It looks like the universe as we know it has a way to destroy itself that most of us don’t know about. The rules of physics that govern the known universe include the delete button. It is actually something called the Higgs Field, which is a quantum field.
So, how does the Higgs Field start this process of the universe destroying itself? All that’s left to do is fake it, or at least fake that it’s a vacuum.
First, though, let’s step back. Energy and stability are the two most important things in the universe. Everything has energy and tends to move toward its most stable state, also called its “ground state.” The more stable something is, the less potential energy it has, and vice versa.
This is true even at the quantum level, where it applies to quantum fields, which are essentially the rules that particles in the universe have to follow. The vacuum state is where quantum fields are most stable and have the least amount of energy (not to be confused with a vacuum in space).
In theory, all quantum fields, except for the Higgs Field, which gives particles mass, are already in their vacuum state. It’s possible that the Higgs Field is just a fake vacuum. Being in a fake vacuum state means that the Higgs Field has a huge amount of potential energy. This energy can be released by the smallest, most random spark (like quantum tunneling).
Imagine a huge amount of energy moving through the universe at the speed of light. This vacuum decay would eat up everything in its way. Since the universe is getting bigger, there is a chance that it won’t reach us. But if it does, this Higgs boson (so to speak) will change the way physics and chemistry work as we know them, making it almost impossible to live.
On a cosmic scale, it would be the same as dying right away. False vacuums are still mostly just an idea, which is good news. So there’s really nothing to worry about… at least for now.
In the video below, you can find out more about this: