Universe May Rip Apart Well Before Anyone Expected

New calculations based on the mysterious nature of dark energy suggest the Universe will end by ripping itself apart 6 billion years before the infamous heat death is expected. 

What's the Latest Development?


Based on calculations of dark energy, a pair of Chinese researchers believe the Universe could end 6 billion years earlier than previously estimated, meeting its untimely death in 16.7 billion years from now rather than 20-22 billion. The calculations are based on a constant 'w' assigned to dark energy, representing a way to mathematically depict the ratio of pressure and density of the mysterious force. If the value of 'w' is less than -1, "their calculations reveal that dark energy will eventually grow to infinity—a regrettable turn of events that will cause everything in the universe to fly apart from each other—including tiny particles and any other building block of the Universe."

What's the Big Idea?

This end to the Universe is known as the big rip and based on the Chinese scientists' calculations, the violent ripping will occur before the infamous heat death. "The cosmologists suggest that dark energy's gravitational repulsion will continually increase until it overcomes all forces holding objects together, causing every structure in the Universe to be torn apart. Nothing will be immune to this cataclysmic event—including those atomic-scale objects that are more tightly bound (they'll be the last to go)." There is not too much cause for concern, however, since scientists do not expect our solar system to exist in its current form when the Universe begins to end.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

 

Being a father to a school-age girl makes men less sexist, study suggests

The findings are based on a phenomenon known as the "Mighty Girl Effect."

Pixabay
Culture & Religion
  • The study tracked the responses of more than 5,000 men over the course of a decade.
  • The results showed that men who lived with daughters were less likely to hold traditional views on gender relations and roles.
  • This effect seemed to be strongest as the daughters entered secondary-school age.
Keep reading Show less

‘A rare sight’: Astronaut snaps incredible photo of 5 spaceships

The photos were taken the same day as Russian cosmonauts investigated a mysterious hole discovered in one of the craft.

Alexander Gerst
Surprising Science
  • The spacecraft belong to Russia and two private American aerospace companies.
  • Six astronauts are currently aboard the International Space Station to conduct a variety of experiments.
  • On Monday, Russian cosmonauts conducted a spacewalk to investigate the nature and cause of a mysterious 2-millimeter-wide hole in a Russian spacecraft.
Keep reading Show less

Technology will kill the 9-to-5 work week, says Richard Branson

The billionaire entrepreneur predicts the rise of technology will soon force society to rethink the modern work week.

(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
Technology & Innovation
  • Branson made the argument in a recent blog post published on the Virgin website.
  • The 40-hour work week stems from labor laws created in the early 20th century, and many have said this model is becoming increasingly obsolete.
  • The average American currently works 47 hours per week, on average.
Keep reading Show less