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Thread: How far through the life of the Universe are we?

  1. #1 How far through the life of the Universe are we? 
    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    Has there been any speculation or hypotheses about the "habitable" life expectancy of the Universe?

    Whatever the ultimate fate of how the Universe will end, would it be reasonable to presume that the duration that the Universe can sustain life, will end some time before the Universe ultimately loses viability?

    Likewise, even though the Universe begun about 13.8 billion years ago, it wouldn't have been able to begin supporting life until the 2nd or 3rd generation of star formation due to no available material that wasn't just hydrogen or helium (if that's correct)?

    I was curious about if anyone has thought about what percentage of the Universes "life"-span we're currently at?


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  3. #2  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Not something I've thought a lot about but Kelvin proposed a "Heat Death" from thermodynamic arguments and in principle this could answer your question.

    I'd start here: Heat death of the universe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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  4. #3
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    Interesting question

    Nobody knows. Much depends on what is dark energy, dark matter....matter anti -matter ratios....quantum entanglement, etc. Will the acceleration of expansion of space continue? Is the universe flat? Finite? Curved? infinite?

    Then a whole Pandora's box opens with new leanings towards multiverse theory.

    If you put 10 cosmologists in a room, 10 answers? Add another 10 theoretical physicists and...!

    Some fascinating lectures on Youtube by Lawrence Krauss,. Mark Greene et al.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    We're currently at "rainy Monday afternoon".
    It'll last a while...
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    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    You might this thread interesting ... or not ...

    But we are the middle of the universe!

    My guess is that, because we don't know the "life cycle" of the universe (for example, the way we do the Sun/stars), there's no way to tell, but I would say not any time soon. Scientifically, The Duck probably has the most exact answer. This post was mostly to shamelessly plug my thread.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    The universe will be able to support the formation of stars for about 100 trillion years.
    Graphical timeline of the Stelliferous Era - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I find it unlikely that life could survive beyond that point.

    Bizarrely we only about a 10,000th of the way through this period.

    If you consider all the necessary conditions needed for intelligent life (3rd generation star, formation and cooling of planet + billions of years of evolution etc) then we may well be in the first 100,000th - 1,000,000th of the way through the intelligent life period of the universe.

    If you consider the the fact that intelligent life could colonize the whole galaxy in as little as a million years it's very strange that we haven't received any signals.
    Fermi paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    To me it seems like the most likely reason is that we are simply the first. As to why we are the first my argument is similar to the anthropic principle.

    Anthropic principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The reason we wonder why we are the first is becuase we wouldn't wonder if we weren't.
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  8. #7  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimthegiant View Post
    If you consider the the fact that intelligent life could colonize the whole galaxy in as little as a million years it's very strange that we haven't received any signals.
    Oh yeah, about that...
    I got a card that says "You were out when we called. We will make another attempt to contact you at a later date".
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimthegiant View Post
    The universe will be able to support the formation of stars for about 100 trillion years. Graphical timeline of the Stelliferous Era - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I find it unlikely that life could survive beyond that point.Bizarrely we only about a 10,000th of the way through this period. If you consider all the necessary conditions needed for intelligent life (3rd generation star, formation and cooling of planet + billions of years of evolution etc) then we may well be in the first 100,000th - 1,000,000th of the way through the intelligent life period of the universe. If you consider the the fact that intelligent life could colonize the whole galaxy in as little as a million years it's very strange that we haven't received any signals. Fermi paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaTo me it seems like the most likely reason is that we are simply the first. As to why we are the first my argument is similar to the anthropic principle.Anthropic principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThe reason we wonder why we are the first is becuase we wouldn't wonder if we weren't.
    One 10 thousandth of way through. This is 'if' certain models are correct. One of the arguments for multiverse theory is that the odds are too weird that we would be at this stage ( if you picked a lottery ticket out of a barrel of 10 thousand, what are the odds of picking the number 'one'.). Quantum happenings might have a universe come into existence and go 'poof' into another existence at a much more frequent rate. The odds would say our universe is half way through...or perhaps a tenth through at the outside...not one ten thousandth.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fossilborealis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimthegiant View Post
    The universe will be able to support the formation of stars for about 100 trillion years. Graphical timeline of the Stelliferous Era - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I find it unlikely that life could survive beyond that point.Bizarrely we only about a 10,000th of the way through this period. If you consider all the necessary conditions needed for intelligent life (3rd generation star, formation and cooling of planet + billions of years of evolution etc) then we may well be in the first 100,000th - 1,000,000th of the way through the intelligent life period of the universe. If you consider the the fact that intelligent life could colonize the whole galaxy in as little as a million years it's very strange that we haven't received any signals. Fermi paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaTo me it seems like the most likely reason is that we are simply the first. As to why we are the first my argument is similar to the anthropic principle.Anthropic principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThe reason we wonder why we are the first is becuase we wouldn't wonder if we weren't.
    One 10 thousandth of way through. This is 'if' certain models are correct. One of the arguments for multiverse theory is that the odds are too weird that we would be at this stage ( if you picked a lottery ticket out of a barrel of 10 thousand, what are the odds of picking the number 'one'.). Quantum happenings might have a universe come into existence and go 'poof' into another existence at a much more frequent rate. The odds would say our universe is half way through...or perhaps a tenth through at the outside...not one ten thousandth.
    I see no reason to believe the model is wrong, at least not by more than an order of magnitude at least.

    If a car is driving and we know how much fuel is being used and how big the fuel tank is we can predict how long it will take to run out. The calculation for how long hydrogen will continue to fuse is very similar.

    As far as I understand it multiverse theory can explain why the universe is capible of supporting life but I can't see how it would explain our time in the universe.

    Obviously the chance of picking the number 1 out of 10,000 is 1 in 10,000. The person who wins will find it very strange that it was them but the fact remains that it had to be someone.

    We find it strange that we are so early but it had to be some species.
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  11. #10  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    I wouldn't stay awake at night worrying that the universe will collapse around you.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    I wouldn't stay awake at night worrying that the universe will collapse around you.
    Ha....Ha

    So true.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Bachelors Degree GoldenRatio's Avatar
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    Many things need to be taken into account. The most favorable model is we are headed t'words a big freeze, that is dark energy weighing out over gravity and everything will eventually fly apart from everything else(expansion universe) There is also conservation of energy. Nothing is created nor destroyed within our universe, however if it expands to a point where matter is too spaced out to allow star formation then death comes quickly once current stars burn out. (or current fuel supply is converted to iron or denser, no star formation) the most conservative estimate i have read is another 13-14bil years, so about half old. more realistic estimates are in the trillions and very liberal estimates range in upper hundreds of trillions of years. Also it would be possible for a habitual planet to orbit 1st gen star (with help from a 2nd gen) 1st gen star goes nova, matter condenses to create habitat planet, which is then flung out of its current solar system and captured by another 1st gen star. Rare & unlikely possibility but considering the vastness of the universe, a possibility.
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