What fascinates us most about the Universe is how few we know about it. And just as we want to find out what happens to us after we die, scientists are curious to know what could happen to the entire Universe when the Reaper comes to visit us. The scientific community has produced a plethora of outlandish theories, and some of them deserve to be heard. Here are 7 theories about the death of our universe
1. Smart Destruction
Before the invention of nuclear weapons, no one would have thought that a single bomb could destroy an entire city. However, everything changed after the Hiroshima attack. This tragedy has led to the emergence of the concept of “intelligent destruction”: one day, a person will make or invent something that will destroy the Universe. Of course, even a nuclear bomb the size of the Moon will not make a breach in the fabric of the Universe, so that’s a good thing. On the other hand, who told us that we are the only sentient beings in the Universe?
2. The end of the game
One of the most surprising theories about our reality is that life is just a computer simulation. According to Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrom, as computers continually improve, at some point people will develop computer skills so powerful that they will be able to simulate virtual worlds themselves. Unless someone first ends the program containing our Universe.
3. Collision with another universe
What’s beyond our universe? Probably other universes. And if the theory of multiple universes, aka the multiverse, is correct, then one day a big collision can happen. Another universe with radically different physical laws can crash into us at a speed close to that of light. If we could see the collision in slow motion, we would feel like a giant mirror is falling on us.
4. A great compression
Since the Big Bang, which occurred 13.8 billion years ago, the Universe has continued to expand. Most physicists think that the Universe is infinite, but the contrary view is just as well-founded. If it is not unlimited, it will eventually shrink, like the waves that return to the ocean. The theory of great compression is supported by Einstein’s theory of relativity. However, don’t worry, if something like this happens, it will be billions of years in the future.
5. The Barrier of Death
The Universe will continue to develop until it reaches a physical barrier. Imagine if a small amount of water was poured onto a hockey rink and knocked on the sides. According to some calculations, the Universe will touch the wall in about 3.7 billion years. And the probability that it even exists is 50%.
6. Thermal death
The scenario is based on the second law of thermodynamics – the increase of entropy in closed systems. The Universe will expand and the objects that compose it will move away from each other. When the entropy reaches its maximum, the energy will be evenly distributed and everything will stop. The stars will cool and the matter will disintegrate. This is not the best plan to do it.
7. The Great Tear
More than 68% of the Universe is made up of black nothingness – a mysterious “dark energy”. Before its discovery, scientists believed that the expansion of the Universe was slowing down or stopping. However, by observing supernovae, astrophysicists have come to the conclusion that expansion is actually accelerating, and the reason is black energy. It can lead to what is called the “Big Rip.” This apocalypse scenario is based on the assumption that over time, dark energy will eventually push galaxies and space objects to separate, breaking all existing connections and structures. In a nutshell, the Universe will be divided into smaller particles.