What is the last human being in the universe thinking about?

El fin se acerca, en quizás unos 100,000 millones de años. ¿Es muy pronto para empezar a enloquecer?

“Habrá un último ser consciente, habrá un último pensamiento”, sentenció Janna Levin, cosmologist at Barnard College, cerca del remaining de A journey to infinitya brand new Netflix documentary directed by Jonathan Halperin and Drew Takahashi.

When I heard that affirmation throughout a latest screening of the documentary, it broke my coronary heart. It was the saddest and most lonely concept I had ever imagined. I believed that I used to be acutely aware and I used to be effectively knowledgeable about our shared cosmic state of affairs: es decir, that if what we consider we find out about physics and cosmology is true, life and intelligence are condemned. Pensé que me había reconcilado intellectualmente con esa concept.

Pero este period un punto de vista en el que no había pensado antes. En algún momento en el futuro habrá algún lugar en el universo donde habrá un ultimo ser consciente. Y un ultimo pensamiento. And that last phrase, nevertheless profound or mundane it might be, will fade away in silence along with the reminiscence of Einstein, Elvis, Jesus, Buddha, Aretha and Eva, whereas the remaining fragments of the bodily universe will proceed to separate for miles and miles and miles de millones de solitaires y silenciones años.

¿Ese ultimo pensamiento será un perla de profunda sabiduría? ¿O merely una palabrota?

¿Cómo fue que los humanos nos metimos en este lío? The universe as we all know it originated with a ferocious explosion 13,800 million years in the past and, since then, it has been increasing. During a long time, astronomers mentioned whether or not this growth would proceed perpetually or would someday collapse in a “nice implosion”.

All that modified in 1998, when astronomers found that the cosmic growth was accelerating, pushed by an antigravity drive that kinds a part of the space-time cloth. The greater the universe turns into, the extra drive it separates this “darkish power”. This new drive has a stunning similarity with the cosmological fixed, a cosmic repulsion that Einstein proposed as a correction issue in his equations to elucidate why the universe didn’t collapse, however which he later rejected and regarded to be an error.

But the cosmological fixed refused to die, and now it threatens to destroy physics and the universe.

In the finish, if this darkish power prevails, the distant galaxies will find yourself transferring away so shortly that we are going to now not be capable to see them. The extra time passes, the much less we are going to find out about the universe. Las estrellas will die and never be reborn. It will probably be like residing inside a black gap the other way up, which absorbs matter, power and knowledge on the horizon, and can by no means return.

Peor aún, como pensar requiere energía, ultimately no habrá suficiente energía en el universo para formular un pensamiento. In the finish, there’ll solely be subatomic particles dancing at intergalactic distances in unoscuro silence, 1000’s and 1000’s of thousands and thousands of years after that there was mild or life in the universe. Y luego, más billions incontables de eones por venir hasta que lastly no haya forma contar los años, como Brian Greene, the common theorist and writer of the University of Columbia, described it so elegantly and devastatingly in his latest e-book, Until The End Of Time.

It is troublesome to not need to scream about our personal insignificance in all this. Si esto es, de hecho, a lo que llegará el universo. The universe as we all know it now has 14 billion years, which looks like lots of time, nevertheless it is solely an infinitesimal portion of the billions and trillions of years of darkness to come back. It will imply that todo lo interesante en nuestro universo sucedió en un breve stello, al principio. A promising begin, after which an everlasting abyss. The finality and futility of all this!

En definitiva, una historia llena de ruido y furia, que no significa nada. What will we do with such a universe?

It could possibly be signaled that it is too quickly to be prescribing a future for the universe. The new discoveries in physics may present an escape route. Maybe la energía oscura no sea constante; tal vez dé la vuelta y vuelva a compressir el universo. In an e-mail, Michael Turner, the cosmologist emeritus of the University of Chicago who coined the time period “darkish power,” stated, referring to the Greek letter that symbolizes Einstein’s cosmological fixed: “¡Lambda can be the least attention-grabbing reply to the enigma de la energía oscura!”.

Pero, por ahora, eso es lo que podemos esperar.

Nos cocinaremos dentro de unos mil miliones de años, cuando el Sol evaporate los océanos. Unos 1000’s de millones de años más tarde, el propio Sol will die, burning the Earth and all that is left of us till turning it into ashes. No hay forma de escapar al espacio. Las propias galaxias will collapse into black holes in a quintillón de años.

In addition, the black holes will lastly liberate all that they’ve imprisoned as a positive spray of particles and radiation that can disperse in the predominant wind of darkish power that separates them.

In a variant of historical past, generally known as the “Big Rip” (the “Great Tear” or the concept of everlasting growth), the darkish power may turn into sturdy sufficient to destroy the tombstones that mark our graves.

Es por eso que, así como hubo una primera viviente en algún lugar, en algún momento, que emergió del espléndido resplendor del Big Bang, habrá una última criatura en morir, un último pensamiento. Un último ser consciente, as Levin identified.

Esa concept fue lo que me detuvo en seco. Nunca se me había ocurrido que algún ser particular person would have the last phrase about existence, the last alternative to curse or present gratitude. Parte del dolor es que nadie sabrá quien, o qué, tuvo la ultima palabra, o qué se pensó o se dijo. De alguna manera, esa noción hizo que la extinction cósmica fuera más private y me pregunté cómo sería.

Tal vez a medida que toda la energía se vanesanece en el horizonte, será como quedarse dormido. O como Einstein murmurando sus ultimas palabras en alemán a una enfermera que no sabía el idioma. About the pc at the finish of time in Isaac Asimov’s traditional story “The Last Question”, lastly deciphering the secret of the universe and declaring: “Que se haga la luz”. ¿Podría ser algún descubrimiention ravishing sobre la naturaleza de la teoría de cuerdas o el secreto remaining sobre los agujeros negros? Odio perdérmelo.

Me gustaría pensar que mi ultimo pensamiento sería de amor, gratitud, asombro o sobre el rostro de un ser querido, pero me preocupa que sea una palabrota.

Personas más sabias que yo preguntan, cuando hablo de esto, ¿por qué no me quejo de los 1000’s de millones de años que pasaron antes de que yo naciera? Tal vez sea porque no sabía lo que me estaba perdiendo, mientras que ahora he tenido toda una vida para imaginar lo que me perderé.

If that considerations you, right here is an encouraging metaphor instantly from Einstein’s equations: if you end up inside a black gap, mild filters from the outdoors of the universe, which appears to be accelerating when you appear to be frozen. In precept, you possibly can see all the future historical past of the galaxy and even all the universe at full velocity when you fall towards the middle, the singularity the place house and time cease, and also you die.

Perhaps demise could possibly be like this, a revelation of all the previous and the future.

En cierto sentido, cuando morimos, el futuro también muere.

Instead of complaining about the finish of time, the majority of physicists and astronomers with whom I converse say that this concept is a aid. The demise of the future frees them to focus on the magic of the current.

The late nice astrophysicist, thinker and evangelist of black holes John Archibald Wheeler, of the University of Princeton, used to say that the previous and the future are fiction, that solely exist in the artefacts and the creativeness of the current.

Según ese punto de vista, el universo termina conmigo y por eso en cierto sentido, yo tengo la ultima palabra.

“Nada dura para siempre” is a maxim that applies as a lot to the inventory market and the stars as to our lives and the mandalas of the Buddhist area. A breath of eternity puede illumina toda una vida, possibly even mine.

Pase lo que pase en los interminables eones venideres, al menos estuvimos aquí para la fiesta. We are right here in the temporary and resplendent fragment of eternity, when the universe overflowed with life and light-weight.

Siempre tendremos la Vía Láctea.

Dennis Overbye joined the Times in 1998 and has been a reporter since 2001. He has written two books: Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos: The Story of the Scientific Search for the Secret of the Universe y Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance.

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