An Alternate Universe Will Eventually Destroy Ours, Says Higgs Researcher
By George Dvorsky / Source: io9.com
Remember that Higgs-like particle that scientists finally managed to pin down last year at the Large Hadron Collider? Well, it's proving to be a harbinger of bad news. According to Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the mass of the Higgs boson indicates that "the universe we live in is inherently unstable, and at some point billions of years from now it's all going to get wiped out."
The problem, says Lykken, is the potential for vacuum instability — a phenomenon that could spawn an all-consuming alternate universe within our own. But the doomsday scenario is dependant on some precise numbers related to the Higgs.
After last year's Higgs discovery, he performed a calculation that indicated the potential for a quantum fluctuation — an event that would create a lower-energy state bubble that expands at the speed of light and "sweep everything before it." He predicts that it won't happen for many tens of billions of years — an era that will mark the end-stage of the Universe anyway.
"A little bubble of what you might think of as an 'alternative' universe will appear somewhere and then it will expand out and destroy us," Lykken said.
Clara Moskowitz elaborates:
Looking ahead, particle physicists will need to nail down the precise mass of Higgs. If it's even just a few percentile points off the current estimate, Lykken's hypothesis can be thrown out the window.
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