Finite lifespan for universe, subatomic calculations indicate
"If you use all the physics that we know now and you do what you think is a straightforward calculation, it's bad news," Joseph Lykken, a theoretical physicist with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, told reporters.
Lykeen spoke before presenting his research at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Boston.
"It may be that the universe we live in is inherently unstable and at some point billions of years from now it's all going to get wiped out," said Lykken, who is also on the science team at Europe's Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.
Physicists last year announced they had discovered what appears to be a long-sought subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, which is believed to give matter its mass.
Work to study the Higgs' related particles, necessary for confirmation, is ongoing.
If confirmed, the discovery would help resolve a key puzzle about how the universe came into existence some 13.7 billion years ago - and perhaps how it will end.
"This calculation tells you that many tens of billions of years from now, there'll be a catastrophe," Lykken said.
"A little bubble of what you might think of as an 'alternative' universe will appear somewhere and then it will expand out and destroy us," Lykken said, adding
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