Since the Big Bang almost 14 billion years ago, the universe has been expanding at an ever-increasing rate. Thermodynamics is the study of heat and energy and how they influence each other. Its first law is energy cannot be created or destroyed, just moved and transformed into a different type.
But the second law of thermodynamics, however, has given scientists an insight into the universe’s lonely, cold inevitable end.
The simplest explanation of the second law of thermodynamics is that heat will naturally transfer to a colder place when the two entities come into contact – however this can never be done with 100 percent efficiency.
The property behind this transfer is called entropy which essentially dictates the order of molecules making up something.
For example, water molecules in an ice cube will have more order than the same amount of molecules in water as a gas.
This means the heat and energy of the molecules have become dispersed as they transfer from one state to another.
At this point, no life will be able to form and all that is left are dying stars and black holes.
Then, 100 trillion years from now, the last star will go out, and the universe will finally go dark.
However, that is not the end for the Universe.
Black holes will remain and begin to consume all remaining matter left within the Universe until there is nothing left for them to devour.
But when there is nothing left for the black holes to devour, they too will begin to emit radiation – a process known as Hawking Radiation, thanks to its discoverer, Stephen Hawking.
The theory suggests that particles could rob black holes of their energy making them disappear at a minuscule rate as they release everything they had once swallowed in a trickle of dust.
Eventually the last black hole will reduce to nothing in millions of millions of TRILLIONS of years, leaving the Universe completely blank with only photons remaining.
Then comes absolute nothingness. One proponent of this theory is Professor Brian Cox, who said: “For the first time in its life, the Universe will be permanent and unchanging.
“Entropy finally stops increasing because the cosmos cannot get any more disordered. Nothing happens, and it keeps not happening, forever.”
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