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Old February 22 2013, 06:23 PM   #31
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
It took 14.8 Ga for life to reach the stage it is presently in, so to observe what we observe the universe doesn't need stability for more than a few tens of billions of years. Exactly the big slurp time frame.
I think this is an astute observation.

About the easiest way to get to a happier place from there is to point out that, on the other hand, that fact alone doesn't seem to have any bearing on the question of whether additionally stability actually exists.

And, as far as the hypothesis presented in the OP is concerned, it's naturally way too preliminary.
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Old February 22 2013, 08:09 PM   #32
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

Saul wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
No, I don't think that's what they're saying. This wouldn't be an alternate reality with stars and planets like ours.
But still a Universe in some terms.
Sure, in the same way that Earth will still be a planet a couple of billion years from now when the increase in the Sun's temperature will have rendered it too hot for life. It will be the same planet transformed into something completely different, and it would be misleading to call that an "alternate planet."
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Old February 22 2013, 08:14 PM   #33
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

CorporalCaptain wrote: View Post
YellowSubmarine wrote: View Post
It took 14.8 Ga for life to reach the stage it is presently in, so to observe what we observe the universe doesn't need stability for more than a few tens of billions of years. Exactly the big slurp time frame.
I think this is an astute observation.

About the easiest way to get to a happier place from there is to point out that, on the other hand, that fact alone doesn't seem to have any bearing on the question of whether additionally stability actually exists.

And, as far as the hypothesis presented in the OP is concerned, it's naturally way too preliminary.
I'd just like to say how much I enjoy both of these posts. That is all. I'm too ignorant to add anything of value.
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Old February 23 2013, 04:17 AM   #34
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

Well that settles that. We'll need some pretty wicked technological advances to combat this one. I'm thinking TARDIS level tech by no later than 500,000,000AD, just to be on the safe side.
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Old February 23 2013, 09:50 PM   #35
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

gturner wrote: View Post
The alternate destructo-universe definitely needs a cool name.
I think the proper term is "Collapse of the Vacuum," just as the cosmic egg that spawned the big bang--with all the universe's matter energy--was called the monobloc.
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Old February 23 2013, 10:05 PM   #36
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

^Well, the monobloc/'cosmic egg" idea is a few decades out of date. Have you been reading old Asimov F&SF essays? I can't find any current online references to the term "monobloc" in connection with cosmology outside of a few works of fiction and discussion threads. It tends to be called a singularity these days in formal usage. And there are a lot of different hypotheses about what the nature of that singularity was, including the idea that it was simply a localized burst of expansion within a pre-existing vacuum, a universe born out of an earlier universe. The Big Bang may have been a change of state in the vacuum much like this end-of-the-universe state change that's being proposed.
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Old February 25 2013, 01:04 AM   #37
Robert D. Robot
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

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^No; nor does it predict when a critical mass of people will finally figure out that that joke stopped being funny years ago.
Well, for the record, I actually was not someone who saw any problem with the use of lens flare in Trek 2009, but I did indeed leap at the opportunity for a lame joke upthread. I am sorry to have cluttered up this quite serious and informative discussion with a comment that did not contribute meaningfully to the thread. I can not, however, promise that it will not happen again....
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Old February 25 2013, 06:35 AM   #38
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

In the new Higgs universe where basic physics gets altered, the laws of refraction might shift in a way that makes lens flare a serious and ongoing problem until we regrind or replace our existing cameras. This also implies that a warp starship could travel through regions of space where lens flare varies from normal, explaining why the effect would only be used during only selected parts of a movie, or in areas of the ship that aren't shielded as well. Data could probably adjust shield phase and nutation to reduce lens flare, which is why we never saw it on ST:TNG.
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Old February 25 2013, 08:34 AM   #39
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

So the universe ends with the cosmic version of "Fuck it all, and reformat the drive"? Huh, seems fitting.

gturner wrote: View Post
In the new Higgs universe where basic physics gets altered, the laws of refraction might shift in a way that makes lens flare a serious and ongoing problem until we regrind or replace our existing cameras. This also implies that a warp starship could travel through regions of space where lens flare varies from normal, explaining why the effect would only be used during only selected parts of a movie, or in areas of the ship that aren't shielded as well. Data could probably adjust shield phase and nutation to reduce lens flare, which is why we never saw it on ST:TNG.
So that means this universe is no longer canon? Wait, am I no long canon? How does that affect my cosmological fanfic? Let me guess, Enterprise is still canon to both universes...great, just great.
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Old February 25 2013, 07:14 PM   #40
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

What if there's a billion year cycle of slight expansion and slight contraction? How could we ever notice that when we're in the expansion phase of the cycle?
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Old February 25 2013, 07:40 PM   #41
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

Christopher wrote: View Post
Saul wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
No, I don't think that's what they're saying. This wouldn't be an alternate reality with stars and planets like ours.
But still a Universe in some terms.
Sure, in the same way that Earth will still be a planet a couple of billion years from now when the increase in the Sun's temperature will have rendered it too hot for life. It will be the same planet transformed into something completely different, and it would be misleading to call that an "alternate planet."
I don't believe I used that term to describe the universe either and agree with you.
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Old February 25 2013, 08:41 PM   #42
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
What if there's a billion year cycle of slight expansion and slight contraction? How could we ever notice that when we're in the expansion phase of the cycle?
Well, the problem there is that nothing in the standard model would create variations in the expansion rate once you're past the very, very early universe (inflation theory, condensation of matter, etc). If we conjecture that there is a cosmological constant, we can conjecture that perhaps it decays, and perhaps we can conjecture that it could vary, but in reality we're just piling up assumptions and writing speculative science fiction instead of physics research.

We might as well speculate that FTL travel is possible, then that it requires a warp field, and then that highly-traveled regions of space start suffering from space-time distortions as subspace starts to break down.
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Old February 26 2013, 12:11 AM   #43
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
What if there's a billion year cycle of slight expansion and slight contraction? How could we ever notice that when we're in the expansion phase of the cycle?
The expansion of the universe was decelerating several billion years ago, then it began to accelerate again. The Standard Model accounts for this as being caused by gravity--the expansion was decelerating because of the force of gravity pulling everything together. It finally hit a "breaking point" where the expansion was no longer hampered by gravity, which allowed it to begin accelerating once more.
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Old February 26 2013, 04:25 AM   #44
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

I cannot recall how the Standard Model supposedly accounts for that "breaking point" except by making some far-reaching assumptions about the nature of dark energy. I have an impression, however, that those assumptions would be rendered irrelevant by the existence of dark matter, the abundance of which should have counteracted that "breaking point" if it existed at the time.
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Old February 26 2013, 03:39 PM   #45
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I cannot recall how the Standard Model supposedly accounts for that "breaking point" except by making some far-reaching assumptions about the nature of dark energy. I have an impression, however, that those assumptions would be rendered irrelevant by the existence of dark matter, the abundance of which should have counteracted that "breaking point" if it existed at the time.
From what I remember, it is related to dark energy. The sequence is something like:

1. Big Bang
2. Extremely rapid expansion (inflationary period)
3. Long-term deceleration of expansion caused by the gravitational attraction of all matter in the universe to each other
4. Accelerated expansion as the influence of gravity is overtaken by the influence of dark energy (essentially vacuum energy), which intensifies over time

This article goes into some detail about how the deceleration/acceleration was inferred from observational evidence.
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