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nigelTheBold wrote:Brian37

nigelTheBold wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

The universe came from an invisible pink unicorn, just accept it. Science is just a silly denial of invisible friends.

That's just silly.

This guy has it figured out.

This person needs meds and needs a room at the rubber room Hilton. What a rambling piece of shit that website was.

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Whoa Brian, you use the

Whoa Brian, you use the internet and you have never heard of the time cube?  Dude, you are stuck in the 20th century or something.  I suppose that you also expect us to believe that you do not know about this dude:  http://www.johntitor.com/

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