Phantom Energy: Dark Energy withw<−1Causes a Cosmic Doomsday

Robert R. Caldwell, Marc Kamionkowski, Nevin N. Weinberg
2003 Physical Review Letters  
Cosmologists have long wondered whether the Universe will eventually re-collapse and end with a Big Crunch, or expand forever, becoming increasingly cold and empty. Recent evidence for a flat Universe, possibly with a cosmological constant or some other sort of negative-pressure dark energy, has suggested that our fate is the latter. However, the data may actually be pointing toward an astonishingly different cosmic end game. Here, we explore the consequences that follow if the dark energy is
more » ... antom energy, in which the sum of the pressure and energy density is negative. The positive phantom-energy density becomes infinite in finite time, overcoming all other forms of matter, such that the gravitational repulsion rapidly brings our brief epoch of cosmic structure to a close. The phantom energy rips apart the Milky Way, solar system, Earth, and ultimately the molecules, atoms, nuclei, and nucleons of which we are composed, before the death of the Universe in a "Big Rip".
doi:10.1103/physrevlett.91.071301 pmid:12935004 fatcat:w6ywoscwt5hoxa5zkaxlmk5dqy