[The following is an exact transcript of this podcast.]
Future cosmologists will get the universe all wrong, said Arizona State’s Lawrence Krauss at the AAAS Meeting on February 16th:
“All of the pillars of the big bang will disappear. The Hubble expansion is going to disappear. Because the galaxies we use as tracers of the Hubble expansion will disappear. There’ll be nothing to trace the expansion. You might say, well, look, we have the cosmic microwave background radiation. Too bad. Because it goes away. When the universe is 50 times its present age, the cosmic microwave background will not be able to permeate our galaxy. So even if observers were smart enough to measure things much weaker than we can measure today, it wouldn’t be there to measure.
“The scientific picture of the universe a hundred years ago was that it was static and eternal in which we live in an island universe, our galaxy surrounded by empty space. And that’s the picture we’ve changed radically due to all of our observations. And I want to point out the far future is going to bring a return to exactly that picture. Observers in the far future will use the best science they can come up with to determine the nature of the universe and they will come up with exactly the wrong answer.”
Editor's note: Lawrence Krauss and Robert Scherrer wrote "The End of Cosmology" for our February 2008 issue.