(urth) The Ship

Gerry Quinn gerry at bindweed.com
Thu Jan 5 07:34:22 PST 2012

From: David Stockhoff 

> It's been proposed that Severian sees the birth or death of his universe 
> from Tzadkiel's ship as they travel to Yesod. Here's an image that might 
> suggest what that looked like and why:

> http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/01/most-popular-galleries/?pid=2822&pageid=91037

> Imagine traveling down the tube from the satellite/probe (to the right) 
> to the birth of the universe (on the left).
It’s a diagram, not an image.  Anyway, the beginning of the universe would look the same as in any Big Bang model, i.e, very hot and dense: hot in the sense of 10 with a lot of zeroes hot.
Of course we can still see something close to the beginning of the universe now, but due to what is usually interpreted as the expansion of space, the temperature we measure is only about 3 degrees Kelvin, and it looks like microwaves.  The blue filled circle in the left of the image is supposed to show how the temperature of the microwaves varies slightly as we look in different directions.  We don’t see any light coming directly from before the time the universe fell to a temperature of a few thousand degrees, though.  At that point atoms formed and matter became relatively transparent compared to the previously existing plasma.

> No word yet on what the end of this universe looks like, but personally 
> I'd expect more red than blue.

The image describes an accelerated inflation scenario, in which the universe expands forever, more and more rapidly.  Beyond a certain point it is effectively empty.

- Gerry Quinn

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