Time, the Universe and the Whole Darn Thing!
Part Two: The Fate of the Universe
By Allan EastmanGo back to Page 3
The End of Everything – Or Is It??
What eventually is left is a Universe of Black Holes. These astounding phenomena, the left over remnants of the collapse of Super Massive stars - in some ways - seem to be the key to the Universe. Every Galaxy has a Black Hole at its heart, holding it together.
Black Holes are stupendous gravity wells, where the extraordinary compressed mass of dead stars creates a gravitational field so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape from them. They are not holes per se but rather an extreme bending of the gravitational field of Space. The best way to think of them is as a kind of waterfall where anything that comes under its attraction is drawn inexorably into it.
Curiously, one of the ways that Black Holes are detected is because they are among the brighter objects in the Universe. Any matter drawn toward it is so distorted by its gravity that it gives off incredible bursts of energy in all spectrums, including visible light. The rim of any Black Hole is glowing brighter than the Vegas Strip on a Saturday Night. But even stranger things are happening.
To an observer watching a Black Hole from a safe distance away, an object would never appear to fall into a Black Hole because Time dilation effects essentially stops Time at the Event Horizon. The object would definitely fall in but would appear to be frozen in Time for the outside observer.
Inside the Black Hole, nobody is exactly sure what is going on but it is guaranteed to be weird. Conventional current day wisdom holds that you eventually come to the singularity where Space and Time as we know it would come to an end. But most physicists also agree that General Relativity must break down at the point where it encounters Quantum Mechanics and the Quantum effects inside a Black Hole are undoubtedly extreme.
Some researchers think that inside the Black Hole Time and Space basically trade places and Time is no longer required to move forward. This creates the possibility of the wormhole effect where a suitably advanced technology might be able to transit a Black Hole to arrive at a different point in Time or in a far removed place in Space.
In any case, in the far distant future Black Holes will have nothing to feed on except other Black Holes. Eventually, the Universe might come down to a series of incredibly large Black Holes. To my way of thinking, this creates an enticing possibility. Could one of these last standing Black Holes – having gathered up an immense quantity of matter in its singularity - actually become the incubator for the birth of the next Big Bang?
A theory - but one that draws a very satisfying circle to the cycle of life...