Phantom Energy: Dark Energy with w<-1 Causes a Cosmic Doomsday

Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 071301 – Published 13 August 2003
Robert R. Caldwell, Marc Kamionkowski, and Nevin N. Weinberg


We explore the consequences that follow if the dark energy is phantom energy, in which the sum of the pressure and energy density is negative. The positive phantom-energy density becomes infinite in finite time, overcoming all other forms of matter, such that the gravitational repulsion rapidly brings our brief epoch of cosmic structure to a close. The phantom energy rips apart the Milky Way, solar system, Earth, and ultimately the molecules, atoms, nuclei, and nucleons of which we are composed, before the death of the Universe in a “big rip.”


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  • Received 20 February 2003
  • Published 13 August 2003

© 2003 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Robert R. Caldwell1, Marc Kamionkowski2, and Nevin N. Weinberg2

  • 1Department of Physics & Astronomy, Dartmouth College, 6127 Wilder Laboratory, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA
  • 2Mail Code 130-33, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA

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