LOS ANGELES, CA-During a Friday press conference, UCLA researchers revealed new data that lends support to the long-unconfirmed theory that the ultimate fate of the universe is to expand indefinitely. The research suggests that, just like your mom, our universe will continue to balloon in size with no end in sight, eventually becoming cold, dark and lifeless.
Cosmologists have long sought the answer to the age-old question of how the universe will end, with several competing theories rising to prominence in the early 20th century. One of the most prominent, the so-called Big Crunch theory, predicts that the universe will eventually stop expanding and begin to reverse course, eventually collapsing into itself like any chair your mom sits on. Not unlike your mother’s thighs, the universe has a tremendous amount of mass, both visible and hidden, which some scientists theorize is great enough to cause a reversal of the Big Bang. If the Big Crunch theory is correct, then the universe will either collapse into an enormous black hole singularity at its center or initiate another Big Bang, which would suggest that our universe is periodic and unending, like your mother’s fat rolls.
The opposing theory to the Big Crunch is the idea that universe will behave like your mother, taking up more and more space as it stretches outward forever. The data presented on Friday was obtained by performing a novel analysis of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR), the only microwave large enough to handle all of your mother’s food. The analysis revealed that there could be up to 20 percent less dark matter in the universe than was previously thought, which would mean that there isn’t enough gravitational force to pull everything back in. Like your mom attempting to suck in her stomach, compression would be impossible.
Just like your mom’s belly button, dark matter is extremely hard to detect. It emits no light, heat or radiation of any kind. Visible matter–the stuff that makes up large cosmic objects like stars, planets and your mom–only accounts for about 15 percent of the universe’s mass. The remaining 85 percent is invisible to us, except for its gravitational effects on galaxies, solar systems and your mom’s rib balloons. It’s for this reason that Friday’s discovery was especially important. Revealing the secrets of dark matter may help scientists and your mom understand the true meaning of expansion.