If you are interested in typical two-for-one monster flicks for example King Kong vs. Godzilla, then a recent paper merging two bêtes noires of pseudoscientific scaremongers—mini black holes and the breakdown of the vacuum—may appeal to you. Physicists working at the world's major atom-smasher—Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—have had to assure the public that, even if they can produce them, mini black holes, minute versions of the ones that form when huge stars collapse, won't consume the planet. They've also had to dismiss doubts that blasting out a particle called the Higgs boson will cause the vacuum of empty space to collapse. Now, nevertheless, three theorists determine that in a chain reaction, a mini black hole could activate such collapse after all. Come out from under the bed; there's a major warning. If this could have occurred, it would have long before humans evolved. Ian Moss, a theoretical cosmologist at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom and also the author of the paper clarifying the result, said "The thing you mustn't say is, ‘Shock, horror! We're going to destroy the universe!’"
Rather, he says, the message is that some strange physics must come in to even out the vacuum—positive news for physicists looking for something new. Still, Moss admits that the paper could be used in the wrong way: "I'm sort of afraid that I'm going to have [prominent theorist] John Ellis calling me up and accusing me of scaremongering." Constancy of the vacuum is an actual issue. Ever since the finding of the long-predicted Higgs boson in 2012, physicists have acknowledged that empty space comprises a "Higgs field," a bit like an electric field, that is made of Higgs bosons prowling "virtually" in the vacuum. Other important particles such as the electron and quarks interact with the Higgs field to gain their mass. But, particle physicists have considered that, given their current standard model of the acknowledged particles and the Higgs boson's measured mass, the Higgs field may not be in its steady, lowest energy state. Reasonably, it could attain a much lower energy by compelling much higher strength. That energy-saving transition should unavoidably cause the vacuum to breakdown and destroy the universe.
So why hasn't Higgs Boson collapsed the universe? As the study got deeper, it turns out that to get to the lower energy "true vacuum" state, the Higgs field would have to go through a huge energy fence through a procedure known as quantum tunneling. That fence is so giant that it would likely take many, many times the current age of the universe for the shift to happen. So, theorists normally established that the Higgs field is "metastable," momentarily trapped in a "false vacuum" state, and that even though the collapse is a problem in principle, essentially it's nothing to actually worry about.
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