Scientists believe they have solved one of the oldest mysteries in the universe
- on Sep 13, 2022
Researchers propose using the universe itself as a laboratory to solve one of the biggest mysteries of the cosmos.
One of the main mysteries of the Universe is that at the moment of the Big Bang there were two forms of matter: ordinary matter and antimatter. But these two forms destroy each other when they come into contact. Therefore, scientists are trying to find out why the Universe consists of ordinary matter, and not out of nothing at all, and where all the antimatter has gone. It seems that scientists have found a solution to this problem, writes The Independent.
According to the author of the new study, Yano Tsui from the University of California at Riverside, USA, the fact that ordinary matter prevails in the Universe remains one of the main mysteries of modern physics.
“The asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the early universe is necessary for the universe to be dominated by ordinary matter, but it cannot be achieved within the known laws of physics. There are theories that can explain all this, but they cannot be tested on Earth. But we found a way using the CMB left over from the Big Bang to turn the universe itself into a laboratory to test these theories,” says Cui.
As part of the study, the scientists decided to test a theory that relates to leptogenesis, a process of particle decay that could lead to an asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the early universe.
“The asymmetry in some types of elementary particles at the very beginning of the existence of the Universe could develop over time and as a result of further interactions of particles into an asymmetry between matter and antimatter, which created the cosmos known to us. Leptogenesis is one of the most convincing mechanisms that could give rise to the asymmetry of ordinary matter and antimatter, and it is associated with such a fundamental particle as the right-handed neutrino, but this particle cannot be obtained in modern particle accelerators on Earth, even in the Large Hadron Collider, due to the too large mass of this particle, “says Cui.
According to the scientist, there is no need to create a more powerful collider on Earth, because the same conditions that can be created in this particle accelerator already existed in the early Universe.
“Cosmic inflation, that is, the rapid expansion of the Universe at the very beginning of its existence, created a high-energy environment that allowed the creation of new heavy particles, and also contributed to their interaction. That is, it was such a space collider, but with an energy that exceeded 10 billion times capabilities of any modern particle accelerator,” Cui says.
Traces of the creation of asymmetry can be found in the distribution of galaxies, as well as in the cosmic microwave background that was left after the Big Bang, scientists say. New research could reveal the origin of matter and why ordinary matter is dominant in the cosmos.
If everything in the universe has a beginning and an end, it means that our universe itself will also someday disappear. There are many theories about how and when this will happen. Focus wrote about the five most popular hypotheses that tell about the future of the cosmos.