According to quantum theory, it’s possible that the lowest energy state of our universe – when there’s nothing but space and time – isn’t the lowest possible state of all.
In this picture, there exists an even lower energy state, one that our universe could transition to. That might not sound too ominous until you learn that in the lower energy state, all the protons in all the matter in the universe decay, with the unfortunate side effect that we cease to exist.
Worse still, the transition could happen at any time, anywhere in the universe, and expand at light speed from a tiny bubble until it annihilates the entire universe as we know it, which would be, you know, bad.
Recently, this idea was re-examined within the context of the Standard Model of Particle Physics – the modern quantum theory of subatomic particles and their interactions. Precise calculations dictate that the stability of our universe is intimately connected to the mass of the Higgs boson (and the top quark), a parameter which – thanks to the efforts of Large Hadron Collider – is now known to be about 125 GeV.
It is the conclusions of this re-examination that have raised a furore in the media: the Standard Model predicts that for our universe to be stable, the Higgs mass needs to be larger than 129.4 ± 5.6 GeV, so it only just fits within the uncertainties.
Ergo the end is nigh, at least in the units of time that cosmologists work with. But don’t stock your matter-collapsing-proof shelter just yet – those time scales are billions to trillions of years.The article goes on to note that, as the Standard Model doesn't cover everything, there may well be an "out."
The other person who had a lot hanging on the mass of the Higgs was Frank Tipler, who had predicted a Higgs mass way of 220 or so for his Omega Point theory to work.
Sadly, I have not seen any comment by him since the LHC announcement of its measurement last year.