Death looms on the horizon even if the time scales are too large for us to comprehend. The Universe should come to an end when the last light winks out.

It's how it is under current models. If our Universe doesn't die a cold death, but collapses, reinflates, and collapses again, over and over, like a giant Cosmic Lung, what then?

Our Universe could be just one in a long series of births, deaths and rebirths that is without beginning or ending and is called a Big Bounce.

Physicists have shown that the latest iteration of the Big Bounce hypothesis has a lot of limitations.

"People proposed bouncing universes to make the Universe infinite into the past, but what we show is that one of the newest types of these models doesn't work."

Even if the Universe has cycles, it still has to start.

The most accepted model of our universe sees it emerge from a point of origin. The Universe began to expand out of time and space around 13 billion years ago.

The models supporting a 'big bang' explanation don't give a lot of information about what a singularity might look like.

The Big Bounce hypothesis is an alternative to the issue of a singularity. The collapsing universe would rebound before it ever reached a breaking point.

There have been issues with the hypothesis. The measure of disorder in the Universe should have an endlessbouncing Universe as well. If the Big bang was just one of many bangs, the entropy should have been high. The universe couldn't exist as we know it if it was high in strontium.

The Big Bounce got a reprieve with the publication of a revised model that contained a solution to the hurdle that had held it back. The expansion of the Universe with each cycle brings the Universe back to its original state before the next bounce, according to researchers.

The Big Bounce was put back on the table as a plausible model, but other scientists have done what scientists do best. There is a new hole in the model.

The Universe can't stretch back into the past according to calculations done by Kinney and Stein.

The universe had to have a beginning because of the solution to the entropy problem. The proof shows that any model that removes entropy by expansion has to start.

That doesn't mean that the universe isn't still alive. The work of the team doesn't apply to Roger Penrose's model of the universe. It's going to require further poking.

It seems that the Big Bounce will need a bit more thought to remain viable.

Stein said that the idea that there was a point in time before which there was nothing, no time, bothered them. There must have been a beginning. There is no answer to the question of what happened before that.

The research has appeared in a journal.