How will it all end? Motivated by concern or just out of curiosity, this question recurs in both daily life and philosophical debates. This book explores the fate of the universe from different standpoints, starting from the small rocky planet that we inhabit and which survives thanks to the Sun, but also involving the entire, grand, and probably infinite universe we can observe with powerful telescopes. Contemporary cosmology and astrophysics provide reliable predictions: we know that the Sun evolves over time and that, in about a billion years, the gradual increase of its energy flows will make life impossible on Earth. Even if humanity manages to endure until then, will we be able to migrate to other worlds? And what will be the fate of our galaxy? The author, an internationally renowned cosmologist, critically examines the likelihood of various conjectures and draws attention to the fact that we should be interested not only in solid answers, but also in what we can learn from trying to find them.
Paolo de Bernardis teaches Astrophysics and Observational Cosmology at the Sapienza University in Rome. A member of the Accademia dei Lincei, he used to co-ordinate the Boomerang (Balloon Observations Of Millimetric Extragalactic Radiation ANd Geophysics) Experiment and was co-investigator of the European Space Agency’s Planck Mission, both aiming to attain an image of the primordial universe.