Wednesday, February 1, 2023

The “Big Rip”: We Already Know How the Universe Will End in Thousands of Years

principle of big Bang It is one of the most famous in science and is used to describe the early development of the universe, its beginnings, with some nuance. But everything that begins (we believe) must end, and another theory is needed to understand the end to which our universe is headed. For now we have several hypotheses, and one is gaining traction, that the great tear or big rip,


Theories for the end of the universe.
After centuries asking ourselves “Where did we come from?” We have a more or less reliable and accurate idea of ​​the history of the universe. The story of the beginning of rapid expansion, followed by an initial slowdown and a new acceleration process in terms of expansion.

With a few “buts”, one can speak of a consensus about the past evolution of the universe, but the question “where are we going?” Simple answer is no. There are three main hypotheses of big Crunchone of the big freeze and that big rip,

can be seen as the first big Bang To the contrary, that is, it holds that after the current inflation the universe will continue to shrink until matter, energy and space itself converge again at a single point. big freeze For his part, he considers a universe that continues to expand until matter and energy are exhausted and all heat has disappeared.

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Not with bursts, but with tears.
But there is an even more extreme theory, which talks of expansion so rapid that it “accelerates” the universe, creating a “big rip” or great tear. In this scenario, dark energy, an energy that we cannot detect but which would be responsible for the accelerated evolution of the universe, would continue to increase the rate of expansion of the universe until this tear is reached.

“fit very well with the experimental data big ripPointing to the fact that it is very likely that this will happen” explains physicist Ruth Lazkoz in an article in conversation, “Galaxies will be further and further away, and gravitational attraction will gradually become less important until its effect disappears.”

Cosmic Soup.
Lazkoz has spent years working on solving the question of where are we going. In one of his latest articles published in the magazine Philosophical Transaction ADescribes his work in studying various scenarios for this “cosmic apocalypse”.

The researchers explain how to build models to study and understand these scenarios. The key is to make them understand what we are able to visualize, in this case, a fluid.

Understanding the various components of the universe as fluids that coexist in space allows researchers to focus on certain variables that may be observable or calculable, in this case pressure and density, Lazkoz it is said.

long time ahead
For now, we can breathe easy, because this scenario of disruption is not going to happen overnight. The very data that researchers like Lazkoz rely on also helps them estimate the elapsed time for this phenomenon.

Variables such as the ratio between conventional matter, dark matter, and dark energy allow researchers to estimate the growth rate of the universe and its acceleration. And with it, knowing when the point will come when gravity is no longer able to hold the galaxies together, nor is it even able to keep the planets orbiting their stars.

And there’s a lot left. If we base ourselves on this theory, the universe will barely reach a tenth of its life: it will take about 130,000 million years.

Cosmic unknown.
Behind the theories of the beginning and end of the universe is what we have managed to know with a certain degree of certainty: the universe is expanding and it is expanding faster and faster. Of course, the rate at which it does so may be the biggest unknown in modern cosmology.

The discrepancy in our calculations regarding this rate of expansion is increasing, so the margin of uncertainty is always high. As Lajkoz himself points out, it is important to humbly acknowledge that the models on which we base our knowledge of cosmology often “disguise our ignorance as knowledge.”

Perhaps one day we will be able to solve these problems and answer the eternal question: where did we come from and where are we going? For now we don’t have a definite answer.

Image | WikiImages

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