Re: Flat universe == Infinite Universe?

From: xgl (
Date: Sat Jun 03 2000 - 21:42:36 MDT

On Sat, 3 Jun 2000, Zero Powers wrote:

> 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.

        first, i'm no expert either. as i understand it, the threat posed
by an expanding universe to a transhuman civilization is more urgent
than eventual heat death resulting from entropy.

        the problem seems to be that as the universe expands to ever
greater "volume," its density approaches a vacuum. eventually, this may
pose increasingly stringent limits on feasible civilizations and
life-forms (as, for example, the averge energy cost to travel
between two stars exceeds the energy extracted from an average

        from what i gather, however, a flat universe would continue to
expand, but at an ever-slowing rate -- approaching a standstill at
infinite time. if this were true, perhaps heat death does once again
become the main bottleneck.

        what i find absolutely intriguing is the very possiblity that the
universe is flat. i trust that members of this list do not need any
reminders as to what eerie odds would be overcome if such were really
the case. funny that a year ago, few would have considered such a
possiblity -- the universe was either open or closed, and open
looked more likely ...


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