Cosmic expansion may soon reverse

After nearly 13.8 billion years of uninterrupted expansion, the universe may soon come to a standstill and then slowly begin to contract, according to new research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests.

In the new paper, three scientists attempt to model the nature of dark energy – a mysterious force that appears to be causing the universe to expand ever faster – based on past observations of cosmic expansion. In the team’s model, dark energy is not a constant force of nature, but an entity called quintessence, which can decay over time.

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