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Could a 'bubble of nothing' eat the universe ?

Posted on Monday, 9 March, 2020 | Comment icon 49 comments

Could a 'bubble of nothing' wipe out the entire universe ? Image Credit: NASA / Alain Riazuelo
According to physicists, a hole in the fabric of reality could wipe out everything in the universe.
In the classic 1984 fantasy movie 'The Neverending Story', the world of Fantasia is being devoured by a malevolent force known as the 'Nothing' - effectively wiping it and its inhabitants from existence.

But what if something similar could actually happen in real life ?

The idea that the universe could begin to consume itself out of existence has been around since 1982 when physicist Edward Witten described such a phenomenon as "a hole [that] spontaneously forms in space and rapidly expands to infinity, pushing to infinity anything it may meet."

Now a new paper penned by three physicists from the University of Oviedo in Spain and the University of Uppsala in Sweden has revisited this idea and what it can tell us about the universe.

The idea concerns a 'bubble of nothing' that could spontaneously form and continue to expand like a reverse Big Bang, eventually wiping out the entire cosmos.
"[A bubble of nothing] describes a possible channel for 'universe destruction;' in that the bubble of nothing expands and can 'eat' all of spacetime, converting it into 'nothing'," said study co-author Marjorie Schillo from Uppsala University.

There is one major consolation however - the fact that the universe is still here after more than 13 billion years of existence suggests that such a fate is not very likely and may never happen at all.

"We don't know whether our spacetime is exactly stable," wrote Czech string theorist Lubos Motl. "It is plausible that it is threatened by a cosmic catastrophe."

"But because the universe has lived for [so long]... we know that the probability of the birth of a deadly [bubble of nothing] shouldn't be much larger than [an extremely tiny number far less than one]."

"If a theory predicted a (much) larger probability density of a lethal destructive tumor, it would also predict that our universe should have been (certainly) destroyed by now."

Source: | Comments (49)

Tags: Universe

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #40 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 10 March, 2020, 19:54
Even the story you claim backs you uses the word, "theoretical" in it's title. None of the many articles you have quoted put forward a single piece of evidence or observation that such an event is occurring.†
Comment icon #41 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 10 March, 2020, 19:55
@Damien99†Are you going to answer the question about what you think metastable means?
Comment icon #42 Posted by Damien99 on 10 March, 2020, 20:01
Metastable means middle but close t o unstable. And I am not arguing with you at all , all I am stating is according to the article one of the people that wrote the paper stated the universe is falling into a false vacuum state.† † thatís all I am saying and I am trying to understand what in the paper gives them that impression† i am just trying to get an understanding of what I am reading†
Comment icon #43 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 10 March, 2020, 20:33
Finally an answer. As I suspected you don't understand the term. Here is the definition from Here is the definition from Collins dictionary: Here is what wikipedia has to say on metastability in physics: and, from the same link as above, metastability in quantum mechanics: This is the main source of your continuous misunderstanding and inability to grasp the reality of the situation. Metastability IS NOT mid-way between stable and unstable. It is a state that is HIGHLY stable and long lasting, just not infinitely so. Scientists are not even sure if the universe is stable or met... [More]
Comment icon #44 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 10 March, 2020, 20:38
There is NOTHING in the paper that says they have that impression. NOTHING.† It is a hypothetical paper mathematically exploring a "what if" scenario. It is using maths to determine whether such a bubble can even, theoretically, exist. It is not trying to prove that such a bubble DOES exists. It's theoretical... that's what theoretical physicists do. I'll repeat this for seemingly the millionth time,† there is no observational evidence that such a bubble currently exists.†
Comment icon #45 Posted by Damien99 on 10 March, 2020, 20:38
Thank you,† i was just unsure if this paper found something new, especially since it say that the universe is falling into a false vacuum state now.
Comment icon #46 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 10 March, 2020, 20:40
Why thank me now. You have been posting this crap for weeks and ignoring everything you have been told.
Comment icon #47 Posted by Damien99 on 10 March, 2020, 20:45
I am not ignoring I am learning as i said I felt this paper found something we didnít know about. Because of the comments of currently falling into false vacuum state. †The article claims that this info came from†Ē Marjorie Schillo. I do†thank you and I mean it.† i keep looking though the paper for the false vacuum claim by Marjorie. Having trouble finding the futurism got that info †
Comment icon #48 Posted by jpeniel333 on 22 March, 2020, 19:11
It amazes me how stupid people think they know anything about me.
Comment icon #49 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 23 March, 2020, 15:06
I don't claim to know anything about you, but I have a lot of experience with posts like this: I have NEVER seen a post like that made by someone that understood the subject being discussed. I have never seen a post like that made by someone with a good understanding of the scientific method. Maybe you are the exception. Maybe you are going to prove you are the exception by making an intelligent, coherent post backing why you think the scientists involved in this research are stupid. Maybe you will manage to do so without childishly calling anyone else stupid. Maybe but, on the evidence presen... [More]

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