This Fluctuating Universe

The discovery of the Higgs boson may give a clue to the history of the universe. From BBC News:

“It turns out there’s a calculation you can do in our Standard Model of particle physics, once you know the mass of the Higgs boson,” explained Dr Joseph Lykken.

“What happens is you get just a quantum fluctuation that makes a tiny bubble of the vacuum the Universe really wants to be in. And because it’s a lower-energy state, this bubble will then expand, basically at the speed of light, and sweep everything before it,” the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory theoretician told BBC News.

If the calculation on vacuum instability stands up, it will revive an old idea that the Big Bang Universe we observe today is just the latest version in a permanent cycle of events.

I would say that fluctuation is a better term than cycle. If quantum fluctuations can occur, then they can reoccur, and so the universe itself can fluctuate into and out of existence. This is not a “cycle” like a clock or a wheel that regularly turns.

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