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Fermilab experiment shows bias towards matter

Posted on Wednesday, May 19 2010 @ 10:39:03 CEST by


One of the mysteries of the universe is who anything exists at all, because according to the Standard Model equal amounts of matter and antimatter should have been created in the Big Bang and then immediately annihilated each other, leaving nothing behind. Physicists at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory may shed some light on this, as their research indicates about 1 percent more matter than antimatter is being created from collisions of protons and antiprotons at Fermilab's Tevatron.
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.
More details at NY Times.


 



 

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