Will the Universe End in a Bubble of Doom?

We may have survived the Large Hadron Collider, but the Higgs boson still has a trick up its sleeves. According to new findings on the "Higgs-like" particle discovered last year, the universe will end in a bubble of doom.

"If you use all the physics that we know now, and we do what we think is a straightforward calculation, it's bad news," Lykken said. "It may be that the universe we live in is inherently unstable. At some point, billions of years from now, it's all going to be wiped out."

He said the parameters for our universe, including the Higgs mass value as well as the mass of another subatomic particle known as the top quark, suggest that we're just at the edge of stability, in a "metastable" state. Physicists have been contemplating such a possibility for more than 30 years. Back in 1982, physicists Michael Turner and Frank Wilczek wrote in Nature that "without warning, a bubble of true vacuum could nucleate somewhere in the universe and move outwards at the speed of light, and before we realized what swept by us our protons would decay away."

Lykken put it slightly differently: "The universe wants to be in a different state, so eventually to realize that, a little bubble of what you might think of as an alternate universe will appear somewhere, and it will spread out and destroy us."

But you've got time, it likely won't happen for a few billions of years: Link | Image: I Survived The Large Hadron Collider


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Merrily, merrily! For some reason, in the midst of helping to move our family's belongings into a new house my father designed and built, I ran across his "A Free Man's Worship" and read it and it affected me profoundly. I think I was around 15 at the time. As I listlessly carried box after box of things out of the truck and up the stairs I can remember being consumed with thoughts of how futile the whole enterprise was. Happy days. It took me about ten years to climb out of that hole and Bertrand's scaffolding wasn't much help, I can tell you!
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"all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruin"

Like you said, Bertrand is one cheerful fellow.
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"...only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built."

Bertrand must be cheering in his grave. Oh, wait...
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