“The fact that our universe is expanding was discovered almost a hundred years ago, but how exactly this happens, scientists realized only in the 90s of the last century, when powerful telescopes (including orbital ones) appeared and the era of accurate cosmology began. During observations and analysis of the data obtained, it turned out that the universe is not only expanding, but expanding with acceleration, which began three to four billion years after the birth of the universe, the scientific material says. Domestic experts are convinced that it is the expansion acceleration that is the marker by which one can understand the existence of a limit to the universe.
Their hypothesis is based on the fact that instead of dark energy, the universe has an effect similar to the Casimir effect, if we imagine that the universe has an end, possible boundaries in the form of some kind of walls. It is on these walls that the effect extends.
The Casimir effect is the mutual attraction of conducting uncharged bodies (for example, plates close to each other) under the influence of quantum fluctuations in a vacuum. Roughly speaking, we are talking about vacuum fluctuations due to the creation and disappearance of virtual particles in it. The closer the bodies are, the more actively the production of particles between them is suppressed. As a result, the pressure between the bodies becomes less than the pressure on them from the outside, where the birth of photons is not limited by anything. That’s how attraction works.
A similar effect, according to scientists from Kaliningrad, is also observed in the universe – between its boundaries, on the back of which the described particle pressure is absent. The pressure on the boundaries from our side, that is, from the inside, causes the universe to expand with acceleration.
Soap bubble that can burst
A concept that is quite close to that of the Baltic researchers is offered by their colleague from the University of California, Andreas Albrecht. He also believes that the end of the universe exists, despite its continued expansion. But Albrecht belongs to the wing of researchers who tend to believe that the expansion will eventually stop. In addition, he expresses in his works the opinion that after reaching its maximum, the final universe will be somewhat larger than the space we see now. In numerical terms, this is only 20% of the current state. And the foreign specialist does not refuse hypothetical dark energy in his own conclusions.
For the accessibility of his theory, he suggests that the universe should be depicted as a soap bubble, which always has a finite size. However, being a scientist, Albrecht does not dare to mention where the end of the universe is and what lies further beyond its borders, rightly because of the lack of data.
Wave theory of the end of the universe
It’s hard to blame Albrecht for the lack of data. This is explained by such a property of the cosmos as the cosmic background radiation formed with the very first atoms, according to the Big Bang theory. It does not allow scientists to study distant galaxies and their stars, because it is a natural barrier in their development and an opportunity to see beyond the edge of the end of the universe, if it exists, of course.
But at the same time, relic radiation allows specialists to consider the wave spectrum of space. Research in this area led scientists to hypothesize that if the universe is truly infinite, then it must contain waves of a variety of wavelengths. But in the nine years of its operation, the WMAP instrument, launched by NASA only to study the cosmic microwave background radiation, has not detected any large waves. It turned out that outer space has a narrow spectrum of waves, which means that the end of the universe exists.
So far, however, astrophysicists have been unable to determine the exact shape and boundaries of the universe. But all the same waves in space, or rather their vibrations, can help to explore this. Thanks to their different types that arise in space, it is possible to determine what is at the end of the universe, what shape it has and what limits it has. It remains only to wait, as such studies often last for years.
Source: Popular Mechanics