The standard $\Lambda$CDM 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 $\Lambda$CDM to be an empirical success.
- Pub Date:
- August 2013
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology;
- High Energy Physics - Theory
- 6 pages, 2 figures