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Volume 27, 1894
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The Cosmos possibly Immortal.


If our universe be proved, from its configuration and character, to have been formed of two previously-existing universes, as appears probable from 59 et seqq., then the entire cosmos may be made up of an infinity of universes.


Meteoric swarms prove space to be dusty with wandering dark bodies, and “molecular selective escape” proves it also to be spread with countless myriads of molecules of light gas. It is probably due to the dust of space that we see no distant universes other than the Magellanic Clouds.


If this be the case, radiation must all be caught by the dust of space, and, unless some agency be found to take this heat away, the dust must be gradually increasing in temperature.


Bodies not in closed orbits when moving at high velocities take but a short time to pass over great distances; they take longer and longer periods as the velocity is reduced. Hence hydrogen gas, when it has travelled into positions comparatively free from the influence of matter, will be generally moving slowly. But slowly-moving gas is cold: hence hydrogen gas may be at a lower temperature than any other matter in space.


Whenever by their mutual motions hydrogen strikes cosmic dust, it will acquire the temperature of the latter: that is, it will increase its molecular velocity. It will thus have a new start of motion.


It is evident that unless it strikes something the molecule can only lose this motion by radiation and by doing work. When it has done work, it will be further from matter, or in a position of higher potential, and Crookes's experiments prove that molecules do not radiate in free path except immediately after encounters.


Moving matter not in orbits will tend to move slowest where there is least matter—that is, where gravitation potential is highest—because in these places it has done most work against gravitation. Where bodies moving indiscriminately move slowest they obviously tend to aggregate: in other words the hydrogen of space tends to accumulate in the sparsest portions of space.


Thus radiant energy falls upon the dust of space and heats it. This heat gives motion to hydrogen, and the hydrogen then tends to use its new energy to pass to positions of high potential, thus converting low-temperature heat—that is, dissipated energy—into potential energy of gravitation—that is, into the highest form of available energy.

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This action will tend to go on until attraction is equal in different parts of space. Thus we should have, if there were no counteracting influence, in one part of space bodies in mass, in another part diffused hydrogen.


But long before this equality of distribution can ensue another action is set up. The mass of hydrogen-will become a retarding trap to indiscriminately-moving bodies.


Free bodies moving indiscriminately will tend to pass through a group of masses similar to our universe, through which 1830 Groombridge is passing now. But they will tend to be trapped in any mass of hydrogen they encounter. Thus the place that was most void of matter now begins to have more than a regular distribution of matter. A new universe of the first order has begun to form.


The Magellanic Clouds are probably universes of the first order. Our universe was probably formed from the impact of two other universes, and hence has a greater definiteness of configuration.


Mutual gravitation between the entrapped bodies would tend to concentrate the diffused mass. The new universe would be taking form.


When three bodies pass near each other, one at least has its velocity increased. In this way it is possible to account for the enormous velocity of 1830 Groombridge, although this high velocity might also be due to the attraction of our universe, or of a near dead sun, the truth of which latter idea could be ascertained by observations of its regularity of speed. Whenever the velocity is great enough to enable the body to escape the attraction of the universe, the body is lost to it, and the other two bodies would be moving more slowly. If this should occur only once in a thousand cases—seeing that when it does occur the body escapes—given time enough, much of the energy of any individual system must thus be used up in allowing the escape of bodies.


If it could be shown that the impact of two similar universes would result in the formation of one which, in a similar stage, was of larger mass than one of the originals, then impact would be, on the whole, an aggregating agency, and the permanent equilibrium of the cosmos would be disturbed.


This is probably not the case, for during the impact of the universes themselves much matter would escape, and at every impact of individual bodies within the new universe light molecules would be set wandering that would ultimately leave the system. When the new universe has become more dense, during the approach of any three bodies one would occasionally be sent out of the system. There are other agencies that, together with these, render it possible for two

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similar universes, by coalescing, to become one, which, when contracted to the size of either of its components, may retain no more matter than one of the original universes.


We have in these phenomena a complex series of agencies tending to overcome the dissipation of energy and the aggregation of matter. Impact developes heat, separates bodies, and, diffuses gas. Radiation falls on the matter of space and heats it: this energy is taken up by the hydrogen to increase its velocity. As the hydrogen loses this new velocity it is carried to positions of higher potential. It will tend to linger in the empty parts of space, and it then becomes a trap for wandering bodies. These wandering bodies are separated from systems by the mutual interaction of three bodies.


Thus, in opposition to the theory of the dissipation of energy, there is seen to be the possibility of an immortal cosmos, in which we have neither evidence of a beginning nor promise of an end.