The Corner

The Big Rip

Cosmologists not only think about the birth of the universe, but also about

its death. The latest theory about the end of it all is called the Big Rip.

In this scenario, around 22 billion years in the future, dark energy, which

turns gravity into a repulsive force, tears everything apart. From the

account in Science News: “A half hour before the end, Earth itself would

fall apart. Finally, one ten-thousandth of a femtosecond before the Big

Rip, molecules and atoms would break up…” [Note: a femtosecond is

one-thousandth of one-trillionth of a second.] Something more to worry

about.

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