When the universe was born, about 14 billion yearsago, she created matter and antimatter that destroy each other at a meeting. Particles of antimatter of the same mass as particles of matter, but their electric charges are opposite. The most famous example is an electron (an ordinary negatively charged particle) and a positron (positively charged particle). But if at the very beginning there were matter and antimatter, then why then only matter remained? This question is one of the defining mysteries of physics. For decades, theorists have come up with potential solutions, most of which suggested the existence of additional, unknown particles in the universe. But whatever the final answer, scientists believe that they have taken a step towards a final understanding of one of the greatest secrets of the Universe: why does it even exist.
Physicists from Japan discovered ghostly particles that can break the symmetry of matter and antimatter in the universe.
War of matter and antimatter
A group of scientists from Japan published a studyin the journal Nature, on the discovery of fundamental particles that may be responsible for the uneven distribution of matter and antimatter in the universe. Agree, it would be logical to assume that if at the birth of the Universe the same number of particles and antiparticles appeared, then they would simply destroy each other. In this case, you and the cosmos as such would not exist. But we exist, which means that this did not happen.
According to the authors of the study, the existence ofThe universe turned out to be possible because the substance slightly exceeded the amount of antimatter. Roughly speaking, only one particle per billion particle-particle antiparticle has changed everything. This violation of symmetry between matter and antimatter is called baryonic asymmetry. Thanks to the huge proton accelerator and 9years of studying data about the experiments, scientists were able to uncover the most convincing evidence to date that behavior was caused by asymmetry neutrino - subatomic particles, the huge emission of whichoccurred during the big bang. When the neutrinos eventually split up, then according to this theory they formed more by-products of matter than antimatter.
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The thing is that neutrinos are much lighterquarks and pass through space almost without stopping to interact with anything at all. But since matter and antimatter exist, there are both ordinary neutrinos that we know about and extremely heavy neutrinos. These particles are so gigantic that they could only be created from the huge energies and temperatures present immediately after the Big Bang, when the Universe was very hot and dense.
The inevitable decay of these particles into smaller andmore stable species, could lead to a little more matter than antimatter by-products, which would lead to the existing structure of our Universe, Scientific American writes.
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Tokai to Kamioka experiment
The results of an experiment called Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) showed that there is a 95% chance that neutrinos will decay into an uneven fraction of matter and antimatter.
It is important to note that the vast majorityparticles of neutrinos or antineutrinos pass through the earth, as if our planet does not exist. By the way, it is precisely for this ability that neutrinos are called ghost particles.
During the experiment, scientists observed neutrinos when they swept 295 kilometers underground and changed their variety - this is a kind of neutrino ability, called neutrino oscillation. Underground detector in the laboratory of Kamiokain Japan, it is a reservoir filled with 55,000 tons of clean water. When a neutrino interacts with a neutron in a reservoir, the result may be born muon (unstable elementary particles withnegative electric charge) or electron. It was this transition of muon neutrinos and muon antineutrinos into their "mirror" forms - electronic neutrinos and electronic antineutrinos that interested scientists. Read more about what muons are and what other methods scientists are looking for neutrinos, read in our material.
However, to accurately measure howneutrinos and antineutrinos are very different, additional data and, possibly, future experiments will be required. It is important to understand that scientists will not be able to completely solve the problem of space antimatter. The fact is that in order to solve this fundamental question, one more requirement is necessary: neutrinos and antineutrinos must be one and the same substance. But how is this possible?
It is believed that matter and antimatter are identical, with the exception of the reverse electric charge. A neutrino without a charge can be both at the same time.
If such an opportunity really exists,then it can explain why neutrinos are so light - less than one six millionth electron mass. And if neutrinos and antineutrinos are one and the same thing, then they can get mass not due to interaction with the Higgs field (which is associated with the Higgs boson), as most particles do, but due to neutrino oscillations. This is a kind of swing that allows ghostly particles to change - when one rises, the other falls, and so on. However, the data obtained by researchers still need to be double-checked. In addition, it is not yet known how much they correspond to the observed discrepancy in the number of particles and antiparticles. And yet, it’s impossible not to feel awe, gradually unraveling secrets of the universe. Do you agree?