Physical Evidence of a Finite Past

Physical Evidence of a Finite Past - Physical Evidence of a...

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Physical Evidence of a Finite Past There are two kinds of physical evidence that point to the finitude of the past: thermodynamic considerations, and evidence of cosmic expansion. Thermodynamics dictates that the entropy (disorder) of the universe increases over time. Had the universe already existed for an infinite length of time, we would have reached the state of heat death -- the state in which all energy is uniformly distributed in the form of a constant temperature Second, we observe that the universe is expanding uniformly in all directions. Had the universe existed for an infinite period of time, the density of matter would have become zero. In fact, we have increasingly good scientific evidence of a physical singularity, an absolute beginning to space and time, about 16 billion years ago. From this singularity, our universe arose in a "Big Bang" event. The weight of current evidence seems to be on the side of the hypothesis that the universe will go on expanding forever -- that the power of gravity is insufficient to bring about a reversal of the expansion. This seems to rule out the possibility of an eternally oscillating universe, one in which every Big Bang is eventually followd by a Big Crunch. Thus, the evidence suggest that the Big
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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Physical Evidence of a Finite Past - Physical Evidence of a...

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