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Will most protons that currently make up Earth (and you) eventually decay?

Warning: This is one of those Metaculus questions with no points actually on the line. It's not going to resolve.

What is the ultimate fate of the "stuff" that makes us up? It's mostly protons, which (fortunately) are remarkably durable.

After we as individuals die, the material that comprises our bodies at the time of death will mostly likely get recycled into Earth's biosphere. (This isn't 100% guaranteed--some lucky few of us may get to die on Mars.) And not ALL of the protons in our bodies will remain on Earth. By chance, some will escape into space and roam the void.

But what's the long long term fate of the protons of Earth? Perhaps the Earth will be swallowed by the sun in a few billion years. Or maybe not. But on much longer time scales, many interesting things can happen to our protons:

  • We could end up sucked into the black hole at the center of our galaxy if the Andromeda-Milky Way galactic merger happens just so. Or another black hole could happen along.

  • A vacuum state change or other weird physics could end the universe as we know it.

  • Protons might not actually decay, and just hang around forever.

What do you think will happen to our remnants in super-deep time?

Question "resolves" positive if most of Earth's protons eventually decay into lighter particles; resolves negative if the majority of Earth's protons have a different fate (are processed into net zero-baryon number black hole emissions, destroyed in a phase transition, sit around forever, recast into other particles by superintelligent beings, disappear when the simulation's plug is pulled, or whatever.)


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