Big Bang Evidence: Frozen Higgs, Frozen Beer, and Gravity Waves | Lawrence Krauss


Our picture of the earliest moments of the
universe has been evolving, and I’m happy to say, in some sense has more empirical support
than it did before. The discovery of the Higgs field implies that
you can get fields that freeze in empty space. And that’s a central part of what we think
happened in the very early universe. And if we can detect gravitational waves from
the Big Bang we’d have a window on the universe back to a time when it was a billionth of
a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second old, answering questions about
the origin of the universe as we know it—ideas that I speculated upon in my last book, for
example—for which we have new evidence that I’ve described in my new book. But because the temperature of the universe
and the energies and particles were so extreme at that early time—when the entire visible
universe was contained in a region that was smaller than the size of an atom—there’s
a wonderful symbiosis between large scales and small scales. And if we can probe the early universe back
to a time that I described we’ll actually be probing physics on scales that are much
smaller than we can see at the Large Hadron Collider, 12 orders of magnitude smaller in
scale (or higher in energy) than we can probe with our highest-energy accelerator now. To build an accelerator that would directly
probe those energies, we would have to have an accelerator that’s not just 26 km around,
as the Large Hadron Collider is, but whose circumference is the earth-moon distance,
and that’s not going to be built in our lifetime (and probably ever). So we may have to rely on the universe to
give us new information, and that’s why we’re looking for such signals. When the universe was a billionth of a billionth
of a billionth of a billionth of a second old our current picture suggests: A field
very similar to the Higgs field froze in space, but it was in what is called a metastable
state. Sort of like… if you have a beer party and
you put beer in the freezer because you forgot to until the few minutes before the party,
and then during the party you forget that it’s in the freezer, and you take it out later. And it’s there—liquid—and you open it
up, and suddenly it turns to ice, and the bottle cracks: The beer is in a metastable
state. At that temperature it would rather be frozen
except it’s under a high pressure. The minute you release the pressure it freezes
instantaneously, releasing a lot of energy. As our universe cooled we think the same thing
happened; basically a field got frozen but in the wrong configuration, and as the universe
cooled, suddenly—boom!— like those beer bottles, it changed its state, releasing a
huge amount of energy, creating the hot Big Bang. Now the interesting thing is, while it was
in that metastable state and storing energy, general relativity tells us that if you have
a field in empty space that’s storing energy it produces a gravitational effect that’s
repulsive, not attractive. So during that brief time gravity is repulsive,
and the expansion of our universe started speeding up faster and faster and faster,
and the size of our universe (we think) increased by a factor of 10 to the 30th in scale, or
at least 10 to the 90th in volume, in a time interval of a billionth of a billionth of
a billionth of a second. That means it went from the size of an atom
to the size of a basketball in a short time, and that rapid expansion produced characteristics
which pervaded the universe today: The fact that our observed universal looks flat, the
fluctuations, and the cosmic microwave background radiation all came from quantum fluctuations
that happened during inflation. Inflation is the only First Principles idea
that in principle explains why our universe looks the way it does. And what’s wonderful about it is it doesn’t
require any exotic ideas of quantum gravity or theories we don’t have, it’s based on ideas
that are central to our current understanding of the standard model of particle physics,
just extrapolating them somewhat. So it’s very well-motivated; even though it
is hard to believe that it could have happened, we think it did.

98 thoughts on “Big Bang Evidence: Frozen Higgs, Frozen Beer, and Gravity Waves | Lawrence Krauss

  • Bill Nye is a feckless liar and should be kicked off the Big Think roster. He's a disgrace, to science, to truth, to the human race. Why is his presence tolerated?

  • So all of the matter in the universe existed in the space the size of an atom? Anyone else find that hard to believe? I guess if the math works out, right? Maybe I should read one of his books.

  • How the FUCK does a field freez ?????
    " Hey bob go get me some frozen magnetic field from the kitchen would ya "
    get real

  • After finishing my next Krausening, I believe the name for that batch will be Big Bang, Frozen Higgs and Gravity Waves-Das Krauss Style.

  • Damn, so many stupid ass dipshits in the comments thinking they know more about space than astrophysicists… how have we as a global society come to the point where highly educated EXPERTS are questioned and dismissed in favor of morons on YouTube and the rest of the internet?
    People, wake the fuck up! The reason why we are here right now communicating instantly on a World Wide Web, on a hand held SUPER computer is due to the CENTURIES of science, math, and research that has been put to the test time and time again via the scientific method and peer review to make damn sure that it's correct!!!
    If you want to argue and name call then go debate politics somewhere else.
    Thank you Big Think. THIS is the types videos you should keep posting. These ones make you think and wonder in awe of the universe around you. Peace ✌️

  • I am interested in learning more about the presence of CBDs in space. How it may correlate to our biological presence.👨‍🚀

  • So we keep going smaller and smaller in scale, find what happened 1 billionth of a second of the universe being created but I've never heard an answer to what happened before time started itself, before there was mass, according to the law of conversation of mass mass can't be created so where did everything come from and where did the laws of physics themselves come from, if everything happens because a force was applied to it then where did the first force come from?

  • I tried to practice Professor Krauss' beer experiment. I woke up in my car with no knowledge of the previous night and beer on my data sets. More tests are needed.

  • hmm but as an explation of how things came to existence, it only takes the curiosity to the time before it, to how the stable state before the big bag was created eh

  • I know its hair splitting at this point but gravity waves are not the same as gravitational waves, pls fix the title so ppl would give more credibility to the content, which it undeniably deserves since Krauss is probably one of the best theorist to listen to.

  • Is everyone liking the change Google made to notifications? People are replying to your comments; Google just decided that you'll no longer be notified about it. You instead get notified only when someone thumbs up your comment, because that's useful…

  • I love listening to this guy so much that I'm not even bothered by his not-subtle "hey read my book" and general smug. Brilliant!

  • You want to assign a physical cause to the universe while ignoring the cause of the programming of the elements of the universe inside of you that are the essential working parts inside of you making your existence a reality. Diminishing perfection inside of you proves not only that there is top down perfection, it also proves you are losing whatever perfection there is. Any level of perfection or function is from an infinite regression from absolute perfection, not absolute chaos. You can only lose perfection and function, not gain them. You gain entropy, not lose it unless you already have all power, wisdom and understanding. Infinity is God. God is infinite and beyond the physical universe. The thing you should want to know is the end of lies, corruption and evil and where those things will take you. Only your Maker can cover for you Himself and remake you again from the inside out by the power of His true word. No one else can.

  • This is all well and good, cool story. 'We think' is stated by him several times. And guess what, 100+ years from now 'we think' is gonna be totally different.

  • Haha I love it when people who get their informaiton from facebook posts come here and debate science with someone who studies these things all their life. Blows my mind.

  • The universe most likely has always existed and is in a fluctuating state, and will one day shrink back to atomic levels, just to expand again.

  • Science and its discoveries are just so fascinating to learn about. Thanks, Big Think, despite your sometimes questionable contributors on far more asinine subjects

  • "Why?" is such a stupid, pointless question when it comes to nature. "How" or "where" is far more interesting and useful.

  • So, if he's really talking about inflation, why mention the Higgs? 'Cuz both are scalars involved in some kind of phase transition?

  • After seeing this brilliant explanation I just enjoyed unraveling the cable connecting my headphones. Cuz its (likely) a result of what he just described. Cheers!

  • I wonder if something like this will happen (again..?) when we get to the theoretical "heat death" of the known Universe.

  • "We think" being the operative phrase. I don't make assumptions, unlike modern physicists. I know as an empirical fact they are wrong. Modern physics are nothing more than a modern creation myth and just as bad as organized religion. The Cult of Quanta. If you think that this is how our universe truly functions, you are beyond ignorant. You are sleepwalking through life and deserve to be treated like the chattel they perceive you to be.

  • How we got here not why we are here . To promote his book and increase his income seems to be a good reason why he is there . I'm cool with that .

  • Why are we here? Who cares. You are here to fo whatever you want. Or whatever you can. Great vid though. You guys are awesone

  • God created the Heavens and the Earth and we are here for his divine purpose. The Bible has all the answers we will ever need. Going off of science (believing in theories and whatnot) will do you no good. We are living in the end times, so it is best we all accept Jesus Christ into our hearts and minds so we can live with him in paradise some day soon. He loves us all. He is coming soon. ❤

  • He knows his craft..you can tell he gets frustrated when he debates morons and ignorant people who claim things about science that he studied for decades.

    We all should get education in science so the smart once between us could do something our children would benefit from….learn about the real world..don't assuming the answered before asking the question and be open minded.

  • Il just b glad when i can walk outside lookup in the sky and really see something so I can go oooooo a ufo blackhole wormhole another planet closeby comet passing by or my favorite …..oh no… Theirs been an accident at the lhc

  • I applaud you Big Think for trying to help us comprehend a scientific explanation for the unknown creation of our Galaxy. Very interesting stuff

  • Archeologist uniform? Some Indiana Jones Adventures? Or is Krauss selling cattle? Maybe going to Jurassic Park?

  • I think it is worth noting that it was a priest who developed the idea of the big bang theory even before hubble. I'm not religous but it still should be mentioned

  • You are right Lawrence… it is hard to believe that it could have happened… and not just that but the result of all we see today. The title here is incorrect and it's something that Lawrence can't give an answer to.

  • The universe was small relative to what? When nothing else exists outside of the universe, does "big" and "small" have any meaning?

  • It's an unimaginable thing to even try to imagine this. There is no question, that there are things we will never be able to do, and questions we will never be able to answer, but wonder. I cant believe i exist, am i real ? i was in a state of non existence, now i exist! why anything at all?

  • The Big Bang theory was the product of research done by a Belgian Catholic Priest named Georges Lemaitre. The Big Bang is not contrary to religious accounts, but complementary.

  • Maybe our universe is actually a beer left in the freezer. Some Frat boy opened it……BIG BANG! EXPANSION!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then the beer was left near a lava lamp never to be touched again. We were the beer that was never drank and thrown in to the Hefty bag (black universe) the next morning. We exist in a billionth of a billionth of a billionth time frame of theirs. The beer's contents mixed with the left over pizza in the same trash (universe) which then created algae, which eventually created us (about 2 seconds of their time). And we sit here deliberating our existence. Multi-verse………24 pack of beer that someone is trying to get cold quick for a party over, and over, and over, and over, and over………………

  • As incredible as this cosmology seems, it still is far more plausible than any ancient religious narrative because this story has EVIDENCE and 100% of the evidence agrees with all other well tested theories. (i.e. relativity, quantum mechanics, particle physics) Stated simply: Science rules. God is for fools.

  • How much can you speculate about it? Because you cannot make any experiment with galaxies. Hence, this branch of physics is closer to theology than to real science.

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