A Cosmologist Considers the Mortality of the Universe

Katie Mack, a cosmologist and authority on the end of the universe, begins her brief Ted Talk on that subject by saying, “I love the universe.” I hadn’t heard anyone say that before, but was pleased to hear it. I feel a lot of affection for the universe myself. It belongs to all of us, and all of us belong to it, and it’s impossible to say much about it that isn’t a hopeless understatement. According to the latest scientific findings, the universe is going to die. Ninety percent of the stars that will ever form, have already formed, and every one of them is doomed.The universe will hang on for hundreds of billions of years, but it’s already over the hill. I empathize with Professor Mack’s dismay that this object she loves will die and share her happiness that we have come to know it so well.