Rapidly descending dark energy and the end of cosmic expansion

Cosmin Andrei, Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

If dark energy is a form of quintessence driven by a scalar field φ evolving down a monotonically decreasing potential V (φ) that passes sufficiently below zero, the universe is destined to undergo a series of smooth transitions. The currently observed accelerated expansion will cease; soon thereafter, expansion will come to end altogether; and the universe will pass into a phase of slow contraction. In this paper, we consider how short the remaining period of expansion can be given current observational constraints on dark energy. We also discuss how this scenario fits naturally with cyclic cosmologies and recent conjectures about quantum gravity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2200539119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume119
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 12 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

Keywords

  • cyclic universe
  • dark energy
  • quantum gravity
  • quintessence
  • supernovae

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