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Vacuum decay

  1. Mar 12, 2008 #1
    It's been hypothesized that, at a high enough energy density (say, in a collision of particles), a bubble of true vacuum could be formed, which would then grow at the speed of light and envelop our universe, which is currently in a false vacuum, thus making all matter disintegrate. Is this possible?
     
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  3. Mar 12, 2008 #2

    Pythagorean

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    I'm in now ways an expert on the subject, but a quick search revealed:

    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_vacuum#Particle_accelerator

    as always, of course, be wary of Wikipedia.
     
  4. Mar 12, 2008 #3

    ZapperZ

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    If this is true, then wouldn't you think that it would have happened already after so many billion of years and so many particles with such high energies in existence?

    Note that when you are citing some "hypothesis", especially when it isn't something standard or well-known, please make a full citation to the source. This is something we strongly encourage here on PF, that the source be clearly identified.

    Zz.
     
  5. Mar 13, 2008 #4

    samalkhaiat

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  6. Mar 13, 2008 #5

    samalkhaiat

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  7. Mar 13, 2008 #6

    ZapperZ

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  8. Mar 13, 2008 #7

    CarlB

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    The concept that we're going to destroy the universe with one of our puny particle experiments is quite hilarious. We can't approach anywhere near the energy of cosmic rays, and that's what impinging on our atmosphere every day. If you want to imagine nature's particle experiments, take a think at what happens when a supernova goes off. The vacuum in particle physics is just a mathematical crutch used to hobble over the fact that theory is clueless about where mass comes from.

    When a mathematical theory of physics generates reams of science fiction nonsense, none of which is observed in experiment, this is a sign that the mathematical theory is nonsense. The fact that, in other areas, the theory correctly predicts experiments is a sign that there is some truth to it, but if the theory predicts stuff that isn't observed, that's not a good sign for the theory.

    The general theory of relativity does nicely for the weak situations where we can check observations (though it seems to be failing to account precisely for spacecraft motion having to do with the "slingshot" effect and there does seem to be some weirdness going on in the speeds of rotation of galaxies etc.), but we have essentially zero precise tests of it inside of black holes. The mathematics says that spacetime can connect on itself and do various things with wormholes, white holes, etc., but none of this nonsense has ever been observed, and our astronomical data about the insides of black holes ends well outside of the event horizon. To extrapolate GR to the insides of black holes is nonsense, and to fear particle experiments because they might build a black hole that would engulf the earth is silly.
     
  9. Mar 14, 2008 #8

    samalkhaiat

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  10. Mar 14, 2008 #9

    ZapperZ

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008
  11. Mar 15, 2008 #10

    samalkhaiat

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2008
  12. Mar 16, 2008 #11
    Would you call yourself a physicist or a mathematician ?

    Did it occur to you that Coleman's anxiety was not about our actual life, but about the fate of the theory ?
     
  13. Mar 16, 2008 #12

    samalkhaiat

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  14. Apr 14, 2008 #13
    Newbie here.

    I wonder if low temperature experiments at a tiny fraction of a Kelvin could be dangerous.
    Could a vacuum decay occur if you lower the temperature of a confined space sufficiently?
     
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