Therefore, it is not surprising that scientists try to develop different scenarios for the evolution of the universe until its end, and then consider how these scenarios end. One of the most interesting ideas about the end of everything that existed over 13 billion years ago is the collapse of the void. In this scenario, scientists assume that the fundamental field in the universe is not currently at its lowest possible state. This means that the universe formed and grew to its current size in an apparently stable region. But this field may suddenly jump to a more stable value, which means creating a bubble that will erase all reality that exists today.
This unusual field is the so-called Higgs field, which we still don't know much about. However, it is what gives mass to everything around us, on every possible scale. Current knowledge does not enable us to assess the likelihood of such a scenario occurring.
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However, if a pseudovacuum decay occurs, the current theoretically unstable state should suddenly transform into a stable state. However, at the moment, we do not know how this would happen and how a bubble could be created that would expand and eliminate our current universe.
However, this did not stop a group of British and Italian scientists from trying to find experimental evidence of vacuum decay. As a rule, according to theorists, the decay of the vacuum was one of the main components of the process of creation of space, time and matter at the moment of creation of the universe, that is, in the Big Bang. Quantum physicists here point out that the decay of the Higgs boson in a vacuum would lead to a complete change in the laws of physics, and thus to the “ultimate environmental catastrophe.”
Just because we can't describe something doesn't mean we shouldn't try to recreate it in the laboratory. in In his last article Published in periodicals Nature physics The researchers describe observing the formation of blisters under controlled conditions.
In order to investigate the pseudo-vacuum decay scenario, scientists used supercooled vapor at a temperature less than a millionth of a degree above absolute zero. In such a case, the so-called quasi-steady state, we are dealing with a system that is not the most stable, but at the same time capable of existing in it for an indefinite period of time. When describing such a quasi-steady state, scientists compare it to a depression in a slope. Although the lowest possible level is at the bottom, water can remain in this small local depression on the slope for a long time.
However, it should be noted that the reality is more complex in quantum mechanics. This means that to get out of this valley, you do not need to save any additional energy. Particles are able to tunnel or decay, moving to the lowest possible energy state.
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Physicists point out that thermal effects could also lead to such a change. The formation of a bubble with a lower energy state can cause it to expand, with the result that the matter surrounding it moves to the lower energy state, becoming a true vacuum.
Scientists acknowledge that conducting experiments on ultracold atoms, which allow them to simulate quantum interactions in systems such as the early universe, is one of the most interesting opportunities to study the reality around us.
However, this is not the end of the search. Scientists are constantly trying to lower the temperature, and it is slowly approaching absolute zero. As they get closer, thermal effects become less important, and quantum effects become more pronounced, which will allow us to take a closer look at the theory of pseudovacuum decay.
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