I heard about this theory a while ago, and I seem to recall someone trying to explain it to me, but I can't recall the explanation itself, so I'm asking someone (who knows what they're talking about) to explain how this is possible.
For those of you who don't know, the "[wiki]Big Rip[/wiki]" is one of many possible ends of the Universe. It basically says that the expansion of the Universe will reach infinity in finite time, tearing open space-time and possibly create new universes in those rips. Yes, I know this is not what the Wikipedia article says, but it is what I read here (or, at the very least, on a link posted here).
Now, as far as I know, when physicists and astrophysicists give the "the Universe is like a flat t-shirt with heavy objects on it" explanation for gravity, they don't mean this literally. Space-time is not physical. It can't "rip". I'd understand if physicists said that a black hole could do it, seeing as how it's the second most powerful object in the known Universe
, but merely by pushing things apart, it "rips"? Am I missing something here? I can even acknowledge Wikipedia's statement that atoms will be destroyed (presumably this means that they will be torn apart, rather than actually "destroyed"; if not, I am highly skeptical of this statement). However, I just can't comprehend how space-time can "rip". Or is it a metaphor/analogy for "essentially dead"?