X-Message-Number: 12605
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 20:55:58 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Lethal Cosmological Constant?

As cryonicists we are also interested in what will happen after we are
reanimated--if we should be so fortunate--which means ultimately the
longterm fate of the universe has interest. An article in the November 1999
*Scientific American*, "The Fate of Life in the Universe" by L. Krauss and
G. Starkman argues that the outlook isn't good if there is a nonzero
cosmological *constant* and other physics holds up the way present
observations suggest. The cosmological constant pushes matter apart at an
ever-accelerating pace until, yes, the speed of light is exceeded and
distant galaxy clusters would just disappear from view. (This doesn't
violate relativity because space *itself* is expanding.) Conglomerates of
matter up to the size of a galaxy cluster can hold together because they are
gravitationally bound, but cannot provide enough oomph (energy, dissipation
of heat, etc.) to keep the bit crunching going forever, for any inhabitants
within. (And bit crunching, inculding creation and preservation of new
information, is basically what life is about, when all is said and done.) So
life must die out, say the authors. Still it appears we could survive the
first trillion years, which will provide a good time window to look for ways
around the problem, such as wormholes and basement universes, or perhaps
something we haven't remotely thought of yet. Meanwhile I would expect that
some theorist in the more near-term future, say within a few months, will
work out a counter-scenario to this. I'd appreciate anything further on this
issue, if anyone runs across anything--it's one thing I devote space to in
my book. (Thanks in advance.)

Mike Perry

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