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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old February 21 2013, 12:07 AM   #1
Ayelbourne
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Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

At least, that's what physicists at CERN are saying. They say, based on the measurements of the particle's mass, our universe might end in a vacuum decay in a few billion years from now.

http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2...-it-might?lite

Well, that would be rather unfortunate.
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Old February 21 2013, 12:19 AM   #2
JarodRussell
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

[Morgan Freeman Voice]

Everything is going to be just fine.

[/Morgan Freeman Voice]
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Old February 21 2013, 12:30 AM   #3
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

If it really happens in "tens of billions of years," we won't have to wait for the heat death of the universe, proton decay, or anything. An interesting twist, if true.
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Old February 21 2013, 12:41 AM   #4
RoJoHen
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

Can't wait for the reboot.
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Old February 21 2013, 02:16 AM   #5
Robert D. Robot
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

^

... Do the CERN folks predict whether there be more lens flare in any subsequent Universe?
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Old February 21 2013, 02:33 AM   #6
Christopher
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

^No; nor does it predict when a critical mass of people will finally figure out that that joke stopped being funny years ago.
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Old February 21 2013, 03:34 AM   #7
J. Allen
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

Well, fuck.

[cancels satellite subscription]
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Old February 21 2013, 04:01 AM   #8
gturner
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

This is at least better news that CERN figuring out that Higgs decay means the universe ended a couple of billion years in the past.

There was this nice quote though:

"The universe wants to be in a different state, so eventually to realize that, a little bubble of what you might think of as an alternate universe will appear somewhere, and it will spread out and destroy us."

The alternate destructo-universe definitely needs a cool name.
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Old February 21 2013, 04:08 AM   #9
J. Allen
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

gturner wrote: View Post
This is at least better news that CERN figuring out that Higgs decay means the universe ended a couple of billion years in the past.

There was this nice quote though:

"The universe wants to be in a different state, so eventually to realize that, a little bubble of what you might think of as an alternate universe will appear somewhere, and it will spread out and destroy us."

The alternate destructo-universe definitely needs a cool name.
Hank.
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Old February 21 2013, 04:34 AM   #10
Christopher
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

I'd say this sounds like a science fiction story, but it's already been several science fiction stories. Star Trek has already had one episode (DS9: "Playing God") and at least two novels (The Wounded Sky and The Three-Minute Universe) about proto-universes threatening to expand into and eradicate our universe. And I'm sure I've heard of other SF works about the idea too.
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Old February 21 2013, 04:42 AM   #11
C.E. Evans
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

gturner wrote: View Post
This is at least better news that CERN figuring out that Higgs decay means the universe ended a couple of billion years in the past.

There was this nice quote though:

"The universe wants to be in a different state, so eventually to realize that, a little bubble of what you might think of as an alternate universe will appear somewhere, and it will spread out and destroy us."

The alternate destructo-universe definitely needs a cool name.
The IRS universe.

Might not be cool, but probably appropriate.
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Old February 21 2013, 06:34 AM   #12
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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 shall call it "bullshit."

Because after spending billions of dollars to manufacture a gigantic particle accelerator for basically the specific purpose of investigating this one particle whose existence hadn't even been confirmed yet and whose discovery changes virtually nothing meaningful about physics either way, the theory has become indistinguishable from bullshit.

Cosmology and particle physics have both, IMO, turned the corner into a neighborhood that used to be dominated by theologians: they're used to having people believe them without question, even when their theories (like this one, for example) are borderline absurd. Naturally, this is all predicated on a device that only a handful of people in the world have access to and that only a small percentage of THEM are in any way qualified to operate (what are you gonna do, build your OWN hadron collider and find out for yourself?), so even if the theory is even partially based on REAL findings, there is ZERO chance that anyone in the world will ever be able to call them on it.

But since the scientific hocus-pocus that is the Higgs Boson is entirely immaterial for anything RESEMBLING practical applications of physics, the concept itself -- and the "death by alternate universe" theory -- shall be logged on my library under the heading "Quantum Bullshit."
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Old February 21 2013, 09:04 AM   #13
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

Christopher wrote: View Post
I'd say this sounds like a science fiction story, but it's already been several science fiction stories. Star Trek has already had one episode (DS9: "Playing God") and at least two novels (The Wounded Sky and The Three-Minute Universe) about proto-universes threatening to expand into and eradicate our universe. And I'm sure I've heard of other SF works about the idea too.
Wasn't the mostly execrable film Supernova (2000) based on a similar premise, where the state change was triggered by an alien artifact and a supernova?

Anyway, that the vacuum isn't in its lowest possible energy state has been mooted since at least the 70s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_vacuum
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Old February 21 2013, 09:56 AM   #14
gturner
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
gturner wrote: View Post
The alternate destructo-universe definitely needs a cool name.
I shall call it "bullshit."

...

But since the scientific hocus-pocus that is the Higgs Boson is entirely immaterial for anything RESEMBLING practical applications of physics, the concept itself -- and the "death by alternate universe" theory -- shall be logged on my library under the heading "Quantum Bullshit."
Well, I disagree somewhat with their conclusion. My Excel spreadsheet of the Higgs mass clearly indicates that the new universe, instead of destroying our own, will actually modify the Higgs field and boson-boson interactions in such a way as to give us telekinesis, visions of the future, and probably self-teleportation depending on whether the new-universe electrons have a fractional or integer spin. On the downside we'll have to defeat the orcs again.

/sarc

So like me, you think even von Daniken and Velikovsky wouldn't be associated with such wildly speculative nonsense based on a few rough observations of a particle that's been a fundamental part of the universe since its inception.
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Old February 21 2013, 10:24 AM   #15
Saul
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Re: Higgs Boson Mass points to end of our Universe

Well it seems that they are saying that the universe just recycles itself every couple of billion years. Which means we weren't the first universe, or the last and this might have happened lots of times already.

All of this happens has happened before and all of this will happen again?

The science of Star Trek 2009 is getting closer to reality. Black Holes between universes kinda makes sense now....
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