Well we may all be congratulating ourselves that on 21 December last year the world didn’t end, but whereas the end of the Mayan calendar didn’t wink us out of existence, the reversing of the Big Bang may. And it could be happening sooner than you think.
It’s been long thought that the expansion of the universe that took place after the Big Bang (with the red shift effect- everything moving away from everything else) was slowing down and would eventually stop. And then go into reverse, contracting back to a central point when another Big Bang might occur.
It used to be thought that this scenario would happen millions of years hence, but physicists now say it could happen sooner rather than later. It’s a team at the University of Southern Denmark that have calculated that a universal “phase transition” could start at any point after every particle in existence becomes “extremely heavy”.
It’s all rather complicated and involves the Higgs Boson “God” particle- the one that gives matter mass, shifts to a lower vale than before making all elementary particles inside the field becoming super-heavy and causing as chain reaction that would pull apart the universe at the seams.
Let’s hear from Jens Frederik Colding at the University’s Centre for Cosmology and Particle Physics Phenomenology:
“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. The phase transition will start somewhere in the universe and spread from there. Maybe the collapse has already started somewhere in the universe and right now it is eating its way into the rest of the universe. Maybe a collapse is starting right now right here. Or maybe it will start far away from here in a billion years.”
Hardly precise measurements- no need to cancel getting next year’s diary. And there are counter arguments. Some scientists say there may be other undiscovered particles in the universe that would prevent this reaction occurring. So in summary, business as usual. Probably.