Whimper or Bang?”


20 October 2006





Once upon a time, not too long ago, one of the great questions of cosmology was whether the universe is open or closed. If the universe is closed, it eventually will eventually stop expanding and then begin contracting until everything scrunches into a single point similar to the point from which came the “Big Bang” or the start of the universe. If the universe is open, the universe will continue to expand forever. Between the 2, I have always liked the closed universe concept as it allows for a never ending, constantly renewing, universe and thus it is too bad that the universe has been now determined to be “open.”


Now in the case of a “closed” universe, the end of the universe would be a “bang”, whereas an open universe will end in a whimper as eventually all stars will burn out and the universe become a dark, cold place. Whimper or Bang?


As defined above, we now know that the universe is an open system and that it will end in a whimper but as for me? Will I end in a whimper or bang?  How will you end?


Whimper? Get ill, sicker, and quieter and eventually fade out.


Bang? Heart attack, stroke, accident, here today, gone tomorrow.


I think that most of us figure we will simply fade out and that there will be time near the end to mend fences, say long unsaid things, whatever but what if you, me, are closed systems and are approaching the big scrunch point? Is there anyway to see the “big scrunch” coming?


Either way, whimper or bang, ever wonder what the last thing you will see in this world will be: hospital ceiling, the face of a loved one, bedroom floor, cars passing on a freeway?




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