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Space & Astronomy

'Energy bubble' could destroy the universe

By T.K. Randall
April 4, 2018 · Comment icon 6 comments



There are many theories concerning the end of the universe. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/ESO
Physicists at Harvard University have suggested that the universe could end almost as abruptly as it began.
While there is no way to tell for sure how the universe will end, many scientists subscribe to the idea that it will experience an extremely long, slow demise over countless trillions of years.

According to a new study however, there is a possibility that the universe could, in the distant future, end in a rapid, destructive event triggered by a peculiar consequence of subatomic physics.

The key lies in the mass of the Higgs boson particle which, due to a quirk of quantum physics, may not always be constant. Should it change in the future, it could trigger an expanding bubble of negative energy, obliterating everything in its path and bringing about the demise of the cosmos.

"It is sobering to envision this bubble, with its wall of negative energy, barrelling towards us at the speed of light," said Harvard researcher Anders Andreassen. "We will never see it coming."
Fortunately though, such a scenario is unlikely to occur for an extremely long time.

"It turns out we're right on the edge between a stable universe and an unstable universe," said physicist Joseph Lykken from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

"We're sort of right on the edge where the universe can last for a long time."

"Eventually, it should go 'boom.'"

Source: Live Science | Comments (6)




Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by IBelieveWhatIWant 6 years ago
So pretty much an infinite loop of repeating Big Bangs. Not Big Crush or Infinite Expansion until it's a cold dead universe but just one after another, repeating Big Bangs. That is if I am understanding it correctly and I wouldn't place any bets on the fact that I am.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Vanillon 6 years ago
Things like this constantly keep me up at night.
Comment icon #3 Posted by StarMountainKid 6 years ago
If you read the source article, the ultimate fate of the universe is not well understood.
Comment icon #4 Posted by bison 6 years ago
There's a problem with this prediction of universal doom. It's spelled out in the article linked in the original post. Itnotes thatthe calculations that would see the universe end in this way, do not take the effects of dark matter into account. As dark matteraccounts forabout 80 percent of the universe, I wouldn't put too much stock in this prediction.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
You are a very lucky person if your worst fear is this. Just sayin'
Comment icon #6 Posted by Vanillon 6 years ago
That's a nice way to look at it, but it's far from my worst fear.


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