Gravity saved the entire universe after the Big Bang – researchers

19 Nov 2014

We as a species may have to thank gravity for us being here today, now that researchers have found a possible reason why the universe didn’t collapse following events surrounding the Big Bang.

The original theory that the universe evaded catastrophe following the Big Bang came after researchers at scientific research centre CERN in Switzerland analysed the data to come from the Higgs particle that was created following the activation of the Large Hadron Collider.

According to agreed scientific theories, the immediate expansion of the universe following the Big Bang should have proved too great and would have collapsed in on itself.

This, unsurprisingly, puzzled scientists as to why we are still here if that was the case, so much so that questions were asked about the validity of current physics.

However, physicists from Imperial College London and the Universities of Copenhagen have dismissed that the textbooks need to be ripped up as they believe they are able to show that gravity, otherwise known as spacetime curvature, provided the stability needed for the universe to survive expansion in that early period.

Gravity mighty, even in its smallest form

In their study published in Physical Review Letters they say that even a small interaction between gravity and the Higgs particle would be enough to have created the universe we have today.

The researchers are now looking to continue their research, making cosmological observations, and will even use data from current and future European Space Agency (ESA) missions measuring cosmic microwave background radiation and gravitational waves.

Speaking of the findings, Prof Arttu Rajantie, from the Department of Physics at Imperial College London, said, “Our aim is to measure the interaction between gravity and the Higgs field using cosmological data. If we are able to do that, we will have supplied the last unknown number in the standard model of particle physics and be closer to answering fundamental questions about how we are all here.”

Space nebula image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic