The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of the universe is increasing. Black holes contribute to the entropy of the universe by breaking down matter into more disordered states. Previous studies on a black hole’s effect on the entropy of the galaxy have only been done on smaller black holes. Recently, Australian scientists have looked into the effects of supermassive black holes on entropy. They discovered that the previously predicted value for the effects of the supermassive black holes to be much less then what they really are. When entropy in the universe is maximized heat flow would no longer exist.
“in the case of the universe, Egan says, ‘we’d like to know [when and] if the entropy will eventuallyreach a maximum value, marking the end of all dissipative processes, including life.’ Physicists have dubbed that maximum entropy ‘heat death.’”
While the universe is closer to ‘heat death’ than previously estimated it still far from reaching its maximum entropy. Others note that if entropy is concentrated in these supermassive black holes, then the remainder of the universe should be at a lower entropy and further away from ‘heat death.’
[via usnews & world report]