About 10 picoseconds after the Big Bang, the Higgs boson ‘switched on’ and gave some other particles part of their mass. In some theories, this happens through the formation and expansion of the bubbles you see here.
The collision of these bubbles and the subsequent sloshing of all the other particles in the universe might have been substantial sources of gravitational waves. Future space-based gravitational wave detectors like LISA will hunt for these waves. This offers us a new probe of particle physics at high energy scales.
When the transition is very strong, the velocities in the fluid become relativistic. If the transition is a deflagration substantial vortical motion can be created and hot droplets can form in between the bubbles as they expand. In another type of transition called a detonation, little vortical motion is created, and no hot droplets form. This movie shows the vorticity generated for a deflagration with wall velocity vw=0.24 and strength alpha=0.34.
The location of the bubble wall is shaded in white.
Code: David Weir and Daniel Cutting
Video: Daniel Cutting
HPC resources: CSC Finland (csc.fi/)