Saturday, May 06, 2006

Big bang just a beat in infinite time.

Good news. The latest theory to come out of the science of cosmology is that our universe may be just the last in a beginning-less line of endlessly repeating big bangs. :::[SMH]

Instead of being formed from a single big bang about 14 billion years ago and destined to expand and eventually peter out to the cold, dead remains of stars, the universe may be an endless loop of explosions and contractions stretching forever.

Einstein's cosmological constant was proposed to explain a stationary universe as part of his theory of general relativity, but he discarded this when Edwin Hubble established that the universe was not in stasis, rather it was expanding. Einstein described it as the "biggest blunder of his life". But he would be vindicated by the renewed interest in the search for a cosmological constant, a mathematical representation of the energy of empty space, dark energy, which is a kind of anti-gravity pushing the universe apart at an accelerating speed. Now physicists say they have measured the number and it turns out to be a googol (1 followed by 100 zeros) times smaller than if the universe was created in a single big bang.

The new figure would explain a universe that was billions of years older and created in cyclical big bangs according to Professor Neil Turok, a theoretical physicist at Cambridge University:

"What we are proposing is very radical. It's saying there was time before the big bang."

"There doesn't have to be a beginning of time," Professor Turok said. "According to our theory, the universe may be infinitely old and infinitely large."

If the theory is right, how long have we got until the next big bang? Professor Turok said: "We can't predict when it will happen with any precision - all we can say is it won't be within the next 10 billion years."
And there I was worried because our sun is dying. The long term prognosis is that we get another one after the next big bang assuming we survive it all.

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