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It seems that most astronomers and theoretical physicists believe that time only began at the formation of the universe with the "big bang". Assuming that this is correct, is it possible for time to end (to no longer exist)? If so, what conditions would be necessary for this to occur?
JW (Australia)

The easiest way to think of this may be in terms of some regular relation between time and the size of the universe. Expressing this regular relation as some mathematical formula, it may turn out that, going back from the present in accordance with this formula, we get to a past point of time at which the size of the universe is zero. We would have reason to postulate such a starting point as the origin of the universe if all we know about the universe supports or is at least consistent with our backward extrapolation. Big bang theorists believe that this is (by and large) the case. The same mathematical formula may be such that, going forward from the present, we get to a future point of time at which the size of the universe is zero once more. We would have reason to postulate such an end point of the universe if all we know about the universe supports or is at least consistent with our forward extrapolation. There are other conceivable end-of-time scenarios. The amount of stuff in the...

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