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
Landmark Cosmic Observation Provides Tantalizing Hints of Dark Matter
Today, scientists announced that they’d seen evidence of a long-sought signal from the first stars. Today, scientists announced that they’d seen evidence of a long-sought signal from the first stars. This slight change to some ambient radio waves could herald the first step in a new kind of astronomy. But maybe, just maybe, it’s also evidence of dark matter interacting with regular matter in the ancient universe.
- 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.
Tangled 'particle' helps scientists model rare ball lightning
Ball lightning (those bright spheres of light during some thunderstorms) remains mysterious despite decades of study.It sounds complex (and it is), but it leads to one clear advantage: you can take snapshots of the gas and examine the inner workings of its structure. This could help understand the behavior of ball lightning, of course, but it could be also be useful for the next generation of computing. Quantum computers need to maintain a coherent state despite the outside environment -- since skyrmions can be deformed without losing their properties, they could be ideal for quantum machines that can function outside of ideal conditions.
The energy released by the event would destabilize the laws of physics and chemistry.
As part of their study, published in the journalthe 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 .
4000 Early Universe Galaxies Mapped In 3D
David Sobral of Lancaster University, U.K., and his colleagues used the Subaru telescope in Hawaii and the Isaac Newton telescope in the Canary Islands to look back in time between 11 and 13 billion years ago. This was just a few billion years after the birth of the universe, or 7-20% of its current age, and allowed the group to see nearly 4000 galaxies as they appeared during their infancy. © Photo: D. Sobral This is a map of the cube of spacetime covered in the new survey, showing the 'lookback time' to the galaxies in billions of years. The positions of the 4,000 galaxies appear as circles.
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.
Hawking's last physics paper argues for a 'simpler' cosmos
Stephen Hawking, who died in March, has delivered his last thoughts about the nature of the cosmos. Load Error
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.
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.
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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