Two weeks before the renowned physicist died at the age of 76, Stephen Hawking has developed a theory detailing how the Universe would cease to exist.
In a mathematical paper titled A Smooth Exit From Eternal Inflation? that he co-authored with Thomas Hertog of KU Leuven University, he proposes the existence of many other universes, as well as ways on how they can be discovered.
Hawking's final work likewise disproves that the universe is infinite. He predicts that it will ultimately fade into darkness as the stars burn off all of their hydrogens and die out.
"The exit from eternal inflation does not produce an infinite fractal-like multiverse, but is finite and reasonably smooth," states the paper, which was published online by the Cornell University Library.
Should their theory prove true, Hawking and Hertog have great chances of becoming candidates for the Nobel Prize in Physics. The deceased physicist has always been nominated for the award but never won just yet.
According to his children, he passed away at his Cambridge residence on Wednesday, March 18.
Other Theories On The Death Of The Universe
Many other scientists have the same theory on how the universe will come to an end. Astronomy Cast co-host Fraser Cain assured it is likely to happen trillions of years from now when the temperature of the universe hits just a fraction of a degree above Absolute Zero.
By then, galaxies can no longer create new stars and those included in the main sequence have already turned into cold white dwarfs.
Everything in the universe, from black holes down to the smallest particle, will evaporate and eventually disappear. This phenomenon is dubbed by scientists as the "Heat Death" of the Universe.
This entire time, the universe has never stopped expanding. As it inflates, matter and energy are evenly distributed into different corners, therefore accelerating the process.
Once all things have reached the same level of temperature or maximum entropy, the universe will stop expanding and start dying.
"Right above the place where no further energy can be extracted from an atom and no work can be done," describes Cain in a report.
The Life Cycle Of Stars
When massive clouds of dust and gas are clumped together by gravitational forces, they form what scientists call a "protostar."
As nuclear reaction occurs in this young star, it begins to emit energy and turns into a main sequence star just like the Earth's Sun.
From there, it can become either a red giant star or red supergiant star. Those that transform into a red giant eventually cool down into a white dwarf, then into a black dwarf when it loses all of its hydrogens.
Meanwhile, super red giants larger than the Sun later become a supernova, then grow into either a neutron star or black hole.
The life cycle of stars proves they change throughout their lifetime and that they're finite. It supports Hawking's theory on the death of the universe.