Cosmologists closer to understanding the ultimate fate of the Universe

Dr Kevin Pimbblet, senior Astrophysics lecturer, was invited to submit an article to The Conversation to discuss what fate the universe may eventually succumb to. He explains possible options such as heat death, the big rip, and even “cosmic consciousness”, a quantum physics idiosyncrasy that means the universe could lead to an interesting, if not far-fetched, end.

The article considers what we know about the past and present, a precursor to finding out what events can happen in the future. Looking into the past has shown evidence that there was a Big Bang, whilst researching the present state of the universe led to the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating with the help of dark energy. Both of these important notions will eventually contribute to the end of the universe, in whatever guise that may be. Dr Pimbblet’s work in dark energy (WiggleZ survey) and galaxy evolution (GAMA survey) has provided much needed data to the discussion regarding the end of the Universe.

Dr Pimbblet’s article is available to view now. Several articles have been published recently in the cosmology series on The Conversation, including an article by another of our department lecturers, Dr Siri Chongchitnan – have a look at the website to read them.

Image: An artist’s impression of a black hole accretion disk. Credit: XMM-Newton, ESA, NASA