Research, Technology

Could strange quantum objects explain our existence?

Each of us wants to know who we are, where we are from and wherewe are moving. The answers to these questions are offered by a variety of people, from philosophers to priests and theoretical physicists, but it is the latter who have the greatest knowledge of the Universe. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, however, no one could have imagined that there would be so many elementary particles that one could make up a whole "zoo" of them. Only in 1925 the old quantum theory was replaced by quantum mechanics, which is based on wave equations and the principle of uncertainty, and its provisions differ significantly from the provisions of classical mechanics. In just a few decades, many elementary particles were discovered, and their interaction with each other formed the basis of the Standard Model. The launch of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the subsequent discovery of the "God particle" - scientifically the Higgs Boson - was just the beginning in understanding our complex world. Every year, scientists discover new particles, in parallel trying to answer the question of why we exist.

Q-balls are strange quantum objects capable of causing gravitational waves

Particle by Particle

One of the last particles discovered by physicistsis a tetraquark (I told you more about their discovery here). In short, tetraquarks are a particle of exotic matter that contains two heavy quarks and two light antiquarks. Quarks, as the reader will likely remember, are the fundamental building blocks of the universe that make up all matter.

Quarks are also particles from which they canconsisted of hadrons - the first group of elementary particles. Until recently, neutrons were thought to be made up of three quarks, but the new hadron particle is made up of four. The researchers note that tetraquark - the longest-lived particle of all known.

Tetraquarks were discovered in 2020

Don't Miss: Scientists Are Closer to Understanding Why the Universe Exists

Another novelty in our zoo is the Enions. These are not just new particles, they are so unusual that physicists have attributed them to the third kingdom of elementary particles.

The criterion for dividing elementary particles into twokingdoms is the value of spin, a quantum number that characterizes the particle's own angular momentum. In other words, if the spin of a single particle is determined by an integer, you have a boson in front of you, and if a half-integer, a fermion.

Now the statement that every lasta particle in the universe - from cosmic rays to quarks - is either a fermion or a boson, it seems, will have to be revisited. Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize winner in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says: "We used to have bosons and fermions, but now we have this third realm of elementary particles."

In the course of scientific research, scientists have proven that anyions belong to a separate class of elementary particles.

In a recent study, physicists were finally able to prove that anyons behave like something in between between the behavior of bosons and fermions. Moreover, their behavior is exactly in line with theoretical predictions.

More on the topic: Scientists from CERN are on the verge of discovering a "new physics"

What does gravitational waves have to do with it?

So, with a refresher on the Standard Model,which explains how particles invisible to the eye interact to create reality, let's go further: if the interaction of elementary particles creates our world, then can physics explain our existence?

Very similar to that.At least astrophysicists believe that there was an imbalance between matter and antimatter at the beginning of the universe. And to understand where it came from, scientists turned to gravitational waves.

Gravity waves - these are changes in the gravitational field,spreading like waves. Quite simply, they distort space-time. Read more about what gravitational waves are and when and how they were discovered in the fascinating material of my colleague Artem Sutyagin.

Gravitational Waves May Resolve Cosmology Crisis

A team of theoretical physicists led by Graham White of the Kavli Institute for Physics and Mathematics of the Universe has focused on a phenomenon called Q-ball... As with many concepts in theoretical physics, Q-ball is relatively difficult to explain.

Meanwhile, one of the largest cosmologicalthe mystery is why the universe is made up of much more matter than antimatter. More recently, a team of theoretical physicists figured out where to look for the answer - it is necessary to detect gravitational waves created by bizarre quantum objects called Q-balls.

Let's not forget that every type of ordinary particle of matter has a partner from antimatter with opposite characteristics. So when matter interacts with antimatter, they destroy each other... It is this fact that makes our existence a mystery, since cosmologists are almost sure that at the dawn of the universe there was an equal amount of matter and antimatter.

LIGO's gravitational waves come from black hole collisions

But if all these partners in matter andantimatter should have destroyed each other, the Universe would have remained without matter at all. But matter, as we know, exists, and researchers are gradually beginning to understand what all the fuss is about.

You will be wondering: Can gravitational waves solve the crisis of cosmology?

One potential reason could beQ-balls - theoretical "clumps" that formed immediately after the Big Bang, before the Universe began to expand. These objects must contain their own asymmetry of matter and antimatter. This means that inside each Q-ball there are unequal fractions of matter and antimatter.

And if the Q-balls would release more matter,than antimatter, it would cause gravitational ripples in space-time. According to the results of a new study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, in this case, it would be possible to detect Q-balls using gravitational waves. But how?

Q-ball decay is the key to creating gravitational waves

In fact, Q-balls Are accumulations of charged fields thatturned into lumps and stuck together. Once glued together, they tend to last a long time, surviving background radiation from the expansion of the universe. But what is potentially interesting about them is what happens when Q-balls disintegrate.

The collapse of the Q-ball is fast and violent.And so much so that they form gravitational waves! Moreover, these decay events are relatively common, and scientists must have the means to detect them. Gravitational-wave observatories such as LIGO have already detected gravitational waves from other sources, comparable in strength and frequency to waves caused by decaying Q-balls.

Probably, we will soon learn a lot about the Universe.

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Note that until now no gravitational waves attributed to the decays of Q-balls have been discovered. Nonetheless, Dr. White and his colleagues are optimistic about the immediate future:

We will almost certainly find a signal soon withthe beginning of time, confirming this theory of why we and the rest of the world of matter exist at all. This is a fascinating statement, and it should be of interest to anyone who is vitally interested in why matter exists at all, the authors of the scientific work write.

Understanding how our world works is not easy, but it seems to be real

And finally, I would like to remind you - apparently inA huge number of discoveries await us in the coming years. Earlier this year, we talked about a "new force of nature" - scientists at CERN are really on the verge of discovering a "new physics".

So we look forward to further research and try to understand the incredibly difficult for human understanding physics of the building blocks of ourselves and our Universe.