The shape of the Universe we inhabit is a very important issue for Cosmology.
The final destiny of the Universe itself depends on the form it has. However, even today the shape of the Universe is impossible to find out.
The shape of the Universe depends on its density, that is, on the amount of mass and energy it possesses. The problem is that we don't know how big the universe is or how much energy and matter there is in total. So we can't calculate its density either.
Einstein's theories pose three possible forms: closed, open, or flat. Although the shape of the Universe continues to be an enigma, most scientists think it is almost flat.
|Type of Universe||Density||Shape||Final destination|
|Closed universe||high||Spherical||Collapse and Big Crunch|
|Open universe||Low||Saddle||Cooling and Big Chill|
|Flat universe||Review||Flat||Decelerated expansion|
The form and destiny of the Universe
The Universe can have three possible forms:
Closed universe: If there is too much matter and energy, the density will be very high. The Universe will curl inward and have a sphere shape. It will be a finite Universe. Gravity will be stronger than expansion, all matter will end up grouping and the Universe will collapse. This ending is called Big Crunch.
Open universe: If the density of matter and energy is very low, the Universe will curve outward. It will have the shape of a saddle. It will be an infinite Universe, in infinite expansion. Gravity will be so weak that there can be no stars, no planets, not even atoms. Matter will separate and disintegrate until reduced to elementary particles. The Universe will cool and die. This ending is called Big Chill.
Flat Universe: If the amount of matter and energy is adequate, the density will be balanced. It is what is called critical density. Then the Universe will be flat. Gravity and expansion will be in balance. The Universe will expand, but more and more slowly.
Today it is believed that the Universe is almost flat, but there are still many doubts, since it is shown that the Universe is expanding more and more rapidly, and this seems to be a contradiction with the theory.
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