How to destroy the universe

Published on July 24, 2016

How to destroy the universe

Original author: Ethan Siegel
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From the beginning of time, people dreamed of destroying the sun
- C.M. Burns


But why stop at the sun? Yesterday was Earth Day, and I decided that it would be appropriate to spend today on the story of how to destroy not only the Earth, but, in fact, the entire Universe. To do this, we need to go to the very beginning, at the moment before the Big Bang.

The big bang occurred when the Universe was hot, dense, full of energy and expanded very quickly. Also, the Universe was spatially smooth, with the same temperature everywhere, and full of matter and antimatter. She could look something like this:



But the thing is that we need something that will bring the universe into such a state; something that will launch the Big Bang. What makes the universe smooth? What causes the temperature in the universe to be the same everywhere? What creates fluctuations due to which stars, galaxies and clusters are formed through gravitational collapse? What pushes all those strange things that could exist before the Big Bang?



The best theory is cosmic inflation, which says the universe went through a period when space expanded at an exponentially increasing rate. This expansion pushes everything that exists, eliminating it from what we know as our Universe. It takes the form of space that he had and equalizes it. It takes a small homogeneous region and stretches it, giving each point of the Universe one temperature. And inflation takes tiny fluctuations of a quantum scale and stretches them throughout the universe, creating fluctuations that allow stars, galaxies and clusters to form. This theory even gave true predictions to the amplitude and spectrum of these fluctuations ten years before we could measure them!

Therefore, in order to destroy the Universe, we only need to make some small point exponentially expand, at least a very small fraction of a second (10 -30 sec), and this will completely remove everything that we know and create a new Universe. Reminds phoenix.



Someone may object. You can say that you can’t do this, it will be a game of God. Listen, people - if you want to destroy the Universe, you have to put up with certain things one way or another.



And how do we do this? In a way, it's as simple as rolling a ball onto a hill - you need enough energy. We need to create a particle called inflaton, which leads to inflation, with such energy that the universe begins to expand again. If we make low-energy inflatons, such as those used in large accelerators (such as 10 12 eV), we cannot pull it out from the bottom of the valley:



Supermassive black holes emit cosmic rays with energies of the order of 10 20 eV, so we definitely need more energy. If we can reach 10 26 eV, we are guaranteed to achieve success - that is, we will raise the inflaton up the hill. If you raise it high enough, inflation will begin! That is how the Universe can be destroyed!

We just need a larger particle accelerator, or stronger magnetic fields. With a ring accelerator with a diameter of 1 km, equipped with magnets of 4 Tesla, we can achieve energies of 10 12 eV. Therefore, to achieve the required energy, we need a ring with a radius of 10 14 km and the same magnets, that is, an accelerating ring with a radius equal to the distance from us to the nearest star. Therefore, support research into particle physics and the development of stronger magnetic fields, or we will be doomed to celebrate the beginning of so many more days on Earth!

Some of you were upset when you read in one of the posts that string theory is basically unverifiable. In fact, you only need to build a fairly powerful accelerator. Interestingly, the energy that is enough to destroy the Universe is not enough to test string theory (this requires energy of 10 28 eV).