How Will the Universe End?

By Zachary Mattingly and Nick west

Entropy- the measure of disorder and randomness in a system.

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"Entropy." Entropy. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.

The second law of thermodynamics says that the entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.


This means that in a closed system, such as the universe, all energy and matter will eventually dissipate until it is evenly distributed.

How will this end the the universe?

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"The Universe Could Tear Itself Apart Sooner Than Anyone Believed." Io9. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.

The Big Rip

The universe is currently expanding outward in all directions. The force of this expansion is pulling galaxies apart. The only thing keeping galaxies from splitting apart is their gravity. In addition, the expansion rate of the universe is increasing. When the expansion rate of the universe becomes more powerful than the gravity of galaxies, the big rip will begin. The force of the expansion will literally rip apart galaxies, stars, planets, and other cosmic objects. When the force of expansion increases to exceed the speed of light things will start to be ripped apart at the atomic level. The bonds holding atoms together will break and the universe will become a void filled with unconnected, free floating subatomic particles.

The Big Crunch

Alternatively, the combined gravity of the entire universe could eventually slow down the expansion of the universe and reverse it. Instead of everything moving away from everything everything would be moving towards everything. As everything moves closer and closer together black holes would swallow everything up. These black holes would eventually join up to form a black hole that contains everything in the universe. Entropy would eventually destroy this black hole too. The release of Hawking radiation, a special type of radiation released by black holes, will cause the giant black hole to lose energy and mass and eventually completely evaporate. After the black hole finishes evaporating the universe will become a void filled with unconnected, free floating subatomic particles.
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"Star Plays Dizzying Dance of Doom with Black Hole : DNews." DNews. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.

Heat Death

In this scenario, matter and energy will neither be ripped apart or brought together. Instead the expansion of the universe will move objects so far apart that they can no longer interact with each other. When this happens they will start to decay and lose energy. Everything from gas clouds, stars, planets, to black holes will eventually decay into radiation. Then the universe will become a void filled with unconnected free floating subatomic particles.

Sources

"Thermodynamics." Physics For Idiots. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.


Dickerson, Kelly. "3 Ways the Universe Might End." Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 03 Feb. 2015. Web. 27 May 2015.


"Stephen Hawking Is Admitting to Big Holes in Black Hole Theories."Guardian Liberty Voice. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.