Every item, star, planet, galaxy, everything is in our Universe. How did it begin, and how will it end? There is no definite answer because we cannot go back to the past or fast-forward into the future. However, there are some hypotheses with some pretty reasonable evidence. Let’s find out in this article.
How Did the Universe Start?
About 13.8 billion years ago, everything was in an infinitely small point called a singularity until the Big Bang occurs. At that time, the Universe quickly expands from a point to a large structure of energy and cools down from an insanely hot temperature.
At that time, the four fundamental forces (gravity, the weak and strong interactions, and the electromagnetic force) are joined together as one. Just a fraction of a second later, these four forces separated because the Universe is already large and cool enough.
380,000 years later, the Universe finally cooled down enough for atoms to form by allowing atomic nuclei to capture electrons. At that time, photons can freely flow through the Universe, ending the era when the Universe is just a dark space. However, the first stars didn’t form until millions of years later, which is what truly ignites the Universe.
How Will the Universe End?
There isn’t a single hypothesis that can explain what will happen when the Universe dies. However, there are some pretty sensible explanations about that.
Firstly, the Universe might collapse into a single point. If the expansion of the cosmos eventually slows down and stalls, it will go back to its original state, which is a singularity. If it’s true, the Big Bang that created the Universe might be due to the death of its predecessor. In that case, we might just be in one of the infinite amounts of universes ever made. It is the Big Bounce theory, which is one of the explanations of the birth of the Universe.
Secondly, it might continue expanding until everything goes out. That’s because when the Universe gets larger, materials generally become less dense, and star formation will significantly slow down until there are no stars left in the cosmos and star formation is impossible.
Another scenario is that the expansion of the Universe will overpower all fundamental forces eventually and cause particles to split into pieces. That is the big rip, and is probably the most terrible way of how the Universe will end.
From current observations, the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, which might be the work of dark matter and dark energy. Since we don’t know much about them, we don’t know exactly how the size of the Universe changes and its ultimate fate.
In this article, we’ve talked about how did the Universe begin and how will it end. If we missed any important points, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Moreover, if you want to know more, visit the websites in the references below.
References and Credits
- (2014, May 7). The Story of Our Universe | NASA. Retrieved June 24, 2021, from https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/planck/multimedia/pia16876b.html
- (2019, January 4). The Five Ways The Universe Might End – Forbes. Retrieved June 24, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2019/01/04/the-five-ways-the-universe-might-end/
- (n.d.). The early universe | CERN. Retrieved June 24, 2021, from https://home.cern/science/physics/early-universe
- (2019, February 20). Three ways the universe could end – Venus Keus – YouTube. Retrieved June 24, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itpLU7OzNV8