The Universe Could End In A 'Big Rip,' Scientists Say
Photo : NASA | WMAP Science Team
A new concept based on mathematics and astrophysics has emerged to suggest that the universe could end in a theory called the "Big Rip." Viscosity is said to play a huge role in this theory as experts claim that the consistency of material objects may help to determine how the world will come to its end state in the future. The time when the ultimate end will happen, however, is not a cause of alarm for the present generation, as scientists predict the events of this theory to commence 22 billions years from now.
There are numerous theories about how the world began and how it will end. For example, in the "Big Freeze" theory, experts suggest that all materials used to form new stars will eventually exhaust and existing stars will burn out, leaving the entire cosmos in a vast state of coldness. The "Big Crunch" suggests that a new universe may come to life when gravitational pull will hold everything together, and probably implode, just like the "Big Bang" theory. However, the "Big Crunch" has been refuted by modern physics as the amount of gravity involved in this theory is unlikely to be present in the universe.
Now, a new theory authored by experts from the Vanderbilt University, led by Marcelo Disconzi, assistant professor of mathematics, in collaboration with physics professors Thomas Kephart and Robert Scherrer, suggests that dark energy and viscosity may explain the fate of the universe.
The authors said that this new "Big Rip" theory is based on a type of phantom dark energy that increases in intensity as time advances. Dark energy was formulated in the 1990s when physicists discovered that the universe is expanding as per astronomical measurements. They suggested a type of repulsive energy - dark energy - enveloping the universe to be the cause of the accelerated expansion. Going back to the "Big Rip,' the team suggests that the expansion rate of the universe will continuously accelerate until objects and individual atoms break apart approximately 22 billion years from now.
Scientific studies and equations developed in the past do not support the role of viscosity tearing the world apart. But in the new mathematical equation formulated by the Vanderbilt University group, viscosity may indeed enable objects to disintegrate when a specific threshold is reached.
The findings of the study, published in the journal Physical Review D, require further investigations, amid its promising stand, say the authors. Through the use of supercomputers that can help analyze the complicated equations mathematically, the vitality of their relativistic viscosity may be established.