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Rapidly descending dark energy and the end of cosmic expansion

Author(s): Andrei, Cosmin; Ijjas, Anna; Steinhardt, Paul J

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Abstract: Although the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate today, this paper presents a simple mechanism by which a dynamical form of dark energy (known as quintessence) could cause the acceleration to come to end and smoothly transition from expansion to a phase of slow contraction. That raises questions, How soon could this transition occur? And at what point would it be detectable? The conclusions are that the transition could be surprisingly soon, maybe less than 100 million y from now, and yet, for reasons described in the main text, it is not yet detectable today. The scenario is not far-fetched. In fact, it fits naturally with recent theories of cyclic cosmology and conjectures about quantum gravity.
Publication Date: 5-Apr-2022
Citation: Andrei, Cosmin, Ijjas, Anna, Steinhardt, Paul J. (2022). Rapidly descending dark energy and the end of cosmic expansion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119 (15), 10.1073/pnas.2200539119
DOI: doi:10.1073/pnas.2200539119
ISSN: 0027-8424
EISSN: 1091-6490
Language: en
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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