- Nothingness of Space Could Illuminate the Theory of Everything
Could the vacuum contain dark energy, gravity particles, and frictionless gears?
It is nicely written, scientifically accurate though vague, but its narrative is absolutely pointless - it just ends somewhere and I kept looking for the next page.
The article adds more evidence that headlines are in most cases nonsensical and have rarely something to do with the content of the article. I've been told repeatedly headlines are picked by the editors not the writers, and I find this increasingly annoying. The article by Folger talks a bit about Casimir energy and dark energy. Then it features the idea of 'extracting' energy from the vacuum which could destroy the universe in a chain reaction in which our vacuum reverts to an energetically more favorable state: “If some clever engineer were ever to extract energy from the vacuum, it could set off a chain reaction that would spread at the speed of light and destroy the universe.” At least that wasn't the headline. Finally there are some paragraphs about the LHC and the Higgs and a rather unmotivated mentioning of extra dimensions and M-theory. How the vacuum is supposed to “illuminate” the Theory of Everything remains remarkably unclear throughout the whole article.
John Baez is quoted in various places and is a voice of reason, esp. with regard to the destruction of the universe. About the possibility that the LHC might find the Higgs and only the Higgs, he says
“Well, it would be exciting, but only in the same sense as if you lose your keys and then you find them again. Someone would certainly win a Nobel Prize for it, but after the initial excitement, particle physicists would become grumpy because it would just mean that what we thought was true is true, and all the things we don’t understand we still don’t understand, and there is still no new evidence.”
Sean Carroll is quoted with “we really have to think deeply about what our theories are.”