Much of our modern scientific explorations — the hunt for distant Earth-like planets, the particle collisions going on over in Geneva — don’t necessarily garner much in the way of tangible results. We (today) won’t ever visit those far-off worlds, and understanding the origins of the cosmos, at this point in time, does nothing but satiate our curiosity.
It’s a quest for knowledge, and knowing…well, there’s only so much you can do with knowing.
A Cyclical Universe
Last year I brought up this post over at viXra log, which raised the possibility that a Higgs Boson with a mass of 125 gigaelectronvolts (GeV) would potentially indicate that the vacuum is unstable, which means the universe might one day…spontaneously explode.
This could open up the possibility that our universe is cyclical, existing in a constant state of birth and rebirth, “in which every so often all of space is renewed.”
“It has been known for about twenty years that for a low Higgs mass relative to the top quark mass, the quartic Higgs self-coupling runs at high energy towards lower values. At some point it would turn negative indicating that the vacuum is unstable.
In other words the universe could in theory spontaneously explode at some point releasing huge amounts of energy as it fell into a more stable lower energy vacuum state.
This catastrophe would spread across the universe at the speed of light in an unstoppable wave of heat that would destroy everything in its path. Happily the universe has survived a very long time without such mishaps so this can’t be part of reality, or can it?
As it turns out a Higgs mass of 125 GeV is quite a borderline case.”
And, as it turns out, scientists have determined that the Higgs Boson’s mass (or, I guess, the mass of what we’re currently calling the “Higgs-like particle”) is around 126 GeV.
This means our universe may very well be unstable, and may exist in a constant cycle of birth and rebirth. We’re simply living within one universe in a long cycle of temporary universes.
Stuck On Repeat
As BBC News wrote in February 2013, “If the calculation on vacuum instability stands up, it will revive an old idea that the Big Bang Universe we observe today is just the latest version in a permanent cycle of events.”
It’s a strange idea, that the universe is infinitely created and destroyed.
Of course, this is only a possibility, and even if the universe is cyclical and will one day go POP! and start all over again, that wouldn’t happen for billions and billions of years. We’re cool, for now.
But it’s funny to think that we’re living in a cycle, not just insignificant in comparison to our current cosmos, but to all those that have come before and will come after.
We’re part of something really big, here, and the only thing we can do is know.