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Thread: Higgs Field Decay..

  1. #1
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    Higgs Field Decay..

    Hiya..

    I heard Neil Turok say something along the lines of the higgs field is a false vacuum and it will eventually decay into a lower energy state
    triggering the universe to slow down and form the big crunch scenario. Thus the universe is cyclic.

    I was just wondering what peoples thoughts are on this ?

    Is it plausible, inevitable ect ect

    Thanks
    Far away is close at hand in images of elsewhere...

  2. #2
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    We don't know enough to say. We're pretty sure the Higgs Field has a spontaneously broken symmetry in it, which could put it in a false vacuum state. Or not. We don't know.

    The overall concept is plausible in that it doesn't contradict anything currently accepted as physics with good evidence to back it up. But it is highly speculative. The speculative bits are:
    1) The Higgs field is in a false vacuum state
    2) Its decay would lead to a slowdown (I think this is an implicit assumption that dark energy is linked to the Higgs Field?)
    3) A big crunch would be neat enough to reset it
    4) The reset would lead to cyclic behaviour
    So. Most of it really!

    Its the sort of idea that probably needs about a decade of work on the Higgs Field to be in a position to test. Although, as ever, I'd be delighted if we got there quicker.

  3. #3
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    I'd say it is pretty optimistic to think a question like that will be solved on a timescale of decades. I would wager we'll never in the entire future of humanity know the answer to that question, though I certainly won't be around to collect on the bet!

  4. #4
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    Is this decay a legitimate hypothesis rather than speculation? IOW, is the idea likely testable in the foreseeable or even distant future? And, if so, is the conversion of all the waste heat from my truck convertible back to usable energy (i.e. neg. entropy) at the time of the crunch-bounce in such a cyclical model really all that plausible? [Ok, I should have glanced at the next thread before asking the last question. ]
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Is this decay a legitimate hypothesis rather than speculation? IOW, is the idea likely testable in the foreseeable or even distant future? And, if so, is the conversion of all the waste heat from my truck convertible back to usable energy (i.e. neg. entropy) at the time of the crunch-bounce in such a cyclical model really all that plausible? [Ok, I should have glanced at the next thread before asking the last question. ]
    In terms of the scientific method it's speculative. We only have a weak grasp of the properties of the Higgs field and if it even could lead to inflation/changes in the rate of expansion. It is not a hypothesis until it is is formulated in such as way as to be testable and we are a long way from that.

    I'm also not a fan of trying to say some hypotheses are legitimate and others are not. If it is a hypothesis then it is testable. If it fails it is a disproven one, if we can't test it yet then it is speculation rather than a hypothesis. Speaking strictly in terms of the scientific method, of course.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaula View Post
    I'm also not a fan of trying to say some hypotheses are legitimate and others are not. If it is a hypothesis then it is testable. If it fails it is a disproven one, if we can't test it yet then it is speculation rather than a hypothesis. Speaking strictly in terms of the scientific method, of course.
    Thanks, Shaula. Given the energy densities we're capable of today, and snagging the Higgs boson, I wondered if some test might be foreseeable. It helps when I can separate supposition from conjecture and hypotheses in areas, which are many, I am unfamiliar.
    We know time flies, we just can't see its wings.

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