Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Contraction of the Universe

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 05/16/2012
Q:
if we find out that we are wrong and the universe is actually going to contract,and that everything is connected,how will this affect time?will it reverse proportionally to the point of singularity?will we suddenly become alive,get better,and regress to a prenatal state,etc,etc. thank you
- robert ramsey (age 67)
danville,illinois usa
A:
Hello Robert,
You have two very interesting questions. The first, 'Could the universe start to contract?', can be answered with a 'maybe but we don't know for sure'.  There are several theories out there which have solutions that point to an eventual contraction or even oscillating expansion rate.  All of the current observations, however, do not favor these.  In contrast, they favor an increasing expansion rate.   

 Reversing the expansion requires no new physics principles and could happen within standard general relativity theory.   As far as time running backwards and growing younger... not a chance.  For that to happen it would require time reversal of thermodynamic processes and violation of all known really fundamental principles.

LeeH

Of course we do occasionally throw out the old fundamental principles, but there's no obvious reason why cosmic contraction would ruin something as fundamental as thermodynamics. mw

(published on 05/16/2012)

Follow-up on this answer.