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Science

Evidence For Antimatter Anomaly Mounts 147

Posted by samzenpus
from the nature-of-things dept.
sciencehabit writes "The big bang created a lot of matter—along with the same amount of antimatter, which wiped out everything and brought the universe to an untimely end. That's what accepted theoretical physics tell us—though things clearly didn't work out that way. Now, results from a U.S. particle smasher are providing new evidence for a subtle difference in the properties of matter and antimatter that may explain how the early universe survived."
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Evidence For Antimatter Anomaly Mounts

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  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:04PM (#39201377) Homepage

    Our universe is just another marble in someone's bag. *sigh*

    • +1 MiB reference.
    • by Zandamesh (1689334) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:15PM (#39201533)

      Our universe is just another marble in someone's bag. *sigh*

      Galaxy. It's another galaxy in someone's bag.

    • by na1led (1030470)
      Or pixels on a big screen.
    • by hairyfeet (841228)
      Bah, the antimatter got split up among the bazillion alternate universes along with a smartass kid, an old professor, and an R&B man...oh and some chick, because if its one thing the multiverse don't like its a sausage fest.
  • by neokushan (932374) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:05PM (#39201393)

    I guess that means I must be in heaven or hell.
    Come to think of it, reading the comments on Slashdot does feel a little bit like Purgatory....

  • by PPH (736903) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:08PM (#39201431)
    So then, its like populating the roads with an equal number of Priuses and Lincoln Navigators?
  • From TFA:

    To witness CP violation.... The accepted theory...allows for a low level of CP violation... So researchers have been trying to find cases in which CP violation is higher.

    Oh, never mind it stands for charge-parity. One would have thought they would find a better acronym.

    • I think CP violation was used by particle physicists long before the term was hijacked and given a different meaning by law enforcement hysteria.
      • by jfengel (409917)

        There's another meaning? Google just turns up the physics one, at least for me.

        • by Zumbs (1241138)
          I get Canadian Pacific Railway Limited and Club Penguin from Google, and I suspect that GP did not refer to either.
        • Well for me, it turns up Canadian pacific [google.com] as the first hit. Not very interesting...

          But the second link is www.clubpenguin.com [clubpenguin.com]:

          Welcome to Club Penguin, a virtual world for kids guided by an unwavering commitment to safety and creativity.

          hummmm... seems there is more about Linux than meets the eye...

        • by dissy (172727)

          I think CP violation was used by particle physicists long before the term was hijacked and given a different meaning by law enforcement hysteria.

          There's another meaning? Google just turns up the physics one, at least for me.

          Well there's your problem! Don't search for Child Porn on Google, search for it on 4chan or motherless instead, you'll get many more non-physics related results!

          • by jfengel (409917)

            Ohhhhh... and now that I know, I wish I didn't. But thanks for telling me anyway.

        • by ardor (673957)

          Didn't you learn from Half-Life 2?

          It means Civil Protection, duh.
          CP violation leads to pacification, citizen.

  • by hhedeshian (1343143) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:11PM (#39201473)
    sudo umount /dev/anomaly
  • Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:12PM (#39201485)

    Lol so the very fact that there is a universe, in which we can contemplate the laws of physics, is itself a phenomenon that the standard models can't yet explain? Nice. Seems like a minor hole :)

    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by masternerdguy (2468142) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:14PM (#39201525)
      And at one point we couldn't even model two point particles interacting in a collission. Just because we don't know how it works today doesn't mean we never will.
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @04:11PM (#39202243)

      Lol so the very fact that there is a universe, in which we can contemplate the laws of physics, is itself a phenomenon that the standard models can't yet explain? Nice. Seems like a minor hole :)

      The standard model also doesn't explain dark matter, gravity, quantum physics and pile of other things. However, it does explain a lot of things really well, so until we can come up with the Grand Unified Theory of Everything, we're stuck with what we got.

      It's like how Newton's equations of motion work extremely well for general everyday human-scale physics, but fail when you go really small or really fast.

      Lots of things we understand in physics have limitations, and as long as we observe them, they do hold up.

    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OzPeter (195038) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @04:17PM (#39202301)

      Lol so the very fact that there is a universe, in which we can contemplate the laws of physics, is itself a phenomenon that the standard models can't yet explain? Nice. Seems like a minor hole :)

      Hell .. I don't even think there is an understanding as to what gravity is. And thats a lot less existential than "existence/non-existence"

      • by thrich81 (1357561)

        I'd say we "understand" gravity about as well as we do any aspect of the real world -- we have mathematical models which predict its effects to levels of precision beyond our experimental ability to find a discrepancy. The models are known to break down under extreme conditions but those are currently beyond our ability to experiment or observe. All we have to describe any phenomena in the universe are similar predictive models -- there is no deeper "understanding". In the realm of mathematics, where we

    • Well physics isn't the only field to suffer this problem. There's no standard model to explain the phenomenon of Justin Bieber's success. It seems like something that should be explainable, but it isn't.

    • by rmelton (165795)

      Well.. The fundamental theorem of Algebra can't be proved using algebra. (for other examples see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del's_completeness_theorem [wikipedia.org])

      I personally don't accept that that is the reason for your observation though.

  • Indeed (Score:5, Funny)

    by Waffle Iron (339739) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:14PM (#39201527)

    Under the highest magnification of our latest scanning tunneling microscopes, new images of these anti particles reveal that they sport tiny goatees.

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmaiWELTYl.com minus author> on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:17PM (#39201549) Journal

    It should be possible to detect these anomalies by throwing bolts at them and observing the reaction. If you don't have a bolt, the older tool used was a rock covered in a handkerchief with a string tied to it.

  • As long as 42 remains the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, I'm okay with it.
  • I am not a physicist, but couldn't the antimater simply be thrown backwards into what we would call the past.
    • by Muad'Dave (255648)

      Read this [wikipedia.org]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I am not a physicist, but couldn't the antimater simply be thrown backwards into what we would call the past.

      No, this has never been observed on antimatter. It behaves normal in time. You're confusing antimatter (existing: we can and do create antimatter) with tachions (hypothetical or Science-Fiction).

    • Antimatter does, in some respects, travel backwards in time. A positron behaves precisely as an electron would if it were going the opposite direction in time.
      • by lgw (121541)

        Except that the whole point of TFA (I know, I know) is that it doesn't quite. There must be some sort of symmetry violation in order for the universe to be matter-dominated.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:49PM (#39201969)

    The research is certainly interesting and important (at least to physicists), but it demonstrates CP violation only in certain relatively rare particles, the neutral D mesons. CP violation has been known to exist for a while (in K and B mesons), so that really is not that ground breaking. On the other hand, as far as I know, these effects are far too small to account for the matter/antimatter imbalance in the universe and additional mechanisms are required.

    • by physburn (1095481)
      CP violation has been observe in every weak decay that transform a quark from one generation to another, using the weak force. The weak force normally acts between a up-like quark and down-like quark in the same generation, but there is a miss-match between the down quarks as since by the W particle and the down quarks since by the Higgs that generate the masses of the particles, this leads to an additional matrix, the CKM, in the action of the W particle on quarks, leads to transmutations between the three
  • They should check the damn cables... the antimatter timer is off by 60 picoseconds again.

  • Did'ja check those cables first?

  • It would be very weird if all the matter and all the antimatter that was created just got all those matter and antimatter particles close enough to destroy themselves. I think it's not a surprise at all, there definitely were clumps of matter that never saw a single antimatter particles, and the opposite should be true, so some matter and antimatter got in a fight and some didn't. I actually wonder if there are galaxies or at least star systems that are completely made of antimatter and have very little ma

    • I actually wonder if there are galaxies or at least star systems that are completely made of antimatter and have very little matter there?

      That's exactly the problem. Those galaxies haven't been detected, and so, as far as we can tell, there's a huge bias against anti-matter in this universe.

  • I have not read TFA (sue me). However in this and in many other physics questions, I often wonder if they're over-thinking the problem.

    So, Big Bang goes off sending some amount of matter and anti-matter flying off in all directions. The matter and anti-matter in close proximity to each other annihilate each other. Some matter or anti-matter will be left in pockets locally assuming inequal amounts of each landed in proximity to each other.

    Why even bother to postulate unequal amounts of each were created w

  • How do we know that there is an imbalance of matter and antimatter? Perhaps this is only the case locally in the observable universe? Is it at all possible that in the whole of the universe there is in fact no imbalance, and for some reason matter and antimatter formed "pockets" where one dominates the other, and we're just observing one of these pockets?
    • by Viol8 (599362)

      I guess the argument is that if significant amounts of anti matter were still around then you'd see unexplained energy bursts in the sky where some annihilated with matter. Since we don't see this then either there isn't much anti matter around or something is keeping anti matter and matter apart. Occams razor says its the former explanation.

    • How do we know that there is an imbalance of matter and antimatter? Perhaps this is only the case locally in the observable universe? Is it at all possible that in the whole of the universe there is in fact no imbalance, and for some reason matter and antimatter formed "pockets" where one dominates the other, and we're just observing one of these pockets?

      Basically, because we can demonstrate that the early universe was dense enough when all matter (normal and anti) was created that it would have been quite well mixed, and that local islands of one or the other would be highly improbable. Thus, even if it did manage to clump, we'd be seeing cosmological cases of anilation that we aren't detecting.

  • Wow! So Michael McCollum got it right in the Makers series [scifi-az.com] where the difference between matter and anti-matter ends up being a primary plot point... which I won't spoil, but maybe these researchers should peak ahead to the last chapter of the second book, Procyon's Promise, to see what the answer is ;-)

    Sorry for accidental duplicate AC post.

    • by MCRocker (461060) *

      Argh! There's an error with my post... McCollum got the idea from Feynman. Basically that antimatter is just regular matter going backwards in time from the big crunch. So, not a glorious case of Sci-Fi presaging science, but a case of Sci-Fi rehashing interesting science.

      Sorry folks. Bad post and reply to my own post.

  • Stupid (Score:5, Informative)

    by wzzzzrd (886091) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @05:20PM (#39202951)

    That's what accepted theoretical physics tell us

    Your knowledge is approximately 20 years old.

    Yours sincerely,
    Nal Lerpil,
    Accepted Theoretical Physicist

  • They've found antimatter anomaly saddles, bridles and bits?

  • FTA:

    charge-parity (CP) violation—would have allowed normal matter to prevail over antimatter so that normal matter could go on to form all of the stuff we see in the universe today

    If the violation had been the other way around we'd probably still call ourselves the ones that matter. Or something. Just like in war, the victor gets to write the history and physics books.

  • We need to find out why matter is called matter and antimatter is called antimatter and not the other way around.
    • by aiht (1017790)

      We need to find out why matter is called matter and antimatter is called antimatter and not the other way around.

      Oh that's easy - it's because protons have a positive charge so they're 'normal' matter, but anti-protons have a negative charge, so they're 'anti' matter.

  • What I really want to know is if it is possible for antimatter to move faster than the speed of darkness.
    • by ledow (319597)

      The speed of darkness is always faster than the speed of light. No matter how fast light gets somewhere, the darkness has always beaten it to it.

      (C) Terry Pratchett

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