Listen: The universe could end in 5 ways

(Credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr)

How will the universe end? Cosmologist Katie Mack lays out five ideas in her new book.

“[T]he universe is evolving, is changing,” says Mack, an assistant professor in the physics department at North Carolina State University and author of The End of Everything (Scribner, 2020). “And as we follow that evolution into the future, it sort of necessarily leads to a situation where everything that we know about the universe, all the things in the universe are kind of in some way going to end up sort of falling apart, or decaying away in the very, very far distant future.

“…there are some very dramatic possibilities for how the universe might end…”

“I mean, right now our universe is kind of very habitable sort of place. We have stars forming. We have galaxies interacting with each other, making new stars, but in the far future if the universe keeps expanding the way we see it expanding now, then those processes will slow down. There’ll be fewer stars. And then fewer structures kind of in the universe in general.”

“[T]here are a few possibilities for what can happen as that carries forward,” she explains. “And there are some very dramatic possibilities for how the universe might end, but there’s really no serious suggestion in the cosmological literature that everything will just kind of carry on just fine as it is now.”

Here, Mack talks about universe-ending scenarios and how astrophysicists know what they know about the universe:

Download the podcast transcript.

Source: NC State