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The Saddest Thing I know about Physics

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Saddest Thing I know about Physics

A simple reflection on the expanding universe reveals the saddest thing I, and I think most physicists, know about physics. In a few billion years we will be alone. There will be no night sky to gaze to. It will be empty. For the past hundred some years, humans have toiled with the notion of the cosmos, is it expanding or static? Is there a center or not? We now know the answer to those questions. The universe is expanding and there is no center. Everything is moving away from each other and every galaxy will appear as if it were the center of our vast cosmos. But the sad part comes in a few billion years. As shown by Hubble's constant, distant stars are speeding up, some faster than light and that means that we cannot see them. That is the inevitable fate of all the galaxies and stars. They will all eventually speed up faster than light and we will never be able to see them. All of our struggles to reveal the expanding universe theory will go to waste. All evidence of it will be gone. A future civilization will spend time working out their picture of the universe that will be grossly false because they cannot see the stars. In a few billion years time, we will be thrust back into our primordial nature where we thought we were the center, where we thought we were alone. We will be thrown back into ignorance simply because the laws of physics exist.


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