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Technology A second 'Big Bang' could end our universe in an instant — and it's all because of a tiny particle that controls the laws of physics

16:21  05 april  2018
16:21  05 april  2018 Source:   businessinsider.com

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black hole © Provided by Business Insider black hole NASA
  • Physicists found that our universe will likely end the way it began, with a second 'Big Bang.'
  • This is because of an unstable Higgs Boson particle. If the particle's mass changes, it could upend the laws of physics.
  • The researchers think our universe will likely end in approximately 10 million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years.

Our known universe may end the same way it was created: With a big, sudden bang.

That's according to new research from a group of Harvard physicists, who found that the destabilization of the Higgs Boson — a tiny quantum particle that gives other particles mass — could lead to a huge explosion of energy that would consume everything in the known universe.

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The energy released by the event would destabilize the laws of physics and chemistry.

As part of their study, published in the journal Physical Review D, the researchers calculated when they believe our universe will end.

It's nothing to worry about yet. They settled on a date 10^139 years from now — or 10 million trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years in the future. And they're at least 95% sure (a statistical measure of certainty) that the universe will last at least another 10^58 years.

The Higgs Boson, first discovered by researchers smashing subatomic protons together at the Large Hadron Collider experiment, has a specific mass. If the researchers are correct, that mass could change, turning physics on its head and tearing apart the elements that make life possible, reports The New York Post

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And rather than a slow burn over trillions of years, an unstable Higgs Boson could create an instantaneous bang — like the Big Bang that created our universe — wiping everything out. The collapse could be driven by the curvature of spacetime around a black hole, somewhere deep in the universe.

Spacetime curves around super dense objects, like a black hole, throwing the ordinary laws of physics out of whack, and causing particles to interact in all sorts of strange ways. 

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The process of collapse may have already begun, according to the researchers, but we really have no way of knowing because the Higgs Boson particle may be located far away from where we can analyze it, in our seemingly infinite universe. 

"It turns out we’re right on the edge between a stable universe and an unstable universe," Joseph Lykken, a physicist from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory who was not involved in the study, told The New York Post. 

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  This bold experiment aims to solve one of the biggest mysteries in science Why is the universe full of matter?The Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) will involve shooting beams of neutrinos from a particle accelerator in suburban Chicago through the Earth to a neutrino detector set up in an abandoned mine 800 miles away in South Dakota. Though DUNE won't get going for several years, its scientists are already working on necessary modifications to the accelerator, and building smaller, prototype versions of the vast detector — and feeling amped about what they might learn from the experiment.

"We're sort of right on the edge where the universe can last for a long time, but eventually, it should go 'boom'," Lykken said. 

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Oxford researchers have for the first time captured the nothing in our universe .
© Shutterstock The universe When scientists take a look into space, they mostly research matter such as the galaxies, our Milky Way or other neighboring galaxies. But it is also worth taking a look at what lies in between - the Voids, the big nothing. The voids are the voids between the filaments (connections between galaxy clusters). Voids form the largest structures in in our universe, explains "Scienceblogs", and can be billions of light years in size.

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