How Long Will the Universe Exist?

Scientists have tried to figure out how long the universe will exist, but they haven’t been able to agree with one another yet.

Some scientists believe the universe will go on forever, even after all the stars are burnt out. The universe will then be completely dark and cold for the rest of time.

But other scientists believe that the universe will someday explode and start all over again. Right now, the universe is getting bigger, and all the stars are getting farther apart from one another.

Perhaps at some time in the distant future, the universe will begin to grow smaller, and all the stars will move toward one another. After many millions of years, all the matter in the universe will be crushed together in a small area, and then it will explode again, beginning the universe all over again!

Scientists have no way of knowing if the universe has already expanded, shrunk, and exploded many times!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

6 thoughts on “How Long Will the Universe Exist?”

  1. Until quite recently the thinking went a bit like this: If it all started out as a point and there was a big explosion, then the universe’s center of gravity would located at that point, which would also be the geometrical center of the universe, since there is no “preferred direction” in which blasted matter would move.

    This means that as the universe expanded all the matter going outwards would be slowed down by gravity pulling towards the center. When it became clear that the universe is expanding the question naturally popped up: As galaxies move farther and farther apart, the gravity pulling towards the center would always tend to slow them down, but this “brake” would become weaker and weaker at the same time. So three possibilities seemed to exist:

    1) The universe continues to expand forever.
    2) A perfect balance is reached at some point where the universe stops expanding but does not contract.
    3) The universe starts to contract and then all matter would accellerate inwards for billions of years until the “big crunch” – the opposite event of the “big bang”.

    It may seem, intuitively, that 3) is the only possibility given that there’s a force acting towards the center that will never go away and no force pushing outward. But the math works. You can think of it a bit like when we launch stuff from Earth. Close to the earth the gravity field is so dominated by our planet that we can ignore the influence of other matter for the purpose of illustration. If we send something up at a very high speed, like a rocket, it can completely escape earth’s gravity field so it will never return. That’s the “forever expand” option. If we send it at just the right speed it goes into orbit around the earth, neither moving away nor closer. (In practice it doesn’t quite work this way; our oldest sattelite the moon is actually moving closer due to loss of energy because it’s gravity moves the oceans on earth back and forth. The same would happen, though to a much lesser extent, to any other mass in orbit.) Finally, if we throw something up at a lower speed it will continue to rise while losing speed until it reaches zero speed and falls back to the ground.

    However, this so far comfortably logical view of things took a very interesting turn when it was discovered that not only is the universe expanding, but the rate of expansion is actually increasing! There are no widely accepted explanations for this yet, but it led to theories about “dark matter” and “dark energy”, so called because we cannot observe them directly, only infer their existence from the effects they have on what we *can* observe!

    The universe is a wonderous, beautiful, and deeply mysterious place!

  2. I have the answer,
    Scientist have been mind boggling & disagree with one another coz they have no knowledge of it.
    The earth & the heavens (stars & galaxies) are initially a one piece,as a whole.Then it is separated by some forces,not by a big bang.If it is separated by a big bang ,then I’m not talking right now.Everything will be in pieces.The big bang is only a lame theory.And also if it is triggered by a big bang,no traces of this beautiful earth is left now.And the theory that the universe is expanding & later contracting is just yet to be proven. How do one prove the universe is expanding.Who assume that everything will be pulled back to the center of gravity or the same center if explosion or big bang happens?There will be no more center of gravity at the center of explosion.The universe will surely came to an end but nobody knows when but its not far from now.All the stars & galaxies will eventually lose their energy & collapse & that is the time when the universe came to an end.

  3. Well, none of us will experience the end of it, so whats the point in knowing? Yes, whats the point in knowing something that will happen in a distant future, long after ones death? Does it have a practical purpose? Getting visons of the future did not help Nostradamus, Merlin or any others like them in real life. Knowing the near future of the stock markets or the lottery numbers, now, thats valuable…

  4. nope. That’s in a mathematically imperfect universe. Infinite expansion: Energy > Mass,
    Big Crunch: Energy < Mass, Big Chill: Energy = Mass

    If you're interested in learning the science that determined how the universe will end (not how it could, but how it will) , check out this video, its about an hour long but he backs his words up.

    “A Universe from nothing” by Lawrence Krauss

  5. In the universe there are no beginings and no ends, just constant transformation.
    We as human species think otherwise due to the fact that is the way our brains work.
    We are borne that is are begining, we die that is our end as we know it and because of this our brains are wired to conceive such, when in reality beginings and ends don’t exist it’s just a simple infinite transformation that will never end.
    Life would be so boring and have no meaning if we knew it all, I’m glad God chose otherwise for us.

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