The Total Energy of the Universe is Zero

There are something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy. However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together. Thus, in a sense, the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero.


Because gravity represents negative energy.

Folksonomies: physics thermodynamics energy

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Universe (0.966979): dbpedia | freebase
General relativity (0.933658): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Potential energy (0.877872): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Dark matter (0.857283): dbpedia | freebase
Gravitation (0.815698): website | dbpedia | freebase
Mass (0.766934): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Fundamental interaction (0.761760): dbpedia | freebase
Physics (0.761179): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 A Brief History Of Time
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Hawking , Stephen (2009-11-10), A Brief History Of Time, Transworld Digital, Retrieved on 2012-06-04
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  • Folksonomies: science


    25 AUG 2012

     Science Koans

    Riddles and paradoxes of existence that might crack your noodle on which to meditate.
    Folksonomies: meditation koan riddle
    Folksonomies: meditation koan riddle