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Unimaginable explosions: physicists predicted how our universe will die

In a series of measured everyday life, we are not so oftenwe are thinking about something global and comprehensive. Agree, not many people every day seriously think about the future of our Universe. But if you think carefully it turns out that not so much is known about the past of the Universe. Yet the scientific method, armed with the imagination, allows scientists to put forward a variety of theories about our common future. Terms such as "heat death", "big rip" and "vacuum decay" may seem daunting at first glance, but they describe some of the theories of the death of our universe. All these theories, as I hope the reader knows, describe the death of the universe billions of years later. But what happens if the existence of the universe ends suddenly at this very moment?

The realization that our existence is inconsistently evokes mixed feelings

Our Universe

When a cosmologist at the University of North CarolinaKatie Mack thinks about the end of everything, it calms her down. The astrophysicist expressed this opinion in an interview with Radio 1 Newsbeat. Dr. Catherine Mack is researching dark matter, vacuum decay, and era of reionization - the period of the history of the Universe between 550 million years and800 million years after the Big Bang. I note that Mack views the death of the Universe differently from most colleagues - she claims that since the Big Bang suddenly gave birth to the Universe, then its death can happen just as spontaneously.

In his new book "The End of Everything", the astrophysicistwrites that scientists have no idea why the early Universe expanded exactly the way it expanded - remember, physicists call the early rapid expansion of the Universe cosmic inflation - which means that they also cannot say that space will not start violently, quickly bursting again at any moment.

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The universe can die just as suddenly as it was born

Mack writes that the processes occurring duringthe entire Universe, in principle, can happen to each of us: we are in the Universe and if it suddenly dies, we die too. What is happening there, in space, outside our planet, fascinated the researcher from a young age.

One of the things I try to do in the book is to share this existential horror a bit. I really want to help people have a more personal connection with what is happening in the universe.

Whether we like it or not, we are with youpart of the universe. It is important to understand that absolutely everything around us and in space itself has a beginning and an end - stars, planets, galaxies and even black holes sooner or later end their existence. It is possible that the universe will die suddenly, according to Katie Mack, but a recently published study notes that over the "next several trillion years", when the universe as we know it will no longer be, stars will continue to explode, but not like supernovae. but they will just slowly, very slowly fade away.

Strange universe

In a study published in MonthlyNotices of the Royal Astronomical Society, scientists write that in the future, the Universe will become a bit sad, lonely and cold place. The study's lead author, theoretical physicist Matt Kaplan calls it "Heat death" - the moment in time when the universe will consist mainly of black holes and burned-out stars.

During the study, Kaplan studied potential stellar explosions and found that white dwarfs would go supernovae in the future. When they get denser, these stars will become "Black dwarfs"capable of producing iron in their cores.

Shot from the animated series Futurama: Fry, Bender and the professor watching the death of the universe

The paper claims that stars whose mass isless than about 10 times the mass of the Sun, do not have the gravity or density to produce iron in their cores like massive stars do, so they cannot go supernova right now. As white dwarfs cool down over the next several trillion years, they will become dimmer and eventually freeze over and become "black dwarf" stars that no longer shine.

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Since iron cannot be burned, it willaccumulate like poison and eventually provoke the collapse of the star, after which it will become a supernova. Kaplan estimates that the first of these theoretical explosions will occur in about 10-1100 years. There are so many of them that it is like saying the word "trillion" almost a hundred times. In other words, it is mind-bogglingly far into the future.

It turns out that the stars will explode, but we can hardly imagine a huge number of faint, barely noticeable explosions of a huge number of stars. But still, all stars that turn into black dwarfs will not explode. Only those whose mass is between1.2 and 1.4 solar masses - which is approximately 1% of all stars existing today. The remaining approximately 99% of the stars will remain black dwarfs. The largest black dwarfs will go supernova first, followed by the smaller ones, and then the universe is likely to turn into a giant void, completely unrecognizable. Agree, it's really hard to imagine.

Even more surprising is the theory of the Multiverse, according to which there are a great many worlds.

Kaplan writes that by this point in the galaxyscatter, black holes evaporate, and the expansion of the universe will blow all remaining objects so far apart that no one will ever see others explode. Light cannot even physically penetrate that far.

Note that researchers continue to learn everythingmore about both the early universe and its possible. In July, a separate group of experts suggested that the universe could be 1.2 billion years younger than the 13.8 billion it is commonly believed.

I like vacuum decay the most. And fun is probably not the word I should use about destroying the universe, but it's a fun idea. You change something in the equations, and then you find out that somewhere in the Universe something like a bubble of death can materialize, which will simply expand at the speed of light and destroy everything.

Katie Mack, astrophysicist at the University of North Carolina.

What hypothesis of the death of the Universe do you like? We will wait for the answer here!