The universe as a whole has a kind of life cycle and is "now comfortably in its middle years," said Professor and author, Paul Davies. An astrobiologist based in Australia, Davies shared theories behind the birth and eventual death of our universe. In the first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, the universe leapt in size through a process called "inflation," releasing a huge burst of radiation energy which clumped into matter and light, he said. Then for a period of 380,000 years after that, the universe resembled a "glowing opaque plasma," he noted.
Turning his attention to the other end of the cycle, Davies posited a time in the immensely far distant future, when the universe would die out, just as suns eventually do. It could fall into a state of equilibrium that it would be unable to extricate itself from, he explained. While Davies doesn't put stock in the idea of a grand architect of the universe, he does believe "there is a scheme and we're a part of it," and that "meaning and purpose do apply."
Bumper music from Thursday March 04, 2004