The post might be in the wrong forum, and it's likely that a similar question has been asked earlier, but I couldn't find it with my feeble attempts at searching. It's apparently well known that you can't rip quarks away from each other and get singular quarks. The gluon bond gets stronger with increased distance, so when the quarks get sufficiently far away from each other, new quarks pop into existence due to the increased energy in the gluon bond. However if the universe ends with a so called Big Rip, where dark energy forces everything apart, would that also rip quarks away from each other? I keep imagining that the very act of separating the quarks from each other would create lots of new quarks/baryons. It might even total up in a huge amount of new matter, with the consequences that might have. I've never heard this mentioned anywhere, and it's been bugging me for a few weeks now. I'll be very glad for any answer to this. There's most likely a logical error somewhere, but I just don't see it. If one is to stretch this idea very far, it could open the possibility that the sudden increase in baryons could - through gravity - slow down the expansion of the universe. Then the dark energy would slowly increase the speed of the expansion and it all repeats, making the universe cyclic.