Re: Flat universe == Infinite Universe?

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Sat Jun 03 2000 - 20:06:11 MDT

>From: "Randy Smith" <>

>>From: "Zero Powers" <>
>>>The most common view by astronomers and physicists is that if the
>>>is flat, it will keep on expanding forever. Eventually, life will go
>>>because there will never be any new star formation after a long while,
>>>the energy sources that remain will decay into lower and lower levels.
>>>Typically this is called the "cold death" viewpoint. Flatness and
>>>is not the traditional Steady State Universe, where life may continue
>>>forever. Nor is it the Heat Death of a rebounding Universe, which also
>>>bring annihilation.
>>I thought what you describe as "cold death" was actually referred to as
>>"heat death" (i.e., where entropy reaches max and everything become a
>>uniform temp). And that what you describe as "heat death" was just called
>>the "Big Crunch". Did they switch terminology when I wasn't looking, or
>>I just have it wrong?
>If the universe is infinite, wouldn't death by heat or cold only occur
>an infinite amount of time? Infinite time == forever. Right?
>That's good enough for me...

Disclaimer: Admittedly this is *not* my area of expertise, so I could be way
off, but as I understand it...

If the universe is infinite, all that means is that it will continue
expanding forever. That doesn't mean that energy will remain in an
exploitable state forever. Once entropy has increased to the point where
energy is effectively useless (nothing but background radiation), life
(which is dependent upon the exploitation of energy) is done for.
Personally, I'd prefer a big crunch to that sort of scenario. At least with
a big crunch there's a pretty good shot of another big bang and the party
starts all over again! Whoo Hah!!


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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