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Can the Higgs Boson Save Us From the Menace of the Boltzmann Brains?

Boddy, Kimberly K. and Carroll, Sean M. (2013) Can the Higgs Boson Save Us From the Menace of the Boltzmann Brains? , Pasadena, CA. (Submitted)

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The standard ΛCDM model provides an excellent fit to current cosmological observations but suffers from a potentially serious Boltzmann Brain problem. If the universe enters a de Sitter vacuum phase that is truly eternal, there will be a finite temperature in empty space and corresponding thermal fluctuations. Among these fluctuations will be intelligent observers, as well as configurations that reproduce any local region of the current universe to arbitrary precision. We discuss the possibility that the escape from this unacceptable situation may be found in known physics: vacuum instability induced by the Higgs field. Avoiding Boltzmann Brains in a measure-independent way requires a decay timescale of order the current age of the universe, which can be achieved if the top quark pole mass is approximately 178 GeV. Otherwise we must invoke new physics or a particular cosmological measure before we can consider ΛCDM to be an empirical success.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Boddy, Kimberly K.0000-0003-1928-4667
Carroll, Sean M.0000-0002-4226-5758
Additional Information:We thank Clifford Cheung, Stefan Leichenauer, Michael Ramsey-Musolf, Michael Salem, and Mark Wise for helpful conversations. This research is funded in part by DOE grant DE-FG02-92ER40701, and by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant 776 to the Caltech Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics.
Group:Caltech Theory, Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-92ER40701
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation776
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130925-113239870
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:41527
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:25 Sep 2013 20:44
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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