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The end of the Universe?

15 Nov 2016, 03:21 UTC
The end of the Universe?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Hello nibblers,
Don’t worry, my title doesn’t refer to the recent US election. Only to the end of the Universe due to the Higgs boson. Let me explain…
Last time I wrote, I discussed new methods for determining whether the Higgs boson interacts with itself. As you will recall, establishing whether this is the case is crucial for determining the precise form of the Higgs scalar potential which is responsible for breaking electroweak symmetry and generating masses for the W and Z bosons via the Higgs mechanism. You might also remember that I briefly mentioned that these Higgs self interactions might have deep implications for the stability of our universe. Since I think this topic is interesting enough for its own post I wanted to go into a little more. Its a fascinating topic, but the details can get hairy pretty quickly so ill keep it as simple as possible and just try and give a flavor before going into more detail in future posts.
In the Standard Model, the Higgs potential determines the ‘vacuum’ of our universe, which by definition is the lowest energy state and presumably the one in which we live in today. We can think of ...

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