Merging black holes may create bubbles that could swallow the universe

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The area between a pair of large black holes on the verge of colliding could provide the conditions to create dangerous bubbles of "true vacuum"

Space 26 November 2021

By Leah Crane

This artistic impression shows two black holes that are spiralling towards each other and will eventually coalesce.

Artistic impression of two black holes spiralling towards each other

ESA

Large colliding black holes could be a breeding ground for tiny black holes. If we spot signs of these cosmic lightweights, it could provide proof of the fundamental nature of our universe.

There have been hints in particle physics that our universe may not be in the lowest possible energy state – instead of a true vacuum, it may be in a state called a false or metastable vacuum. If any part of the universe were to collapse into a …

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