A Dying Universe - Long-Term Fate of Astrophys. Objects [lg by F. Adams, G. Laughlin

By F. Adams, G. Laughlin

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For these same astrophysical objects, the velocity relative to the observer becomes larger than the speed of light and their emitted photons are redshifted to infinity. 2. Tunneling Processes We next consider the possibility that the universe is currently in a false vacuum state. In other words, a lower energy vacuum state exists and the universe can someday tunnel to that lower energy state. This 39 problem, the fate of the false vacuum, was first explored quantitatively by Voloshin et al. (1974) and by Coleman (1977).

C. Experimental and Theoretical Implications Almost by definition, direct experiments that test theoretical predictions of the very long term fate of the universe cannot be made in our lifetimes. However, this topic in general and this paper in particular have interesting implications for present day experimental and theoretical work. If we want to gain more certainty regarding the future of the universe and the astrophysical objects within it, then several issues must be resolved. The most important of these are as follows: [A] Does the proton decay?

50 < η < 100. A. Summary of Results Our specific contributions to physical eschatology can be summarized as follows: [1] We have presented new stellar evolution calculations which show the long term behavior of very low mass stars (see Figure 1). 1M⊙ ) do not experience any red giant phases. As they evolve, these stars become steadily brighter and bluer, reaching first a maximum luminosity, and second, a maximum temperature, prior to fading away as helium white dwarfs. [2] Both stellar evolution and conventional star formation come to an end at the cosmological decade η ∼ 14.

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