Research Highlights

The universe may end up in dust

doi:10.1038/nindia.2019.6 Published online 20 January 2019

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Recent observational studies have revealed that the expansion of the universe is accelerating – a phenomenon that has baffled astrophysicists.

Since visible matter of the universe contributes to only 4 per cent of its mass, they have speculated that there must be some mysterious unknown forces that are causing the universe to expand, defying the gravitational pull of the visible matter.  

The unknown forces, they say, are made up of dark matter and dark energy. The dark energy comprises about 70 per cent of the mass-energy content of the universe. However, it remains largely unexplored how such energy might shape the evolution and fate of the universe.  

Based on three cosmological models, astrophysicists from the ICFAI University, Tripura in Tripura and the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani in Goa have now thrown light on how dark energy might contribute to the evolution and fate of the universe1.

In one of the models, they found that the rate of expansion of the universe increases with time -- in agreement with the accelerated expansion of the universe. The pressure and density of the universe happen to be constants.

Using these models, they identified a situation where the dark energy dominates other types of energy available in this universe.

In one of the models, it was found that the universe might become flat and might end up in dust. The researchers say that this might be considered as a phenomenon, because of the dark energy contained in the universe.


References

1. Singh, K. M. et al. Dark energy and its manifestations. New. Astron. 68, 45-50 (2019)