While scientists have previously theorised about a “Big Crunch” where the universe retracts back to its original size, the discovery of Dark Matter and Dark Energy has placed that hypothesis on the backburner. Some astronomers now believe that if Dark Matter offsets Dark Energy then as the universe slowly expands, stars will gradually fade, running out of fuel and leading to a dark, cold and lifeless universe. Others hypothesise a much more violent end where Dark Energy continues to expand the universe at a greater and greater speed. Stronger than gravity, Dark Energy would pull apart everything down to the fundamental particles – the universe’s very fibres. While the universe’s end may be 50 billion years away, great leaps in science will continue to alter how we believe the universe was formed – and how it will end.
The Universe as we know it is condemned to death. Space, matter and even time will one day cease to exist and there's nothing we can do about it. Harsh realities are revealed about the future of our Universe; it may collapse and burn or it might be gripped by a galactic ice age. Either of these scenarios might be a long way off. However, our Universe could suddenly be destroyed by a "random quantum fluctuation", a bubble of destruction that can obliterate the entire cosmos in the blink of an eye. No matter how it ends, life in our Universe is doomed.
Category:Science Duration:45:00 Series: The Universe
Inspired by the Southern Sky as he travels Australia, Brian reveals our very latest understanding about how the Universe began & how it will end.
Category:Science Duration:26:59 Series: Life of a Universe
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