Higgs Boson calculations add up to new Armageddon scenario

A Fermilab theoretical physicist suggests that qualities of the "God particle" show an "alternate" universe could easily "spread out and destroy us."

A proton-proton collision event for an experiment generating two high-energy photons. CERN

Anyone who thinks the end is nigh with a giant asteroid colliding into Earth may have a new apocalypse scenario to worry about.

It all boils down to the Higgs Boson particle, aka the "God particle."

Calculations that came with the likely discovery of the Higgs Boson last July also show that the particle's mass qualities could spell out the end of the universe said Fermilab theoretical physicist Joseph Lykken yesterday, according to NBC's Cosmic Log.

However, doomsdayers don't need to fret too much, the scientist also said that the likelihood of such a demise is probably tens of billions of years off.

The God particle was likely discovered last year when scientists at the CERN nuclear research facility observed a particle consistent with the Higgs running through the Large Hadron Collider. Until then, the particle was a theoretical idea rather than a sure thing. Higgs is thought to be responsible for mass in the otherwise-already-proven standard model of physics.

Theory on the particle indicates that mass can be transmitted to other fundamental particles in the universe, which is how the possibility of the end of the world comes into play. This idea of mass transference suggests that the universe is not completely stable -- it's actually in a "metastable" state.

"If you use all the physics that we know now, and we do what we think is a straightforward calculation, it's bad news," Lykken said, according to NBC. "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."

Basically, Lykken says that our universe could easily be slapped out by another universe. However, he also said that if it does happen, it will happen at the speed of light -- which means it will be so fast we won't even realize it.

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NBC
About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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