The Ultimate Fate of the Universe: Let It Rip!

Big Rip

Artist’s (not mine) conception of the end of the universe. (Credit)

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The hypothesis relies crucially on the type of dark energy in the universe.

All my hypotheses should rely on that.  Because that’s about the coolest thing a hypothesis could rely on.

If I ever want to be taken seriously as a blogger, I must stop linking to the Wikipedia.  But in between the bouts of migraine-ridden semi-consciousness, I am finding its cosmological section entertaining.  And a welcome respite from what seems to be Rape Week on the internet.

We’re not going to be around when the universe ends, so why should we give a flying fat rat’s how it happens?  Because it’s fun to think about.  And thinking on a cosmological scale makes human nastiness just about disappear.  I’m glad we aren’t capable of interstellar travel and I hope we never develop the capacity, because all we would do is ruin the rest of the universe.  We humans are ghetto. No advanced alien civilization in its right mind would want anything to do with our greedy, bumbling, glorified-monkey asses.

Anyway, some scientists think our expanding universe will eventually be torn to pieces by phantom energy, and it will happen like this:

..the galaxies would first be separated from each other. About 60 million years before the end, gravity would be too weak to hold the Milky Way and other individual galaxies together. Approximately three months before the end, the solar system (or systems similar to our own at this time, as the fate of our own solar system 7.5 billion years in the future is questionable) would be gravitationally unbound. In the last minutes, stars and planets would be torn apart, and an instant before the end, atoms would be destroyed.

Is that cool, or what?  It’s called the Big Rip.  Read the whole article about it here.

It would be extra cool if the universe sounded like opening a Velcro wallet while doing this.  Did you have one of those wallets in the 80s?  I had two or three, even though I was a little kid with no money to put in it.  That annoying RRRRRIPPPPPPP will always remind me of analog synthesizers, big hair and awful presidents.

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