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Author Topic: What is the false vacuum?  (Read 9001 times)

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What is the false vacuum?
« on: 05/03/2009 17:15:48 »
I've just come across a rather nasty theory for doomsday called The Vacuum Metastability Event.

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The possibility that we are living in a false vacuum has been considered. If a bubble of lower energy vacuum were nucleated, it would approach at nearly the speed of light and destroy the Earth instantaneously, without any forewarning.

from Wikipedia

I've read the whole article and there's a lot in it that I just don't understand; nucleated, quantum tunnelling, instanton, and other things.

Is it possible to explain this theory in language that a dummy like me could understand?


 

Offline Vern

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #1 on: 05/03/2009 18:24:28 »
I wonder how that will go down with the law suit in Hawaii that is attempting to delay US funding for the LHC. The article had a good argument that we are constantly being hit with cosmic ray particles that exceed the energy of the LHC particles.

Yep; we don't need that false vacuum. Maybe it is just in the imagination of the theory maker. 
 

Offline yor_on

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #2 on: 05/03/2009 20:17:30 »
It seems to hinge on if the Higgs field exists?
http://www.historyoftheuniverse.com/falsvacu.html
Oh, I'm so lucky that I don't believe in it then :)

But for the rest of you...
Beware of bubbles.
 

Offline Vern

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #3 on: 05/03/2009 21:47:21 »
Thanks for the link. It explains the concept. I also suspect that the Higgs does not exist. But I think that after spending north of 10 billion on the project, they will find something and call it a Higgs signature.

The thing I think they might find that would be much more interesting is a super-massive neutral particle. In my speculative neutron construct, it would be composed of the innermost shell and the next shell out. :) In the animated schematic below, the two outside shells would be gone. Only the small dot in the centre, which is really two shells, would remain.



Edit: Two of the particles modelled above would be involved. If slammed together hard enough, the normal bonding between the proton's outer and next to outer shells might be replaced by bonding between the centre inner shell and the next shell out. The two outside shells are then cast off, leaving a massive neutral particle.
« Last Edit: 06/03/2009 17:36:44 by Vern »
 

Offline yor_on

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #4 on: 06/03/2009 10:17:15 »
Vern, do you have an idea for how to construct an experiment testing your hypothesis?

« Last Edit: 06/03/2009 11:25:13 by yor_on »
 

Offline lightarrow

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #5 on: 06/03/2009 12:55:35 »
I've just come across a rather nasty theory for doomsday called The Vacuum Metastability Event.

Quote
The possibility that we are living in a false vacuum has been considered. If a bubble of lower energy vacuum were nucleated, it would approach at nearly the speed of light and destroy the Earth instantaneously, without any forewarning.

from Wikipedia

I've read the whole article and there's a lot in it that I just don't understand; nucleated, quantum tunnelling, instanton, and other things.

Is it possible to explain this theory in language that a dummy like me could understand?
Do you know what happens when a supercooled liquid is slighlty perturbated? If not, look at (for example) this video:

No, imagine that all the universe is that supercooled liquid...
 

Offline Vern

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #6 on: 06/03/2009 15:15:01 »
Vern, do you have an idea for how to construct an experiment testing your hypothesis?

Yes; the major premise of the concept is that electromagnetic phenomena results any time a photon is forced to follow a curved path. The resulting phenomena acts to bend the photon's path more in the same direction, producing positive feedback.

That is the key to the whole concept. If that proves false, the whole pet universe has to be abandoned.

Edit: The evidence I see for this premise is that starlight is observed to bend in the gravity fields of intervening bodies. The amount of the bend is twice the amount that gravity alone can account for. This was observed and cited as evidence for the Special theory of Relativity. However, in an electromagnetic-only universe, relativity phenomena develops naturally due to the construct of matter; as in the Lorentz  version. Warped space-time is not needed, and indeed, not even possible.
« Last Edit: 06/03/2009 15:21:03 by Vern »
 

Offline yor_on

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #7 on: 09/03/2009 15:35:53 »
Way cool experiment that one Lightarrow. Let's hope it's not like that though.
Not that I reckon we ever would notice it if it happened, as it is supposed to move at light speed.
Ok Vern I see how you mean.
Let us see what the LHC shows, it will surely be interesting.
 

Offline Vern

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #8 on: 09/03/2009 18:30:42 »
It would really be amusing if they discover that protons moving at 99.999999% the speed of light look like gamma radiation :)
 

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #9 on: 09/03/2009 19:16:52 »
No charge?
 

Offline Vern

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #10 on: 09/03/2009 20:56:06 »
Yes; I was thinking that the charge might disappear as the protons approach the speed of light. But then, they are accelerated because of their charge; so I guess that wouldn't work.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2009 21:57:56 by Vern »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #11 on: 09/03/2009 21:37:35 »
Yes; I was thinking that the charge might disappear if as the protons approach the speed of light. But then, they are accelerated because of their charge; so I guess that wouldn't work.

Why would you have thought that in the first place? Velocity wouldn't affect charge, would it?
 

Offline Vern

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #12 on: 09/03/2009 21:55:53 »
Why I would have the speculation is:
I suspect that electric charge develops from the electromagnetic fields that comprise the proton. When moving at close to the speed of light, the vibrations of the field might tend to revert to their speed-of-light form. They would then become gamma ray photons.

I hasten to say that this is speculation; my own scheme.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #13 on: 09/03/2009 22:10:35 »
When moving at close to the speed of light, the vibrations of the field might tend to revert to their speed-of-light form.

Why would they? I don't see a reason for it. Surely particles don't change their form as a result of increased velocity. I think we would have serious problems if that were the case.
 

Offline Vern

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #14 on: 10/03/2009 02:31:18 »
It is probably not so; it is just speculation; but if a particle that is itself just a standing wave of electromagnetic phenomena is forced to move at the natural speed of its constituent construct, maybe it will become indistinguishable from that constituent construct.

It is difficult for me to imagine the distortion that a proton must undergo to achieve speeds approaching the speed of light.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #15 on: 10/03/2009 10:37:36 »
...but if a particle that is itself just a standing wave of electromagnetic phenomena is forced to move at the natural speed of its constituent construct, maybe it will become indistinguishable from that constituent construct.

Ahhh, I see your line of reasoning now.
 

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What is the false vacuum?
« Reply #15 on: 10/03/2009 10:37:36 »

 

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