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Death of the Universe

Envisage
Posts: 3,646
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9/11/2014 8:53:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Somber topic, but also humbling :-p

Most articles I read on the heat death of the universe (something like a googol years into the future) talk about the decay of black holes (due to Hawking radiation), but what about regular baryonic objects (those consisting of regular atoms).

By what mechanism do they undergo entropic decay? If the planet Earth was left as-is for a googol years, what will happen to it?

Will quantum events erode the Earth's mass like they do with black holes? Will chance events cause the Earth to decay via, spontaneous black hole formation, or proton decay?

Thoughts?
apb4y
Posts: 480
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9/12/2014 4:51:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/11/2014 8:53:20 PM, Envisage wrote:
Somber topic, but also humbling :-p

Most articles I read on the heat death of the universe (something like a googol years into the future) talk about the decay of black holes (due to Hawking radiation), but what about regular baryonic objects (those consisting of regular atoms).

The Weak Nuclear Force decays all baryonic matter. Protons have a half-life of about 10^36 years. Most of them will decay before the Black Hole era, which begins at 10^43 years. They will all have decayed by 10^200 years.

By what mechanism do they undergo entropic decay? If the planet Earth was left as-is for a googol years, what will happen to it?

Let's assume that the Earth's protons haven't decayed (maybe we've manipulated the Higgs Field to slow the process).

10^65 years, all the rocks will have liquefied via quantum tunnelling.

10^1500 years, all baryonic matter will have undergone cold fusion via quantum tunnelling, and formed iron stars.

10^10^26 years, all objects will have collapsed to form black holes via quantum tunnelling.

10^10^50 years, a quantum fluctuation has created a Boltzmann brain - a self aware entity produced by random chance.

10^10^56 years, a quantum fluctuation has created a new Big Bang.

10^10^76 years, all remaining matter collapses to form black holes, which instantly evaporate.

10^10^120 years, the universe has settled into its final energy state.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Will quantum events erode the Earth's mass like they do with black holes? Will chance events cause the Earth to decay via, spontaneous black hole formation, or proton decay?

Yeah, even if we survive proton decay, quantum tunnelling is going to screw us over big time.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,133
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9/15/2014 12:38:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Can someone explain "quantum tunneling" for the layperson (that would be me)?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

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What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
apb4y
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9/15/2014 5:07:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 12:38:12 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Can someone explain "quantum tunneling" for the layperson (that would be me)?

Imagine an electron in a box. Also understand that an electron is not a solid object: when left unobserved, that 1 electron will "fill" the entire box. It will also occupy some of the space around the box. When you observe the electron, it collapses to a single state within the area it "filled", and that state may well be outside the box.

Essentially, the electron used the uncertainty about its location to tunnel through the wall of the box, hence why it's called "quantum tunnelling". Because uncertainty is an innate property of subatomic particles, there is always a chance that they'll use quantum tunnelling to bypass barriers, including walls, activation energies and even the speed of light.

Fun fact: the hydrogen atoms in DNA sometimes tunnel to an energy state that our DNA replication enzymes can't recognise, which leads to mis-copied DNA and potentially cancer.
Skepticalone
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9/15/2014 5:34:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 5:07:44 PM, apb4y wrote:
At 9/15/2014 12:38:12 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Can someone explain "quantum tunneling" for the layperson (that would be me)?

Imagine an electron in a box. Also understand that an electron is not a solid object: when left unobserved, that 1 electron will "fill" the entire box. It will also occupy some of the space around the box. When you observe the electron, it collapses to a single state within the area it "filled", and that state may well be outside the box.

Essentially, the electron used the uncertainty about its location to tunnel through the wall of the box, hence why it's called "quantum tunnelling". Because uncertainty is an innate property of subatomic particles, there is always a chance that they'll use quantum tunnelling to bypass barriers, including walls, activation energies and even the speed of light.

Okay, so quantum tunneling leaves physical evidence? ( in solid objects)

Fun fact: the hydrogen atoms in DNA sometimes tunnel to an energy state that our DNA replication enzymes can't recognise, which leads to mis-copied DNA and potentially cancer.

Interesting.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Subutai
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9/15/2014 9:23:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 12:38:12 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Can someone explain "quantum tunneling" for the layperson (that would be me)?

It's a consequence of Schrodinger's equation. Whereas Newtonian mechanics and dynamics describes the particle behavior of matter, the Schrodinger eqution describes the wave behavior of a particle (because matter is both a particle and a wave, like light). Now, Schrodinger's equation is a differential equation, and there are only certain functions that can satisfy the equation, meaning that there are only certain functions that can describe the particle wave.

Schrodinger's equation ultimately describes one thing - the probability of finding that particle at a certain location. The solution to the differential equation inside a potential well (think of this as like a well - the particle has to have a certain energy to escape the potential well) is described by the trigonometric functions. Outside the well, but still under the minimum energy needed to escape, the solution is an exponential that decay exponentially (duh) with increasing distance.

Now separate two potential wells by a barrier. Because the probability of finding a particle in the barrier is not zero (unlike what classical physics says), there is a possibility that the particle could move from one potential well to the other.

Hopefully that didn't confuse you too much. Essentially, the wave function of a particle shows the probability of finding a particle in a certain location. The functions that can describe it are non-zero through barriers, meaning that there is a certain probability that a particle could travel through the barrier.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
Subutai
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9/15/2014 9:27:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 9:23:59 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 9/15/2014 12:38:12 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Can someone explain "quantum tunneling" for the layperson (that would be me)?

It's a consequence of Schrodinger's equation. Whereas Newtonian mechanics and dynamics describes the particle behavior of matter, the Schrodinger eqution describes the wave behavior of a particle (because matter is both a particle and a wave, like light). Now, Schrodinger's equation is a differential equation, and there are only certain functions that can satisfy the equation, meaning that there are only certain functions that can describe the particle wave.

Schrodinger's equation ultimately describes one thing - the probability of finding that particle at a certain location. The solution to the differential equation inside a potential well (think of this as like a well - the particle has to have a certain energy to escape the potential well) is described by the trigonometric functions. Outside the well, but still under the minimum energy needed to escape, the solution is an exponential that decay exponentially (duh) with increasing distance.

Now separate two potential wells by a barrier. Because the probability of finding a particle in the barrier is not zero (unlike what classical physics says), there is a possibility that the particle could move from one potential well to the other.

Hopefully that didn't confuse you too much. Essentially, the wave function of a particle shows the probability of finding a particle in a certain location. The functions that can describe it are non-zero through barriers, meaning that there is a certain probability that a particle could travel through the barrier.

Forgot one thing (there's a leap of logic in my argument). The exponential solution to the equation must be continuous (by the mathematical definition of exponential functions), so if there is a possibility of there being a particle anywhere in the barrier (which there is), there is a possibility that the particle could go through the barrier.
I'm becoming less defined as days go by, fading away, and well you might say, I'm losing focus, kinda drifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,133
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9/16/2014 10:27:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 9:23:59 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 9/15/2014 12:38:12 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Can someone explain "quantum tunneling" for the layperson (that would be me)?

It's a consequence of Schrodinger's equation. Whereas Newtonian mechanics and dynamics describes the particle behavior of matter, the Schrodinger eqution describes the wave behavior of a particle (because matter is both a particle and a wave, like light). Now, Schrodinger's equation is a differential equation, and there are only certain functions that can satisfy the equation, meaning that there are only certain functions that can describe the particle wave.

Schrodinger's equation ultimately describes one thing - the probability of finding that particle at a certain location. The solution to the differential equation inside a potential well (think of this as like a well - the particle has to have a certain energy to escape the potential well) is described by the trigonometric functions. Outside the well, but still under the minimum energy needed to escape, the solution is an exponential that decay exponentially (duh) with increasing distance.

Now separate two potential wells by a barrier. Because the probability of finding a particle in the barrier is not zero (unlike what classical physics says), there is a possibility that the particle could move from one potential well to the other.

Hopefully that didn't confuse you too much. Essentially, the wave function of a particle shows the probability of finding a particle in a certain location. The functions that can describe it are non-zero through barriers, meaning that there is a certain probability that a particle could travel through the barrier.

No, I got it, thx!!
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
chui
Posts: 511
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9/17/2014 4:48:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 9/15/2014 9:23:59 PM, Subutai wrote:
At 9/15/2014 12:38:12 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Can someone explain "quantum tunneling" for the layperson (that would be me)?

It's a consequence of Schrodinger's equation.

Perhaps you should say 'predicted by' rather than 'consequence of'?

Whereas Newtonian mechanics and dynamics describes the particle behavior of matter, the Schrodinger eqution describes the wave behavior of a particle (because matter is both a particle and a wave, like light). Now, Schrodinger's equation is a differential equation, and there are only certain functions that can satisfy the equation, meaning that there are only certain functions that can describe the particle wave.

Schrodinger's equation ultimately describes one thing - the probability of finding that particle at a certain location. The solution to the differential equation inside a potential well (think of this as like a well - the particle has to have a certain energy to escape the potential well) is described by the trigonometric functions. Outside the well, but still under the minimum energy needed to escape, the solution is an exponential that decay exponentially (duh) with increasing distance.

Now separate two potential wells by a barrier. Because the probability of finding a particle in the barrier is not zero (unlike what classical physics says), there is a possibility that the particle could move from one potential well to the other.

Hopefully that didn't confuse you too much. Essentially, the wave function of a particle shows the probability of finding a particle in a certain location. The functions that can describe it are non-zero through barriers, meaning that there is a certain probability that a particle could travel through the barrier.