The Heat Death/Big Freeze Theory

The Dusk of Time

By: Thomas Ahern, Journalist

A question I’m sure that many have asked is, “How will the universe end.” Well, the Heat Death/Big Freeze is a possibility. Before you read, however, don’t be worried, because if it does happen, it will not be for a long, long time. So before we can understand what these theories mean, we have to understand Entropy. Entropy is the measure of a system’s thermal energy per unit temperature that does not do useful work. We also need to know that the Universe is expanding. Not only is it expanding, the expansion is now accelerating. Therefore, everything is getting further away from each other. So the heat death will start when the universe is at a maximum entropy. That is when all energy has moved from hotter sources to colder sources. The energy keeps moving until there is an equilibrium, and then stars explode. When stars explode, they cannot form new stars until the last star explodes, and all that is left are Black holes. Eventually, even those will fade away over a very, very long time, thanks to a little thing called hawking Radiation. It is possible that there will, after this, be another big bang, but no one can know for sure. As said before, don’t be concerned, this will not happen for a long, long time, billions of years, and the black holes will take trillions of years to fade.

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