Einstein is one of the greatest physicists in the history of contemporary science. His theory of relativity brought revolutionary changes to the field of physics. However, surprisingly, Einstein made a major mistake in the field of cosmology, that is, he misjudged the cosmological constant. This error has sparked a flurry of debate and experimental studies that have revealed more complex models of how the universe might end up.
First, let’s review Einstein’s cosmological constant. In studying the dynamical properties of the universe, Einstein introduced a cosmological constant (lambda) that balances the forces between gravity and the expansion of the universe. However, at the level of cosmological observations and theories at the time, it was impossible to accurately measure and determine the value of this constant, so Einstein’s motivation for introducing the constant has not been clearly explained.
Einstein’s cosmological constant was gradually abandoned in later research, as it was deemed unnecessary to introduce a seemingly arbitrary constant to explain the properties of the universe. However, with the accumulation of more observational data and experimental evidence, cosmologists gradually began to re-examine the role and possible impact of this constant.
In the 1990s, breakthroughs were made in cosmological observations, especially research led by the Supernova Cosmology Project and the High-z Supernova Search Team. Through the observed relationship between the luminosity and redshift of distant supernovae, they confirmed that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, which means that there is a substance called “dark energy” in the universe, which is driving the expansion of the universe. accelerate.
This discovery triggered a re-evaluation of the cosmological constant. Cosmologists have discovered that the cosmological constant introduced by Einstein appears to be very similar to the properties of this dark energy. Further experimental and observational studies show that the traditional Standard Model needs to introduce a non-zero cosmological constant (lambda) to explain this dark energy.
The findings of this reassessment have far-reaching implications. Not only did it change our understanding of the expansion of the universe, it also had a major impact on how the universe ends. According to the current research results, if the dark energy in the universe remains constant, the expansion of the universe will never stop and will continue to expand to the limit. This means that the universe will eventually be disintegrated into an empty, infinite state, known as the “Big Rip”.
However, this isn’t the only ending model for the universe. Other hypotheses and theories exist, such as the “big impact” model of the universe and the “big crunch” model. According to the big impact model, the universe will stop expanding and gradually contract, eventually triggering a “big impact”, forming a new cosmic cycle. According to the big collapse model, the universe will undergo a cycle of alternating expansion and contraction, that is, an infinite number of cosmic evolutions.
Cosmologists are conducting further research and observations to better understand the fate of the universe and the role of the cosmological constant. For example, through the measurement of the cosmic microwave background radiation and the study of astrophysics, we can more accurately understand the properties of dark energy and the cosmological constant. In addition, physical experiments in the laboratory can also provide important clues about dark energy and the fate of the universe.
In addition, theoretical physicists are also working hard to find a more comprehensive theoretical framework to explain the problems of the cosmological constant and the ending of the universe. For example, cutting-edge research fields such as string theory and gravitational wave physics have provided some new ideas and hypotheses in an attempt to solve this complex cosmic mystery.
In short, Einstein’s biggest mistake may be that he misjudged the role of the cosmological constant, but this mistake also triggered in-depth thinking and research on the ending of the universe. Cosmologists are constantly exploring the nature and evolution of the universe through experimental observations, theoretical models, and numerical calculations. Although we have not yet fully revealed what the ending of the universe is, this process of exploration will surely push mankind to a greater step in understanding the universe and bring about a more profound impact on our human civilization.