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The Universe could be on the brink of collapse, much sooner than expected

Researchers have come up with a new calculation for when the Universe, as we know it, will stop accelerating and collapse in on itself – which definitely is very bad news for all matter inside the known Universe - and forecast that it will occur in the next tens of billions of years or so.  By human criteria, that’s a quite long way away, to put it lightly. But on a cosmological period, the scientists are calling it ‘imminent’, and according to them the collapse is coming much too soon. One of the group member of this study, Antonio Padilla from the University of Nottingham in the UK, spoke to Lisa Zyga at "The fact that we are seeing dark energy now could be taken as an indication of impending doom, and we are trying to look at the data to put some figures on the end date,” In suggesting their new 'cosmological collapse mechanism’, the group of scientists set out to answer one of the most tough questions in physics - why is the growth rate of the Universe right now accelerating?
Image: nienora /

Back in 1917, when it hadn’t occurred to researchers that the Universe could be growing, Einstein introduced his 'cosmological constant’, which counted the energy density of the vacuum of space and also balanced out the attraction of matter. After a decade, when astronomer Edwin P. Hubble discovered that the Universe was essentially expanding, Einstein excluded the notion of a cosmological constant, but more recently, physicists have suggested that dark energy could be filling that part. Dark energy is a low-mass form of energy that scientists now consider makes up approximately 68 percent of the Universe. Dark matter makes up about 27 percent of the universe, and ‘normal’ matter adds less than 5 percent. Theoretically, that super-high percentage of dark matter should only let the expansion of a small universe, not the gigantic one we know and love, as it’d be growing too rapidly for galaxies to have a chance to form.
The group has distributed their calculations in the journal Physical Review Letters. Kudos to the duo for publishing a paper about the death of the Universe and calling it, basically, 'The End'.

It’s a lot to understand, and Padilla does a fantastic job at chatting it in the video below. Just know that if Padilla and Kaloper are correct, you've got at least tens of billions of years to get your stuff in order and move to another universe (if there is any), so that's good.

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