Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cosmologists Predict A Static Universe In 3 Trillion Years

Date:
May 24, 2007
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
When Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter proposed a static model of the universe in the early 1900s, he was some 3 trillion years ahead of his time. Now, some physicists predict that trillions of years into the future, the information that currently allows us to understand how the universe expands will have disappeared over the visible horizon. What remains will be "an island universe" made from the Milky Way and its nearby galactic Local Group neighbors in an overwhelmingly dark void.

The Milky Way in infrared as it is seen today. In 3 trillion years, physicist Lawrence Krauss and Robert J. Scherrer predict that only "an island universe" made from the Milky Way and its nearby galactic Local Group neighbors will be perceivable in an overwhelmingly dark void.
Credit: E. L. Wright (UCLA), The COBE Project, DIRBE, NASA

When Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter proposed a static model of the universe in the early 1900s, he was some 3 trillion years ahead of his time.

Now, physicists Lawrence Krauss from Case Western Reserve University and Robert J. Scherrer from Vanderbilt University predict that trillions of years into the future, the information that currently allows us to understand how the universe expands will have disappeared over the visible horizon. What remains will be "an island universe" made from the Milky Way and its nearby galactic Local Group neighbors in an overwhelmingly dark void.

The researchers' article, "The Return of the Static Universe and the End of Cosmology," was awarded one of the top prizes for 2007 by the Gravity Research Foundation. It will be published in the October issue of the Journal of Relativity and Gravitation.

"While physicists of the future will be able to infer that their island universe has not been eternal, it is unlikely they will be able to infer that the beginning involved a Big Bang," report the researchers.

According to Krauss, since Edwin Hubble advanced his expanding universe observations in 1929, the "pillars of the modern Big Bang" have been built on measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation from the afterglow of the early universe formation, movement of galaxies away from the Local Group and evidence of the abundance of elements produced in the primordial universe, as well as theoretical inferences based on Einstein's General Relativity Theory.

What appears almost as a story from science fiction, the cosmologists began to envision a universe based on "what ifs." Long after the demise of the solar system, it will be up to future physicists that arise from planets in other solar systems to fathom and unravel the mysteries of the system's origins from their isolated universes dominated by dark energy.

But the irony of the presence of that abundant dark energy, the researchers report, is that future physicists will have no way to measure its presence because of a void in the gravitational dynamics of moving galaxies.

"We live in a special time in the evolution of the universe," stated the researchers, somewhat humorously: "The only time at which we can observationally verify that we live in a very special time in the evolution of the universe."

The researchers describe that modern cosmology is built on Einstein's theory of general relativity, which requires an expanding or collapsing universe for a uniform density of matter. However, an isolated region can exist inside of an otherwise seemingly static universe.

They next discuss implications for the detection of the cosmic microwave background that provide evidence of the baby pictures of an early universe.

That radiation will 'red shift" to longer and longer frequencies, eventually becoming undetectable within our galaxy. Krauss said, "We literally will have no way to detect this radiation."

The researchers followed up that discussion with one tracking early elements like helium and deuterium produced in the Big Bang. They predict systems that allow us to detect primordial deuterium will be dispersed throughout the universe to become undetectable, while helium in concentrations of approximately 25 percent at the Big Bang will become indiscernible as stars will produce far more helium in the course of their lives to cloud the origins of the early universe.

"Eventually, the universe will appear static," said Krauss. "All evidence of modern cosmology will have disappeared."

Krauss closed with a comment that he suggested is implicit in the paper's conclusions. "We may feel smug in that we can detect a host of things future civilizations will not know about, but by the same token, this suggests we wonder about what important aspects of the universe we ourselves may be missing. Thus, our results suggest a kind of a 'cosmic humility'".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Cosmologists Predict A Static Universe In 3 Trillion Years." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524094126.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2007, May 24). Cosmologists Predict A Static Universe In 3 Trillion Years. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524094126.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Cosmologists Predict A Static Universe In 3 Trillion Years." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070524094126.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Neil Armstrong's Post-Apollo 11 Life

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Neil Armstrong gained international fame after becoming the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. But what was his life like after the historic trip? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

This Week @ NASA, July 18, 2014

NASA (July 18, 2014) Apollo 11 yesterday, Next Giant Leap tomorrow, Science instruments for Europa mission, and more... Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
45 Years Later, Buzz Aldrin on Walking on Moon

45 Years Later, Buzz Aldrin on Walking on Moon

AP (July 18, 2014) Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. Speaking at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Aldrin described what he was thinking right before the historic walk. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orbital Cargo Ship Reaches International Space Station

Orbital Cargo Ship Reaches International Space Station

AFP (July 16, 2014) Orbital Sciences Corporation's unmanned cargo ship arrived Wednesday at the International Space Station carrying a load of food and equipment for the six-man crew at the research outpost. Duration: 00:33 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins