Friday, November 23, 2007

Popping the Universe's Bubble

Oh boy. As if it's not bad enough that humans are destroying the planet, now we may be responsible for destroying the Universe, too.

Specifically, Saul Perlmutter appears to be the one to blame :-). Wait until the conservatives and anti-science people get ahold of this one.

Physicists Lawrence Krauss and James Dent have a paper out that says our (well, Perlmutter's) discovery of dark energy in 1998 may have changed the quantum state of the Universe and shortened its lifetime.

Of course, this story comes from Britain (originally from New Scientist), and my rule of thumb for any science story from Britain is to treat it essentially as a press release -- that is, assume it's hyped until someone shows that it's not.

1 comment:

Thomas Palm said...

As long as you ignore the absurdity of the basic argument, shouldn't the quantum Zeno effect ensure that as long as we keep measuring dark energy it can't decay? If so, we aren't destroying the universe, we are helping keeping it alive.

To add some further absurdity: what if the only reason the vacuum hasn't already collapsed is that cilivisations have been observing it for billions of years? It could work in a sf-story at least.