Where did all the anti-matter go?

By | July 29, 2008

Today, physicists conducting the BaBar experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), a Department of Energy laboratory operated by Stanford University, announced exciting new results demonstrating a dramatic difference in the behavior of matter and antimatter …

When the universe began with the big bang, matter and antimatter were present in equal amounts. But all observations indicate that we live in a universe made only of matter. What happened to the antimatter?

Subtle differences between the behavior of matter and antimatter must be responsible for the matter-antimatter imbalance that developed in our universe. –sd

“Our universe is made up almost completely of matter. While we’re entirely used to this idea, this does not agree with our ideas of how mass and energy interact. According to these theories there should not be enough mass to enable the formation of stars and hence life.”

“In our standard model of particle physics, matter and antimatter are almost identical. Accordingly as they mix in the early universe they annihilate one another leaving very little to form stars and galaxies. The model does not come close to explaining the difference between matter and antimatter we see in the nature. The imbalance is a trillion times bigger than the model predicts.”

Sevior says that this inconsistency between the model and the universe implies there is a new principle of physics that we haven’t yet discovered.

“Together with our colleagues in the Belle experiment, based at KEK in Japan, we have produced vast numbers of B mesons with the world’s most intense particle collider.”

“We then looked at how the B-mesons decay as opposed to how the anti-B-mesons decay. What we find is that there are small differences in these processes. While most of our measurements confirm predictions of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, this new result appears to be in disagreement.”

“It is a very exciting discovery because our paper provides a hint as to what the new principle of physics is that led to our Universe being able to support life.” –sd

Leave a Reply