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Name: tim cole
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1993 - 1999

I would like to know as many opinions as possible on the origin and fate of the universe?

If you believe the Big Bang Theory then the universe will either:

a) continue to expand forever

b) eventually start to collapse OR

c) "coast" to a stop as time goes to infinity.

The choice of (a), (b), or (c) depends on the Cosmological Constant designated by cap omega which is related to the Hubble Constant and is a measure of the mass/energy density of the universe. Basically, if the universe has enough mass, then its expansion will eventually stop, and (b) will happen. If the mass is "just right" and cap omega turns out to be exactly equal to 1.0, then (c) will happen. Some cosmologists favor (c) on purely esthetic grounds even though the current best estimate of cap omega is only about 0.1. The "missing mass" problem is critical to the value of cap omega. This problem comes from observations that seem to indicate there is more mass in the universe than we can currently detect.

What you're really asking about is called cosmology. Try looking that up for some alternative theories.


I don't completely agree with answer #1. What Dr. Hawley is calling cap omega is not the cosmological constant, but is the ratio of the total mass of the universe to a magic number (if you've studied physics, then "mass density" is more correct than "total mass"). His answer is correct if the cosmological constant, which is another number, is zero. If the cosmological constant is not zero, than any "fate of the universe" is possible, depending upon the value of that constant.

The precise answer is that the laws of physics will support any opinion whatsoever.

J Lu

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