In physical cosmology, the Big Rip
is a hypothetical cosmological model concerning the ultimate fate of the universe, in which the matter of the universe, from stars and galaxies to atoms and subatomic particles, and even spacetime itself, is progressively torn apart by the expansion of the universe at a certain time in the future, until distances between particles will become infinite. According to the standard model of cosmology the scale factor of the universe is accelerating and, in the future era of cosmological constant dominance, will increase exponentially. However, this expansion is similar for every moment of time, and is characterized by an unchanging, small Hubble constant, effectively ignored by any bound material structures. By contrast, in the Big Rip scenario the Hubble constant increases to infinity in a finite time.