Cosmologists from Britain are confused: they guess that the universe should not have lasted for more than a second. This surprising assumption is the outcome of merging the newest interpretations of the sky with the latest discovery of the Higgs boson. According to Robert Hogan of King's College London (KCL), who presented the new research on 24 June at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting. After the Universe created in the Big Bang, it is supposed to have moved out over a short period of quick expansion known as 'cosmic inflation'. Even though the details of this procedure are not yet completely understood, cosmologists have been able to make predictions of how this would affect the Universe we understand currently. In March 2014, scientists from the BICEP2 collaboration claimed to have identified one of these projected effects. If correct, their outcomes are a major development in our understanding of cosmology and a validation of the inflation theory, but they have proven debatable and are not yet completely acknowledged by cosmologists.
Image demonstrates gravitational lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background. Credit: ESA/Planck Collaboration
In the new study, researchers from KCL have studied what the BICEP2 interpretations mean for the constancy of the Universe. To do this, they joined the outcomes with new developments in particle physics. The discovery of the Higgs boson by the Large Hadron Collider was proclaimed in July 2012; ever since, much has been understood about its properties. Measurements of the Higgs boson have permitted particle physicists to display that our universe lies in a valley of the 'Higgs field', which defines the way that other particles have mass. Though, there is a dissimilar valley which is far deeper, but our universe is avoiding from sinking into it by a huge energy barrier. The difficulty is that the BICEP2 outcomes forecast that the universe would have received huge 'kicks' during the cosmic inflation stage, pushing it into the additional valley of the Higgs field in a fraction of a second. If that had occurred, the universe would have rapidly shrunken in a BigCrunch.
"This is an unacceptable prediction of the theory because if this had happened we wouldn't be around to discuss it" said Hogan, who is a PhD student at KCL and led the study "If BICEP2 is shown to be correct, it tells us that there has to be interesting new particle physics beyond the standard model" Maybe the BICEP2 outcomes comprise an error. If not, there has been some other, as yet unknown, procedure which stopped the universe from collapsing.