Big Rip will end the universe, scientists claim

A group of scientists claim to have evidence supporting the Big Rip theory, explaining how the universe will end, in 22 billion years. Researchers at Vanderbilt University have discovered a new mathematical formulation that supports the Big Rip theory, that as the universe expands, it will eventually be ripped apart.
“The idea of the Big Rip is that eventually even the constituents of matter would start separating from each other. You’d be seeing all the atoms being ripped apart … it’s fair to say that it’s a dramatic scenario,” Dr Marcelo Disconzi told the Guardian. Scientists observed distant supernovae to examine whether the Big Rip theory, which was first suggested in 2003, was possible.
The theory relies on the assumption that the universe continues to expand faster and faster, eventually causing the Big Rip. Conflicting theories for how the universe will end include the Big Crunch, whereby the Big Bang reverses and everything contracts, and the Big Freeze, where as the universe slowly expands it eventually becomes too cold to sustain life.