I found an old forum post, from when I was 14 years old. In hindsight, it was very flawed, ignorant, and hasty… but hey. I was just curious. I’ve always been like this.
What I got wrong:
“Knowing that a star has a 1 in 2 chance of being a black hole.”
The chance of a star forming into a blackhole/white dwarf is not 50%. From what I now understand, the universe is far more complex that I could ever imagine at that age. The reality is that the chances are much more smaller than this. There are also various factors which determine the pathway to a black hole, such as the mass of the star. Take our sun for example. It’s relatively large, compared to most stars. However, our sun is still not large enough to form a black hole or neutron star(confirmation). So it will never form a black hole, a close to 0% chance. This is one example of how the chances vary among stars in our universe, instead of the perfect 50% I offered when I was 14.
The whole dice analogy
A fair dice has 6 sides. I realise that we can use a biased die to explain randomness, but in retrospect it’s incredibly confusing and unnecessary. A coin would have been better.
The idea that White Dwarfs can become a black hole
Yes, this is totally wrong. If I can remember correctly, this idea was based on nothing, just my pure ignorance and guessing on the subject. I really should have known better. (More info: http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/dwarfs.html).
Black hole or White Dwarf argument
There’s much more to it than the dichotomy I proposed. Stars with large masses can either turn into black holes or neutron stars. Whereas, low and medium mass star (with mass less than about 8 times the mass of our Sun) will become a white dwarf. Again, it’s largely dependent on mass which directs the fate of the star. And large mass does not necessarily entail blackhole either.
What I got right:
The idea that stars end their lives in 2 separate ways
Yes, this is absolutely correct. Stars do indeed end their lives in 2 separate and distinct ways (white dwarf/supernovae). But my understanding was that if it is 2 separate ways entailed white dwarf or black hole, and that the odds must be a perfect 50%. This didn’t demonstrate sound reasoning, looking back. C’mon, I can do better than this. Because of the idea of 50%, the whole “theory” falls apart. But ignore this, and it’s on the right lines.
Eventually there will be so many black holes that everything will be sucked up.
While you can debate that this may or may not be the cause of the big crunch, it is not out of the question to believe that as time moves on we will reach a point where there will be a lot of black holes. And I mean, a lot. This is known as the “Black hole era”. After 1040 years, black holes will dominate the universe, but they will slowly evaporate via Hawking radiation. After they evaporate, the Universe will be almost empty. Hence, the “end” of the Universe. And I was somewhat correct on this.
The idea of black holes being irreversible.
Once a star explodes into a supernovae, there is no going back. But there are many theories regarding evaporation, growth (Once a black hole has formed, it can continue to grow by absorbing additional matter), and hawking radiation. For many, Hawking Radiation is the most common as well as the most debated theory and is described as a theoretical process by which black holes can evaporate into nothing. But yes, in short, once a blackhole, always a black hole. It will never return back to it’s full stellar glory.
The idea of futility in the fate of an ever expanding universe.
While we do not know the fate of our universe (or cosmos), it is widely agreed that there may be an end. The idea that I threw up was generally getting at the notion of futility; that the universe will inevitably be destroyed.
“The universe is functioned by outcomes and paths. Everything has a path, even our sun. “
Just as I knew back then, the universe is governed by various laws of causality. There’s also new ideas from quantum mechanics which questions all this, but I don’t claim to know enough about this field to preach about it.
So here I am, nine years later, 21 years old. Looking back on myself and how much has changed, and how much has remained the same. Where the future will take me, and how/why will I achieve the things I wish to achieve.
There’s much more to come from me.
Destiny is calling.
Me, myself, and I.