I can't seem to find this on the Internet.... Which is most likely to occur to "end" the universe, the big freeze scenario? Or the heat death scenario?

P.s. When, if it does at all, will the universe reach absolute zero?

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    $\begingroup$ It won't reach absolute zero, so sayeth the almighty third law of thermodynamics $\endgroup$ – Jim Feb 17 '15 at 17:21
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you... That's one question down... Would you perhaps know the lowest temperature it could get? $\endgroup$ – Damon Blevins Feb 17 '15 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ It could asymptotically approach absolute zero in a heat death scenario. However, there isn't consensus on if it will suffer a heat death. Many believe that the inclusion of gravity into the prediction makes a heat death ending unjustified. The Big freeze scenario isn't different from the heat death, it is simply the case where the universe keeps expanding forever. It could also lead to heat death or it might not. $\endgroup$ – Jim Feb 17 '15 at 17:33
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    $\begingroup$ It's not obvious to me what the difference between Big Freeze and Heat Death is. $\endgroup$ – John Rennie Feb 18 '15 at 9:43

You must not really have looked hard enough. They are the same phenomenon

The Big Freeze, which is also known as the Heat Death, is one of the possible scenarios predicted by scientists in which the Universe may end. It is a direct consequence of an ever expanding universe. The most telling evidences, such as those that indicate an increasing rate of expansion in regions farthest from us, support this theory. As such, it is the most widely accepted model pertaining to our universe’s ultimate fate.

There exist other scenaria for the end of the universe, like the big crunch.

  • $\begingroup$ Are they really the same, or is it just that both occur in the most likely scenario? Heat death implies a homogeneous distribution of thermal energy, regardless of the temperature. Big Freeze is either "too cold to sustain life" or temperature asymptotically approaching absolute zero due to eternal expansion. $\endgroup$ – Previous Jun 25 '16 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Previous any links? $\endgroup$ – anna v Jun 25 '16 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ Big freeze too cold to sustain life: map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_fate.html $\endgroup$ – Previous Jun 25 '16 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ oops.. "Enter" button automatically submitting, and only 5 minutes to edit. asymptotically approaches absolute zero temperature en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_fate_of_the_universe Heat death en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe (not sure if it is still mentioned on that page, or an older version was) $\endgroup$ – Previous Jun 25 '16 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Previous from your link , second paragraph, "the universe will continue expanding forever and a heat death is expected to occur,[1] with the universe cooling to approach equilibrium at a very low temperature after a very long time period." $\endgroup$ – anna v Jun 26 '16 at 3:05

Heat Death and the Big Freeze are the same thing.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to physics stack exchange, please read how to answer a question at stackoverflow.com/help/how-to-answer. Small answer without description or any explanation are not allowed. You can mention such things in the comments not as an answer. $\endgroup$ – Murtuza Vadharia Apr 20 '16 at 7:50
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    $\begingroup$ @MurtuzaVadharia actually, that's not quite true. Anything that answers the question should be posted as an answer, not as a comment. It's not a matter of length. Of course, very short answers that don't explain things tend to be poorly received - but they are still answers. $\endgroup$ – David Z Apr 20 '16 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ Or to put it another way, it's an answer; it just happens to be an incorrect answer. $\endgroup$ – Warren Dew Jun 25 '16 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ @WarrenDew or to put it another other way, it's a correct answer; it just happens to be short. $\endgroup$ – Jahan Claes Jun 25 '16 at 4:49

Then we have alternatives, such as the Big Freeze transitioning into the new Big Bang in the Conformal Cyclic Cosmology Anyway, the short answer is nobody knows. There is too little known about the nature of Dark Energy especially to be able to say what the universe will be like in the far future.

  • $\begingroup$ Is this an accidental fragment of a longer answer? Seems to begin... strangely. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Oman May 23 '16 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ No, it's a description of Conformal Cyclic Cosmology - read the link $\endgroup$ – user56903 May 23 '16 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ I'm familiar with it. Just seemed odd to start with "Then we have alternatives...". Usually "then" follows something that came before, that's all. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Oman May 24 '16 at 4:58

protected by Qmechanic Jun 25 '16 at 8:13

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