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In a preface to a new book, the famed physicist fears the Higgs Boson becoming unstable and causing a "catastrophic vacuum decay." But how likely is that really?
Stephen Hawking seems to have turned into the man with the sandwich board that says: "The end is nigh."
Not only has he warned us that aliens might destroy us, but he's also been worrying that artificial intelligence might do the same.
Now he's perceiving a threat that might not merely put an end to Earth, but to the whole Universe.
As the UK's Sunday Times reports, Hawking is worried about the God particle. This, discovered by physicists during experiments within CERN's Large Hadron Collider, is a vital ingredient to explaining why things in our world have mass.
However, in a preface to a new book called "Starmus" -- a collection of lectures given by famous scientists and astronomers -- Hawking worried that the Higgs Boson might become unstable.
He wrote: "The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become metastable at energies above 100bn gigaelectronvolts (GeV)."
What might this lead to? Hawkins explained: "This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light. This could happen at any time and we wouldn't see it coming."
Before you prepare your loved ones for an evacuation to some distant star, Hawking did offer some hope with, it seems, a wry smile: "A particle accelerator that reaches 100bn GeV would be larger than Earth, and is unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate.
In essence, then, his fears might be theoretically valid, but their likelihood of actually coming to pass is somewhat smaller than that of the New York Jets winning the next Super Bowl.
it is not crazy to think we could make a collider in space
originally posted by: notjustanother
The smartest bloke on the planet is a vegetable
I dont buy it!
Life expectancy for about half of those with the condition is three to four years from the start of symptoms. However, some people may live for up to 10 years, and others even longer.
originally posted by: Spider879
Hawking did offer some hope with, it seems, a wry smile: "A particle accelerator that reaches 100bn GeV would be larger than Earth, and is unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate."
The process of transitioning to a lower energy state is sometimes called “vacuum decay.” If it occurred at any point in the universe, the bubble of this new vacuum state would expand outward at the speed of light. We wouldn’t have any warning until we were obliterated very suddenly. But getting to this new state requires an intense amount of energy—which is one of the reasons why Katie Mack, a theoretical astrophysicist at the University of Melbourne, thinks it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll be swallowed up by a cosmic death bubble any time soon.