January 26, 2008

Bubble Disaster

Collapse of the False Vacuum is finally getting the credit it deserves from people contemplating the end of the world. Meaning Dartmouth grad student and simulation-maker extraordinaire, Joel Thorarinson's simulations are getting credit from the internet.

End of the World: 10 Disasters That Could End It All At Any Given Second

5. Bubble Nucleation

According to the leading cosmological model the universe began as a false vacuum of empty space filled with energy. This incredibly unstable, high-energy state went through the process of bubble nucleation to reach a more stable, lower-energy state. This huge release of energy caused the expansion of the universe. We would like to think that the world we now live in is a stable true vacuum but it is possible that although the universe is at a lower energy level now than it was before, we are living in another false vacuum which could collapse at any moment. If a low energy bubble nucleates in our false vacuum it would expand at the speed of light, once again changing the universe.

The list includes "divine intervention" as well, but is otherwise alright. Not that there is any way to judge how good this list is until humanity is finally wiped out. The important thing here is that Joel is getting some respect for his amazing simulations of bubble nucleation, viewable here.


Joel said...

botw, yup how's that fer respect!

i would prefer a postdoc...

(Ryan) said...

First come the goofy internet lists, then the postdocs.