Universe could be shrinking right now and completely collapsing in a hundred million years

(ORDO NEWS) — There are several hypotheses about what dark energy is. Astrophysicists from Princeton and New York University have calculated how many years the universe will collapse if dark energy has quintessence.

A team of astrophysicists from Princeton and New York University has estimated how soon the universe could collapse if dark energy is a quintessence , not a constant. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Andrei Kosmin, Anna Ijas, and Paul Steinhardt suggest that this could happen as early as 100 million years.

Over the past few decades, researchers have found evidence of the expansion of the universe: distant objects are getting further and further apart over time.

Albert Einstein predicted this would happen. He assumed that the force behind this expansion was something called dark energy. The scientist also assumed that the strength of dark energy is constant, thus explaining that the Universe will expand forever.

In addition to Einstein’s theory, there are others. According to one of them, dark energy does exist, but cannot be a constant value.

Moreover, proponents of this hypothesis say that the universe could possibly slow down its expansion or stop expanding altogether. Probably, this process can even be reversed, then the Universe will be compressed until it turns into a single whole.

According to this idea, dark energy is nothing but something that has a dynamic field, which is called quintessence, that is, a property that allows the Universe to expand or contract.

Proponents of such a hypothesis studied the collected data about the known universe and came to the conclusion that their version of the development of events is just as reasonable as the one that considers dark energy as a constant.

In their work, the researchers wondered how long it would take for the universe to slow down, stop, begin to shrink, and eventually collapse curl into one point if dark energy really has quintessence.

To visualize this idea, the scientists built a model of the universe using evidence that describes the features of the known universe.

So they found that if the idea of ​​quintessence is correct, then the universe may already be slowing down its acceleration. The researchers also found that it could slow down completely and stop its expansion in about 65 million years. And begin to decline – after 100 million years.

Astrophysical hypotheses like this cannot be proven because there is no way to test them empirically. Astrophysicists have to rely on signals from many light-years away. This means that if the universe is already contracting, the collapse may occur before we detect a slowdown.

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