|Looking jaunty a professorial Dr Bear demonstrates to his admirers how to safely view the sun.|
Teddy Bear shows customer/students Venus crossing the the face of the sun.
BOSTON (Reuters) - Scientists are still sorting out the details of last year's discovery of the Higgs boson particle, but add up the numbers and it's not looking good for the future of the universe, scientists said Monday.
"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 that the event will unfold at the speed of light.
Scientists had grappled with the idea of the universe's long-term stability before the Higgs discovery, but stepped up calculations once its mass began settling in at around 126 billion electron volts - a critical number it turns out for figuring out the fate of the universe.
The calculation requires knowing the mass of the Higgs to within one percent, as well as the precise mass of other related subatomic particles.
"You change any of these parameters to the Standard Model (of particle physics) by a tiny bit and you get a different end of the universe," Lyyken said.
Earth will likely be long gone before any Higgs boson particles set off an apocalyptic assault on the universe. Physicists expect the sun to burn out in 4.5 billion years or so, and expand, likely engulfing Earth in the process.
For those of you unfamiliar with Dr Bear's body work: Dr Bear PhD (Pretty Hefty Dude) is a top rate cartoonist, social critic, civil rights activist, bariatric nutritionist and astronomer. Dr Bear has creatively labeled astrophysics the biggest fattest science. Read more of Teddy's work on his Biggest Fattest Blog
Dr Bear IMO is the common man's Steven Hawking. Dr Bear is a champion for all the sciences and other forms of rational thought. Dr Bear has taught me that there are serious conflicts between politics, science and religion and he is educating the masses about this. Teddy along with other greats like James Randi, the late Mr Wizard and Carl Sagan and Bill Nye the science guy bringing science and free thinking to the masses. That frightens many people who believe that life is about kissing God's ass so that they can kiss it for all eternity in the afterlife.