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## Summary:

- What will happen to EM waves / photons when the rate of expansion of the Universe overtakes light speed?

## Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm not an expert in this matter, and at best only aware of some superficial facts and a layman's understanding of them. So please forgive me for any ignorant mistakes in my thoughts, and kindly point them out to me.

Going by the Lambda-CDM model, the expansion of the Universe will eventually overtake light speed, and all matter will disintegrate including sub-atomic particles. This part and it's subsequent conclusions are very unclear to me and I'm laying down my doubts in the following series of questions-

1) What will happen specifically to each of the 12 fundamental particles?

2) Just talking about photons, as the Universe is predicted to become a sea of isolated photons upon reaching maximum entropy, how will they be affected?

(I think we are somewhat better equipped to answer this one taking into account the effects we can already observe, i.e. redshifting.)

3) Supposing that an observer stands at the required distance from the center of the universe, will the first light of the Universe (idk, maybe the radiation from the Big-Bang) ever be able to make it to the observer or will it eventually get overtaken by expanding space? If it does, how far would that distance be?

(Asking this one because we roughly already know both the age of the universe and the time it will take for the rate of expansion to exceed light speed {the rate of acceleration of expansion, basically}.)

4) What will happen to exotic/strange matter? (Like the stuff that generated from strangelets near black-holes.)

And a related bonus question-

5) Should dark-energy, the causative agent of expansion, be considered as a 5th fundamental force of nature, since its effects are similarly independent of the other 4, and are already observable as well? (Maybe less than 4 but I don't wanna go into unification here.)

I understand that most of my queries fall into the realm of speculation and are more hypothetical or maybe even fundamental in nature, but I'd still like to know how much we can answer with our current knowledge.

Kindly explain your thoughts to me in similar layman-terminology about all this.

Thank you for your time.

Going by the Lambda-CDM model, the expansion of the Universe will eventually overtake light speed, and all matter will disintegrate including sub-atomic particles. This part and it's subsequent conclusions are very unclear to me and I'm laying down my doubts in the following series of questions-

1) What will happen specifically to each of the 12 fundamental particles?

2) Just talking about photons, as the Universe is predicted to become a sea of isolated photons upon reaching maximum entropy, how will they be affected?

(I think we are somewhat better equipped to answer this one taking into account the effects we can already observe, i.e. redshifting.)

3) Supposing that an observer stands at the required distance from the center of the universe, will the first light of the Universe (idk, maybe the radiation from the Big-Bang) ever be able to make it to the observer or will it eventually get overtaken by expanding space? If it does, how far would that distance be?

(Asking this one because we roughly already know both the age of the universe and the time it will take for the rate of expansion to exceed light speed {the rate of acceleration of expansion, basically}.)

4) What will happen to exotic/strange matter? (Like the stuff that generated from strangelets near black-holes.)

And a related bonus question-

5) Should dark-energy, the causative agent of expansion, be considered as a 5th fundamental force of nature, since its effects are similarly independent of the other 4, and are already observable as well? (Maybe less than 4 but I don't wanna go into unification here.)

I understand that most of my queries fall into the realm of speculation and are more hypothetical or maybe even fundamental in nature, but I'd still like to know how much we can answer with our current knowledge.

Kindly explain your thoughts to me in similar layman-terminology about all this.

Thank you for your time.