False Vacuum

Quantum physics is a very strange world
Stephen
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False Vacuum

Post by Stephen » Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:16 pm

Quite a frightening scenario. I know the odds of this sort of quantum tunneling event happening in our lifetime are slim, but still. Basically according to this theory the universe can be swallowed by a bubble at any second.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_vacuum

Kasuha
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by Kasuha » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:35 am

The universe has passed several phase changes in the past, that's what we currently call "first few seconds after big bang". Who knows, if another phase change occurs, future intelligences in the new universe may call that one the same way.

Stephen
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by Stephen » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:56 am

But the LHC won't cause it despite recreating the first second after the big bang because cosmic rays do the same, right?

Shadowdraxx
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by Shadowdraxx » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:21 pm

that word is something of a wrong context mate, its true that like other colliders it recreates matter that existed the split moments after the big bang, but its not actually a big bang.

Thats more a media term, sounds more catchy "big bang machine" rather than Large Hadron Collider, still sometimes to add some fun I've seen Real articles spelling it as Hardon :).

mmm the false vacuum things is a interesting theory tho, and I suggest watching the below Video, its the LSAG report broken down into layman understanding for distribution.

http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1120625



Note at the start and end of the lecture there is a bit on the False Vacuum thing, and the information and the way its told is much better than I could ever do.

The Video Description says: "On a different note: although the LHC is no danger to the Earth, it may reveal the fate of the Universe by probing the nature of the vacuum"

Seriously tho there are more worldy concerns than this, your really really really more likely to be snuffed out by some other type of naturally occuring event, maybe billions more times?? not sure exactly but yeah this is a theory not yet realised i think and yeah LHC wont do it.


EDIT: Can someone else add anything here? I'm personally very weak with the subject.
Last edited by Shadowdraxx on Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DCWhitworth
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by DCWhitworth » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:41 pm

Stephen wrote:Quite a frightening scenario. I know the odds of this sort of quantum tunneling event happening in our lifetime are slim, but still. Basically according to this theory the universe can be swallowed by a bubble at any second.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_vacuum
A rather startling theory but not one I shall be losing any sleep over. You're far better off making sure you look both ways when crossing the road than worrying about this.
DC

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Kasuha
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by Kasuha » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:46 pm

Particles in LHC are way less energetic than many other particles in the universe. The only difference is that in LHC scientists are watching the outcome with sophisticated equipment. In space, much higher energy collisions occur only there are no detectors to measure results.

If a particle collision could cause phase change of the universe, I'd expect it to happen near some black hole, quasar, or supernova - and most likely long long time ago. LHC particle energies are a joke compared to these.

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DCWhitworth
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by DCWhitworth » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:37 pm

Kasuha wrote:Particles in LHC are way less energetic than many other particles in the universe. The only difference is that in LHC scientists are watching the outcome with sophisticated equipment. In space, much higher energy collisions occur only there are no detectors to measure results.

If a particle collision could cause phase change of the universe, I'd expect it to happen near some black hole, quasar, or supernova - and most likely long long time ago. LHC particle energies are a joke compared to these.
I think the thing about the LHC is not that it is creating unique events, but that is it creating those events directly under a set of detectors. These things are going on in the universe all the time, the LHC is simply making them happen in a very specific place.
DC

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josch222
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by josch222 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:50 pm

Kasuha wrote:Particles in LHC are way less energetic than many other particles in the universe. The only difference is that in LHC scientists are watching the outcome with sophisticated equipment. (...)
And exactly this difference is important. Since quantum theory, we know that
observation makes a difference to the particles. So it is different what they do
at LHC and therefore it must be dangerous!
Thank you for this hint, this is great stuff for a new armageddon theory ;-)

Just kidding,
and a somewhat lame attempt to fill the hole MagneticTrap has left :-)


Joerg.

Kasuha
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by Kasuha » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:27 am

josch222 wrote:And exactly this difference is important. Since quantum theory, we know that observation makes a difference to the particles.
Hahaha~

The important thing is, in the double slit experiment, if you leave the detector at the slit but cut data wires going out of it and therefore you are technically not watching what the detector is telling you it does not improve the interference pattern back. It's the interaction of the particle with the detector what changes the result, not the fact that a human is watching.

If a particle collision happens inside an exploding supernova, lots of various interactions happen to the resulting debris, so technically there is the "watching" done too. Detector space in LHC is much closer to vacuum than to star core.

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Re: False Vacuum

Post by Stephen » Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:03 pm

Please don't joke about these stuff, because I panic very easily. Life was so much more simple when I didn't know about vacuum bubbles or magnetic monopoles. Now I realized we're just mere humans and an event occurring in space could kill us all and there won't be anything we can do about it.

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DCWhitworth
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by DCWhitworth » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:56 pm

Stephen wrote:Please don't joke about these stuff, because I panic very easily. Life was so much more simple when I didn't know about vacuum bubbles or magnetic monopoles. Now I realized we're just mere humans and an event occurring in space could kill us all and there won't be anything we can do about it.
I'm sorry if this alarms you. However I know that joking is sometimes my way of shrugging off such things.

I guess it's easy to say but there's no point worrying about things that you have no control over and especially things that may not even be true.
DC

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Stephen
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by Stephen » Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:58 pm

The fact that I don't have any control over these things is exactly the scary part. Sorry to annoy you, but a few more questions -
1. Does a really low temperature or a really high temperature like those in the LHC are related to vacuum bubbles?
2. If a bubble vacuum was formed, how long would it took for it to destroy the universe?
3. Are we absolutely sure that a vacuum bubble depends on the energy of the collision and not the pressure or the intensity?

josch222
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by josch222 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:15 pm

Stephen wrote:The fact that I don't have any control over these things is exactly the scary part. Sorry to annoy you, but a few more questions -
1. Does a really low temperature or a really high temperature like those in the LHC are related to vacuum bubbles?
2. If a bubble vacuum was formed, how long would it took for it to destroy the universe?
3. Are we absolutely sure that a vacuum bubble depends on the energy of the collision and not the pressure or the intensity?
1. In a neutron star there are temperatures of 100 billion K, scientists have reached a
temperature of 100 picokelvin, so no I don't believe it is possible to create "vacuum bubbles" with extreme temperatures.
2. I don't know, I don't believe in vacuum bubbles (read below why). But for my own sanity I simply believe that any "end of the world" scenario that can happen in my lifetime or in the next 1000 years would be instantaneous or would need such
a long time that nobody would realize it.
3. No, at least I lack the skills to disprove all this doomsday scenarios. But I do not
need absolute sureness. As often in life you have to deal with probabilities:
Tomorrow I can be hit by a car, or die from a stroke, or I can be hit by a lightning
or whatever. These things are by far more possible than any end of world type of
death. We should worry more about our environment this are the challenges for the
near future.
And one thing is for absofuckinglutely sure: In the long run we are all dead.
And this "long run" timescale is in the decades which is a joke compared to timescales
of the lifetime of our sun or the whole universe.


Why I don't believe in a "rael vacuum":
There is a thing called "first law of thermodynamics" or conservation of energy.
And it applies universally, no one has ever seen this to be violated.
So where should all the energy and mass go if there would suddenly and magically
appear a "real vacuum"?

But I must admit: This theory may be very nice to get to a new universe after this
one is "dead". Because we observe a constant inflation of our universe and there is
currently no indication that this would stop.
But before I scare you again: This happens on timescales you are not able to count
to in years, most people are not able to imagine this timescale.
So in the end, after thousand of billions of years our universe would be so cold that
no life would be possible anymore. But it would be nice to have a mechanism that
would allow a kind of starting over. A new big bang or something.
After all have been found out about our existing universe,
there will be a few remaining question: Why the hell there was a big bang, where did it
came from.
As we observe lifecycles all around in nature (it seems to be a property of matter),
why not on the whole scale?

Another, more general thought on all the thinkable armageddons:
I think that everything humans may set up in any thinkable experiment or device
has long been done somewhere in stars, supernovae, blackholes, neutron stars
or magnetars or somewhere else in the universe. There was time enough, really.
The universe even managed to create beings that can think about all this shit
and are able to play a little particle billiards.
I don't believe that humans are able to create really more extreme conditions
than there have been in 14 billion years with uncounted particles of all
possible types and unbelievable amounts of energy.

Joerg.

Stephen
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by Stephen » Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:18 am

I have another question. Quark gluon plasma is a hypothetical state which is theorized to exist in the first second after the big bang. You need a very high energy and density to do it, and that's exactly what they'll do at the LHC. Is it possible that the creation of this material might trigger a phase transition to a lower vacuum state, like what happened moments after the big bang? How do we know this plasma wasn't what caused a phase transition? And if the LHC is trying to create a hypothetical state, then how does the cosmic rays argument apply? This plasma hasn't been observed anywhere in the universe.

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Allan
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Re: False Vacuum

Post by Allan » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:43 am

The quark gluon plasma has been created and studied at RHIC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark–gluon_plasma

Allan

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