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.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
- Pub Date:
- April 2022
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- High Energy Physics - Theory
- 12 pages, 4 figures