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Astrophysicists: Time, universe will end in 3.7 billion years

By Andrew Moran     Oct 19, 2010 in Science
Washington - A team of United States and Japanese astrophysicists have concluded that there is a 50 percent chance that the Earth, our galaxy, the universe and time itself will end in 3.7 billion years.
Each person in the world, at one time or another, has pondered the end of world and the end of time, when nothing ceases to exist, not even the smallest microorganisms. If our utter demise frightens you, then don’t worry because it won’t happen in your lifetime, or your children’s, or your children’s children.
According to a team of United States and Japanese astrophysicists, they say there is a 50 percent chance that the end of everything as we know it will occur in approximately 3.7 billion years, reports Agence-France Presse.
The inevitable conclusion of our universe’s existence will transpire because of the expansion of the universe. Although scientists generally agree that the universe expanding can occur for an infinite period of time, the team of researchers say the rules of physics state that an eternal inflating universe is unlikely.
“The point of this paper is to show that certain methods and assumptions that have been widely used by physicists for years -- most prominently, the use of a time cutoff in order to compute probabilities in an eternally inflating universe -- lead to the conclusion that time will end,” said Raphael Bousso of the University of California. “In other words, the time cutoff, which we may have thought was just a calculational tool, actually behaves like a physical event, whether we like it or not.”
However, some members of the scientific community are giving Bousso some slack, including Dr. Charles Lineweaver of the Australian National University. According to io9, Lineweaver states: “Because the problem won't go away in their calculations, they conclude the universe must really end. Bousso's average life of a universe is a set time, only because that's what happens when you introduce a cut off point to get a reasonable probability. It's a statistical technique being taken probably too seriously.”
Bousso, in the end, is not trying to pinpoint an end to the universe but rather a “loophole” in physics that should be discussed.
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