(ORDO NEWS) — For cosmologist Katie Mack, understanding that the universe can die creates a sense of comfort and connection with everything around us.
North Carolina State University researcher Katy Mack says exploring options for how the universe could theoretically end at any moment, or in the distant future, gives her a strange sense of peace.
“There is something about realizing that existence is not infinite, and that kind of makes you freer,” she says.
According to Mack, many believe that the universe is something distant. For them, everyday life and what happens in space are separate.
“It’s almost personal – the idea that in the entire universe these processes are constantly happening, but in theory they can happen to me: I am inside the universe and I have no protection,” she says.
Mack adds that with her new book, The End of Everything, she is trying to “share a little of this horror, which seems violent, but can help people connect with what is happening in the universe.”
Whether it’s heat death, vacuum decay, or any other theoretical version of how our universe will disappear, Mack says either of those options is likely to happen in the very distant future, if ever.
“It probably won’t happen in the next trillions, trillions, trillions and so on,” says Mac. “But technically, it can happen at any moment.”
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