According to a new theory, the universe shouldn’t exist. Researchers believe that the universe should have collapsed only microseconds after it was born.
The study looks at data from the newly found Higgs boson particle, which is thought to offer an explanation as to how other particles have mass. Researchers also looked at faint traces of gravitational waves that were formed when the universe was born,
“During the early universe, we expected cosmic inflation — this is a rapid expansion of the universe right after the Big Bang,” said study co-author Robert Hogan, a doctoral candidate in physics at King’s College in London. “This expansion causes lots of stuff to shake around, and if we shake it too much, we could go into this new energy space, which could cause the universe to collapse.”
The universe began around 13.8 billion years ago in a fiery explosion, which scientists have dubbed the Big Bang. It is thought that after this occurred, particles shot out of the explosion at incredible speeds. Called cosmic inflation, it is believed that those particles are still moving outwards, causing the universe to expand.
Recently, traces of cosmic inflation was found. It shows itself as radiation, as the particles made ripples in gravitational waves when they shot out, which, in turn, has made twists in radiation across the universe. Researchers noticed that the reason particles moved so fast was because of something called the Higgs field.
After making these discoveries, Hogan and a colleague set out to try to recreate the conditions of cosmic inflation after the Big Bang. They noticed that the universe would have experienced quantum fluctuation, which is the intense jittering of the Higgs field. That should made the universe collapse.
Of course, the universe didn’t collapse – the fact that this article was written proves that. So why is the universe still here?
“The generic expectation is that there must be some new physics that we haven’t put in our theories yet, because we haven’t been able to discover them,” Hogan said.
There are several theories flying around, but the leading one is the theory of supersymmetry. Supersymmetry is the idea that each known particle also has a superpartner particle, which is a super heavy particle that is either too small to see or has since disappeared.
Even so, no one knows for sure yet why the universe is here. A lot more research will need to be done in order to make any decisive claims.
The study was published May 20 in the journal Physical Review Letters.