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New theory suggests the universe shouldn't exist

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, July 24, 2014, 4:16 PM - A new model that simulates conditions shortly after the Big Bang suggests that the universe should have collapsed immediately after it was born -- and yet, here we are.

Physicists came to the conclusion based on a model that accounts for the newly-discovered Higgs boson particle -- also referred to as the 'God particle', because of the important role it likely played in the formation of the universe.

Clearly, though, the model is off. After all, the universe is very much alive and kicking -- and we're living proof of that.

Study co-author Robert Hogan says his team will have to 'extend their theories' to explain why the universe didn't collapse like the model suggested.

Moments after the Big Bang, matter expanded outward at spectacular speeds through a process referred to as cosmic inflation. This created gravitational waves that twisted radiation in the universe.

"During the early universe, we expected cosmic inflation — this is a rapid expansion of the universe right after the Big Bang," Hogan, a doctoral candidate in physics at King's College in London, told LiveScience.

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"This expansion causes lots of stuff to shake around, and if we shake it too much, we could go into this new energy space, which could cause the universe to collapse."

When scientists tried to recreate conditions of cosmic inflation after the Big Bang, they found the universe shook violently enough to trigger a universal collapse. 

So why do we exist?

Hogan told LiveScience that scientists may be overlooking an important component in the equation -- i.e., new physics that haven't been discovered yet.

The findings were published May 20 in Physical Review Letters.


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