Humint Events Online: Why We Exist

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why We Exist

This is pretty wild:
Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are reporting that they have discovered a new clue that could help unravel one of the biggest mysteries of cosmology: why the universe is composed of matter and not its evil-twin opposite, antimatter. If confirmed, the finding portends fundamental discoveries at the new Large Hadron Collider outside Geneva, as well as a possible explanation for our own existence.

In a mathematically perfect universe, we would be less than dead; we would never have existed. According to the basic precepts of Einsteinian relativity and quantum mechanics, equal amounts of matter and antimatter should have been created in the Big Bang and then immediately annihilated each other in a blaze of lethal energy, leaving a big fat goose egg with which to make to make stars, galaxies and us. And yet we exist, and physicists (among others) would dearly like to know why.

Sifting data from collisions of protons and antiprotons at Fermilab’s Tevatron, which until last winter was the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, the team, known as the DZero collaboration, found that the fireballs produced pairs of the particles known as muons, which are sort of fat electrons, slightly more often than they produced pairs of anti-muons. So the miniature universe inside the accelerator went from being neutral to being about 1 percent more matter than antimatter.

“This result may provide an important input for explaining the matter dominance in our universe,” Guennadi Borissov, a co-leader of the study from Lancaster University, in England, said in a talk Friday at Fermilab, in Batavia, Ill.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for posting some profound physics.

The key that I saw was that the effect was some 50X greater than expected, and it was claimed that it implies either new, unpredicted particles, and/or a new force in nature--beyond the known 4.

But then it went on to something I am dubious on. This finding was used as justification for the LHC at CERN.

And I have written and even predicted, that matters in that regard may be nefarious in that creation of worm holes or black holes in the LHC, may have sinister purposes.

So this seeming newsworthy item relates to the LHC...

Anonymous Physicist

3:02 PM  
Blogger spooked said...

Actually, I had the same thought-- this seemed liked a justification for the LHC, and therefore somewhat dubious. But the idea was really interesting nonetheless.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree it is fascinating, especially if this is new for you. But it actually goes back to the 1930's as I recall and the discovery of antimatter, predicted by Dirac. From there, laws of physics began to deal with symmetries and violations of symmetry and conservation laws RE particle interactions and such.

So this question of the preponderance or excess of matter over antimatter in our Universe has been asked for a good few decades now.

Of course with the newer understanding of the Multiverse (string theory), there could be Universes where the antimatter is in abundance, but they'd probably reverse what they called the two.

You'd probably also like the discussion and laws of Physics RE creation and annihilation of virtual particles--which does give rise to effects in our physical world.

2:58 PM  

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