3 Geometries 3 Fates. Take Your Pick !

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 by Sukrit

Sounds like a title of a movie, doesn’t it ? Well in some ways it is a movie. It is the largest and longest running movie in the world. Its been going on for the past 14 billion years and we dont know when it will end. Its the story of our Universe.

Like all good Indian directors lets cut the story short and jump to the climax. So how will the Universe end ? (If it does ofcourse) I abide by the dictum that only those questions are worth asking for which the answers are not known. Consequently, we dont know when or how the universe will end . But we have some idea. 2 things control the fate of the universe-one the mass density of the universe and second its rate of expansion. So here are the three alternatives:

1. If the mass density of the universe is large enough to counter and reverse the present expansion, then the universe will shrink ultimately to a singularity. In this case the geometry of the universe would be that of a closed and bounded surface of sphere. ‘A hot Death’

2. If the mass density is not enough to counter the expansion then the Universe will continue to expand. The geometry in this case would be hyperbolic like that of a horse’s saddle. Eventually it will thin out and die a ‘cold death’

3. If however the mass denisty just balances the outward expansion the universe is on a knife edge. It will continue to expand but at an ever decreasing rate. The geometry will be 3 dimensional euclidian.

Most experiments point towards the 3rd option. However that is the worst possible prediction. This is because within the limits of experimental error both the 1st and 2nd options are possible.

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

— Robert Frost


PS: If i continue the way i am living i am heading towards a hot death.


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