Sunday, August 07, 2011

Quantum Zeno effect apocalyse

For years, scientists have been scouring the cosmos for some kind of bizarre hypothetical anti-gravity bullshit they're calling "dark energy". And they've had some success with it ... perhaps at the expense of our mortal souls.

To grossly simplify it, on a scale smaller than atoms, the quantum level, everything suddenly turns into a goddamn circus. Quantum physics is to regular everyday physics as a David Lynch film is to a mainstream blockbuster. We're talking particles popping in and out of existence, being in two places at the same time, and generally acting like assholes.

No doubt the strangest part is the Quantum Zeno effect, which points out that simply observing and measuring particles changes them (specifically, changing the rate at which they decay). How? No one knows. It appears to be the closest science has ever come to proving black magic exists.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

One prominent scientist theorized that the changes caused by simply observing dark energy could cause it to collapse, taking the universe with it.

Scientists, eager to see if this is true, are furiously observing dark energy whenever they get the chance.

So, Basically It's Like...

It's like crossing the streams in Ghostbusters, apparently.

How Long Have We Got?

That scientist, Professor Lawrence Krauss, thinks it may already be underway. Apparently, in the late 90s, scientists were looking at a bunch of shit exploding in space when they caught their first glimpse of some dark energy. This may have put the universe into a state where it may or may not pop like a soap bubble at any given instant. Just because we looked at it. Holy balls.

Risk Level: 3

This ... this can't be right, can it? Surely the guy's just nuts. Then again, he appears to be one of the most prominent physicists in the country and has published a huge list of papers and books on the subject.

Then again, one of them was The Physics of Star Trek and, now that we think about it, we're pretty sure he stole this whole scenario from an episode of The Next Generation.

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