h a l f b a k e r y
Funny peculiar.

meta:

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

 user: pass:
register,

# Entropy Prevents The Big Freeze

Can entropy create a driving force in preventing the big freeze?
 (-1) [vote for, against]

The big freeze is a potential scenario for the end of the universe. Indeed, it is one of the more hearled points of view amongst cosmologists today (needs reference). In this theory, matter diffuses throughout the known universe ever reaching a less interactive (very cold) state. The temperature of the universe reaches a minimum.

The idea: Entropy is always maximized in a closed system tending towards equilibrium, right? The big freeze would be a very low entropic state (perfectly ordered), and thus will never happen due to the second law of thermodynamics.

 — daseva, Feb 18 2007

Heat death vs. the big freeze http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death
[ldischler, Feb 18 2007]

 I think the cosmologists took entropy into account when pondering the 'big freeze'.

It will only be very cold locally; 'globally' speaking energy will be conserved and entropy will have increased.
 — xaviergisz, Feb 18 2007

There's a semantic problem here. Once the universe reaches total uniformity, as in the big freeze, it will be in a state of perfect equilibrium--no part will be different from any other part, so no part will have any reason to change its state. Thus, entropy is in fact maximized.
 — 5th Earth, Feb 18 2007

[marked-for-deletion...nah] Wikipedia has an article on this, but it's a theory, not a bakery idea.
 — ldischler, Feb 18 2007

 //It will only be very cold locally; 'globally' speaking energy will be conserved and entropy will have increased.//

 See, this is what I don't understand. I see the big freeze bieng very cold through and through.

Really, I just highly doubt the universe would let itself go like this. Put up a fight, universe! Do some crunches, get in shape!
 — daseva, Feb 18 2007

 //I see the big freeze bieng very cold through and through//

The point is that heat is very similar to marmalade. Temperature, on the other hand, is formally equivalent to "marmaladiness". And, naturally, the universe is equivalent to a slice of wheatgerm crusty bread which, in an un-breadlike way, is expanding. Hence, although the total amount of marmalade in the universe remains constant, the marmalidiness of the universe will decrease. I think that will clarify matters for you.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 18 2007

That makes perfect sense [MB]. Thanks, I shall remember that!.
What [5th Earth] said.. The semantic problem is that 'perfectly ordered' does not necessarily mean 'Low Entropy'.
I suspect that the idea is that 'perfectly homogenised' = High Entropy.
Throw a jar of marmalade in the air and see what happens.
 — gnomethang, Feb 18 2007

Entropy is a direct measure of the order in a system. I don't understand it otherwise.
 — daseva, Feb 18 2007

 [MaxB]: That is superb. I only wish that my 6th year Chem & Physics teachers had used breakfast items to describe the universe - I'd have understood immediately.

Electron spin is like Lucky Charms...
 — Jinbish, Feb 19 2007

 [Jinbish] Many thanks. There is in fact a 1:1 correspondence between breakfast foods and physical phenomena, a property known as "Supercomestibility".

Few people appreciate, for example, that the entire "dark matter/dark energy" issue can be resolved by reference to black pudding, where the relevant equations have already been set up and, for the most part, solved.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 19 2007

Quite right!. We are all aware that there is much more Black Pudding in the Universe than White Pudding.
 — gnomethang, Feb 19 2007

... and what about haggis or <feels sick> fruit pudding?
 — Jinbish, Feb 19 2007

[MaxB] ...if the little wheatgermy bits in the slice of bread represent galaxies, we can see that as the slice of bread expands uniformly, the space between each galaxy and the others increases and, from the point of view of any galaxy all the others appear to be receding from it (as first noted by Hubble, I think). Also, I can't help noting that the universe's background radiation is not evently distributed but rather is 'lumpy', like a chunky marmalade.
 — hippo, Feb 19 2007

I've removed my MFD, for it would be a shame to lose Maxwell's concepts of "marmaladiness" (ie, jamminess) and "supercomestibility" (which, when they become widely accepted, will surely end physics as we know it).
 — ldischler, Feb 19 2007

[Ian]: You've just put yourself in prime position for "Pun of the Month".
 — Jinbish, Feb 19 2007

Thanks to all for the ever ingenious interpretations. The universe will never bear the same mysterious nature. Thanks-a-lot.
 — daseva, Feb 19 2007

// the universe's background radiation is not evently distributed but rather is 'lumpy', like a chunky marmalade// Quite so, and well observed. You will also note that the lumps themselves tend (depending on the gravitational constant - which is of course directly analogous to the pressure applied to the spreading-knife) to aggregate towards the edges of the bread. Cosmologically, this leads to an apparent over-concentration of the density of galaxies close to the event horizon (or "crust" as it is known), and hence confound any calculations that depend on a cosmological constant. A failure to grasp this obvious point has lead Hawking quite far astray, I fear.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 19 2007

 //this leads to an apparent over-concentration of the density of galaxies close to the event horizon (or "crust" as it is known)// A clarification if you will - what is the shape of the universe? If it is like a slice of bread (as this anno suggests) does that mean there is a big doughy empty bit in the middle with hardly any marmalade? Could it be that the cosmic butter knife isn't long enough to reach into the middle?

Also, I'm extremely intrigued that matter and energy form at the 'edges' of spacetime (if I may paraphrase further) and that the gravitational constant might somehow be describing the consistency of the bread at any given location - even more so that we might be inhabiting an extra crunchy (and ever expanding?) crust-like area, in an ever leavening shock wave of existence, perhaps.
 — zen_tom, Feb 19 2007

That's just how God likes his breakfast, methinks.
 — daseva, Feb 19 2007

Or perhaps we could figure out how to create minature big bangs in a laboratory setting. You know, find a way to create the uncreatable, that is, find a way to create energy from nothing.
 — quantum_flux, Feb 19 2007

 // what is the shape of the universe? If it is like a slice of bread (as this anno suggests) does that mean there is a big doughy empty bit in the middle with hardly any marmalade// The pattern of cosmic background radiation suggests that the universe is, probably, a hyperbagel (ie, essentially a 4-D torus). This makes the question of "what is in the middle" very difficult to answer, since the middle of the universe is, in fact, outside the universe.

I suspect that the entire comestible/ cosmology analogy may have reached its limits.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 19 2007

unless you are prepared to contemplate that most cosmic of dishes: The paella.
 — methinksnot, Feb 19 2007

Yeah. I'm pretty sure we can string out the theory a bit more by using noodles.
 — Jinbish, Feb 20 2007

 "Mmmmm - hyperbagel"

And let's not forget porridge.
 — zen_tom, Feb 20 2007

I assume in the [MaxwellB] model of the universe, the marmaladed bread is stuck to the back of a huge cat?
 — hippo, Feb 20 2007

[hippo] If you're not going to take this seriously.....
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 20 2007

 [annotate]

back: main index