The workings of the universe is a much debated topic by astronomers. It’s obviously a basic question, so huge that we’ve tried to explain it to us in many different ways, studying the data and trying to make the most probable projection possible. It is not as simple as you imagine.
One theory says that the universe is infinite, that is, it is neither born nor dies, it exists always and forever. It’s very hard to imagine someone like us with a mind accustomed to a certain kind of being. Another theory instead says that the universe was born and that it will die sooner or later. All the stars will cool, everything will come out and it will be the end.
But there is also an alternative idea to this, called the Great Bounce, or “Big Bounce”. The universe is born and then dies and then is born and then dies, back and forth, like a large lung that swells and deflates. But of course there are also many problems in making this theory work.
A universe that “bounces” indefinitely must also have a growing entropy, the measure of chaos in the universe. If the Big Bang was just one of an eternal series of explosions, the entropy must be really high. In fact, if that were the case, it would not exist as we know it.
The question always remains what was there before it started to swell like that. And from there it does not come out.
“The idea that there was a point in time before there was nothing, there was no time, bothers us and we want to know what was there, including scientists,” said physicist Nina Stein, also of the University at Buffalo. “But as far as we know, in models dealing with entropy, there must have been a ‘beginning.’ There is a point where there is no answer to the question, ‘What happened before?’ ”
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