According to a news release from the University of Southern Denmark, physicists have long predicted that the universe may one day collapse, and that everything in it will be compressed to a tiny hard ball. Now, physicists have confirmed this prediction and concluded that the risk of a collapse is ever greater than previously believed.
At some point, a radical shift in the forces of the universe will cause every tiny particle in it to become very heavy. The new weight will compress all material into a tiny, extremely hot and very heavy ball.
This violent process is known as a phase transition and is similar to what takes place when water transitions to steam. The phase transition in the universe will take place if a bubble is generated where the Higgs-field associated with the Higgs-particle achieves a different value than the rest of the universe. If this new value leads to lower energy and if this bubble is big enough, the bubble will enlarge at the speed of light in all directions. All particles inside the bubble will achieve a mass, that is much heavier than if they were outside the bubble, and thus they will be yanked together and develop supermassive centers.
“Many theories and calculations predict such a phase transition– but there have been some uncertainties in the previous calculations. Now we have performed more precise calculations, and we see two things: Yes, the universe will probably collapse, and: A collapse is even more likely than the old calculations predicted,” noted co-author Jens Frederik Colding Krog, PhD student at the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics Phenomenology (CP3) at the University of Southern Denmark, in a statement.
Jens and his colleagues examined three of the primary equations that dominate the prediction of a phase alteration. Physicists from CP3 have revealed that the three equations can be worked with together and that they interface with each other. When applying all three equations together the physicists concluded that the chances of a collapse as a result of a phase alteration are even greater than when applying only one of the equations.
The Big Crunch theory also predicts a collapse of the universe. Following the Big Bang all material was discharged into the universe from one tiny area, and this augmentation is still taking place. Eventually, the expansion will come to an end and all the material will again start to attract each other and merge into a tiny area again. This is known as the Big Crunch.
According to astronomers, it is also possible that a collapse will not take place at all. It is a requirement for the phase alteration that the universe consists of the elementary particles that we know today, like the Higgs particle. If the universe consists of undetected particles, the entire basis for the prediction of phase alteration vanishes.
“Then the collapse will be canceled,” according to Jens Frederik Colding Krog.
The study’s findings are described in greater detail in the Journal of High Energy Physics.