Haiku Archives: Heat Death of the Universe

Pile of books on THERMODYNAMICS. 3D rendering

Besides being the title of this haiku, several songs, and at least one short story, The Heat Death of Universe is an actual cosmological model that has fallen in and out of fashion among astrophysicists over the years. This model predicts a state of thermodynamic equilibrium that permeates the cosmos at some incomprehensibly distant time in the future.

If the outward expansion of the universe continues, eventually all matter will be scattered so far apart that it would take an infinite amount of energy just to propel one’s self into proximity of, say, a single neutrino drifting through the void. Needless to say, you could never get enough “stuff” close enough together to form anything of any use.

And the universe would continue to cool, finally settling at a nearly uniform temperature across its entire expanse. At this point, it would be theoretically impossible for mechanical or computational work to occur. After all, Thermodynamics tells us there has to be at least some temperature differential in order to accomplish work.

In this scenario, the universe would be cold and dead – a sea of emptiness. For some reason, I always found this model both fascinating terrifying. I’m not gonna be around to see how accurate this prediction turns out to be, so I’ll do the next best thing. I’ll write a haiku about it.



photons extinguished  –

cold oblivion ripples

through infinity


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