It’s the current accepted wisdom that the universe is expanding and expanding, and at one point, it might all just drift apart or it could contract into a singularity again. Or, as an alternate theory, at some point, billions and billions of years from now, time could eventually come to a stop and everything just freezes in place forever.
The latest mind-bending findings - put forward by researchers working at two Spanish universities - proposes that we have all been fooled into thinking the universe is expanding.
In fact, they say, time itself is slowing down until eventually, in billions of years time, it will cease altogether.
According to scientists, the gradual loss of time is not noticeable to the human eye. And anyway, they say, we’ll all be long gone by the time time really does end. Professor Senovilla told New Scientist magazine: ‘Everything will be frozen, like a snapshot of one instant, forever.
A picture from the Hubble Space Telescope which scientists believed showed so-called ‘dark energy’ spurring the expansion of the universe
Scientists have previously measured the light from distant exploding stars to show that the universe is expanding at a rapid rate.
The accepted theory is based on the idea that a kind of anti-gravitational force - known as ‘dark energy’ - must be driving galaxies apart.
However, the scientists working on the latest theory say that we’re looking at thing backwards. And Senovilla proposes that the current assumption has got it all wrong - with the appearance of acceleration instead caused by time gradually slowing.
It might sound difficult to believe, but a cosmologist at Cambridge University, says the idea is not without substance:
‘We believe that time emerged during the Big Bang, and if time can emerge, it can also disappear - that’s just the reverse effect.’
It’s a wacky theory, and one that should perhaps be used in a future episode of Doctor Who, but my question is that if time is very very very slowly slowing down, would getting to the point where time stops be similar to approaching the event horizon of a black hole? That is, as time gradually slows, the point at which time would altogether halt would seem further and further away. Or if the point at which time would completely stop were 12 on a clock, the movement from the hour hand between 11 and 12 could appear to take as long as all the time that’s ever existed in the universe.
Submitted by Delsyd
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