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LHCb Experiment Observes New Matter-Antimatter Difference 129

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the anti-matter-was-fired-years-ago dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Matter and antimatter are thought to have existed in equal amounts at the beginning of the Universe, but today the Universe appears to be composed essentially of matter. By studying subtle differences in the behavior of particles and antiparticles, experiments at the LHC are seeking to cast light on this dominance of matter over antimatter. Now the LHCb experiment has observed a preference for matter over antimatter known as CP-violation in the decay of neutral B0s particles. The results are based on the analysis of data collected by the experiment in 2011."
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LHCb Experiment Observes New Matter-Antimatter Difference

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @09:37AM (#43535873)

    Now the LHCb experiment has observed a preference for matter over antimatter known as CP-violation

    If the pro-matter people are violating CP laws, I want nothing to do with them.

    Just Say No to matter!

  • Matter and antimatter are thought to have existed in equal amounts at the beginning of the Universe

    yes, both zero at the beginning.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by UnknownSoldier (67820)

      /sarcasm. Right, the universe just spontaneous came into existence.

      From the Laws of Thermal Dynamics we know energy can not be created nor destroyed.
      Einstein showed us all Matter is Energy.
      Therefore the Universe has ALWAYS existed in one form or another.
      Q.E.D.

      • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @10:28AM (#43536353) Homepage Journal

        You say "QED" like science is a closed method of understanding like logic is. The scientific method makes acknowledgement that its results are only accurate in as far as the controls we've been able impose in our experimentation and observation hold. We have never tested the laws of thermodynamics in conjunction with a singularity, and thus anything we say about their behavior there is an extrapolation. Extrapolation isn't induction, and what you just said isn't a proof.

        • All physical laws breakdown before Big Bang.

          • See, but that's a positive assertion that's actually quite unprovable. We know there are a subset that cannot operate as we define them today because contradictions would arise, but that's not the same as them. There may be underlying rules/laws to the ones we use today that would continue to make sense under those conditions.

            I'm not saying there are, but you're the one making a positive assertion.

          • by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @03:01PM (#43539219)

            This is incorrect. All currently known laws become meaningless as all your variables go towards infinity. This doesn't mean there are no laws - simply that we lack the theory to describe them in such extreme conditions.

            It's the "what's infinity * infinity? Infinity!" - it doesn't really describe anything real. Of course, this situation changes dramatically if we could show that the variables didn't go to infinity, but were bounded in some fashion. Presently, we can't though.

      • /sarcasm. Right, the universe just spontaneous came into existence.

        From the Laws of Thermal Dynamics we know energy can not be created nor destroyed.
        Einstein showed us all Matter is Energy.
        Therefore the Universe has ALWAYS existed in one form or another.
        Q.E.D.

        you are forgetting zero point energy where a negative and a positive particle spontaniously (for lack of a better word) spawn and then annihilate each other leaving the balance at zero. this does not violate thermodynamics as the balance is maintained. Is it possible that the universe is nothing more than a very large zero point even where the antimatter will eventually annihilator all the matter?

        • by Anonymous Coward
          That's the problem, there isn't enough anti-matter to annihilate all of the matter. There is a lack of symmetry in the creation of matter and anti-matter.
          • There is a lack of symmetry in the creation of matter and anti-matter.

            How do we know this? How do we know that a distant galaxy isn't completely made of antimatter? Does anti-hydrogen fusion in an antimatter star produce a different spectrum than normal hydrogen in a normal matter star?

            When the Big Bang happened, both matter and antimatter were created. A goodly amount of it found its opposite and annihilated back to energy. However, the universe was expanding at the time. Eventually the universe would be big enough that a particle and antiparticle could fly away from

            • Good question! (Score:5, Informative)

              by Roger W Moore (538166) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @02:36PM (#43539047) Journal

              How do we know this?

              We know this by looking for gamma rays produced by matter/anti-matter annihilations. The solar wind does not annihilate with out atmosphere so we know the sun is made of matter. This same wind does not annihilate with the interstellar medium in the galaxy so that is made of matter. No other star has visible annihilation lines with this medium either so we can be sure the entire galaxy is made of matter. Further out out galaxy does not create annihilations with the medium in the local super cluster of galaxiesand neither does any other galaxy so we know that the local super cluster is all made of matter.

              To go further afield is harder since at this point the distances rule out detecting gamma rays from the incredibly sparse intergalactic medium (at least this was true several years ago - perhaps astronomers can do better now?). So instead what you can do is look at galactic collisions. No colliding pair of galaxies emits gamma radiation consistent with annihilation events so either the universe is really perverse and somehow no pair of colliding galaxies is ever a matter/antimatter pair OR there are no anti-matter galaxies out there to collide with. So while it is impossible to rule out that there might be one or two anti-matter galaxies hiding in some distant corner of the universe there are clearly far, far more matter galaxies than anti-matter ones.

            • There is a lack of symmetry in the creation of matter and anti-matter.

              How do we know this? How do we know that a distant galaxy isn't completely made of antimatter?

              Basically because from things like the cosmic background radiation and other evidence, we can determine what the original conditions of the universe were like. In the time of primordial nucleosynthesis, about three minutes after the big bang, things were becoming cool enough for matter and anti-matter to form. In this time, things were still pretty well mixed and it was too hot for a nucleus to capture electrons or positrons, so matter and anti-matter were recombining as they were drawn to each other and an

      • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @01:15PM (#43538307) Homepage Journal

        /sarcasm. Right, the universe just spontaneous came into existence.

        From the Laws of Thermal Dynamics we know energy can not be created nor destroyed.
        Einstein showed us all Matter is Energy.
        Therefore the Universe has ALWAYS existed in one form or another.
        Q.E.D.

        Indeed, the curvature of the universe corresponds to negative energy, which can make the energy budget zero. See "A universe from nothing" by Lawrence Krauss (talk [youtube.com] here) on why the energy budget can be zero.

        One aspect in the big bang is that you can borrow energy from quantum mechanics if you give it back within a short time (the time needs to be shorter the more energy you borrow). Combine this with extremely fast inflation and you can run away with the energy you borrowed.

        • One aspect in the big bang is that you can borrow energy from quantum mechanics if you give it back within a short time (the time needs to be shorter the more energy you borrow). Combine this with extremely fast inflation and you can run away with the energy you borrowed.

          So you are saying the early universe was just like our financial system? ;-)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by PhilHibbs (4537)

      My theory is, that matter and antimatter did exist in equal amounts. Matter travels one direction in time, antimatter travels the other direction. So the two forms of matter headed of in different temporal directions, and the original matter and antimatter will never meet. Antimatter can be created in high energy interactions though, which explains why there is some around, but that isn't the original antimatter.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If that were the case, then reactions that produce anti-matter would be detectable before they occur.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Why do you think they move in different directions causing them to not meet? There is nothing to support this. Matter and Anti-matter pretty much are the same, other than they cancel out on contact and revert back to energy. There seems to be a bias in the creation of anti-matter, which is strange.
  • CP (Score:5, Funny)

    by MagicM (85041) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @10:02AM (#43536081)

    "CP-violation"

    Right. Like I'm going to click on that link.

  • by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @10:03AM (#43536097) Homepage

    but the headline is a bit grandiose - there is nothing new about CP violation. CP violation has been known for a very long time and there are at least three other examples of it prior to LHCb report. Also, as CERN notes, others were not able to accumulate sufficient statistics to make the observational claim. Perhaps "CERN's LHCb confirms CP violation in another particle" my be both a more accurate way of describing it and also less "omg, ponies!"

    • by hajus (990255) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @10:09AM (#43536147)

      For the electroweeak force yes, but not in the QCD Lagrangian. B+ meson CP violation is the new part.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        this is still the same CKM quark mixing. finding CP violation in the QCD lagrangian would be *really* big news.

        • Sometimes I think people are just trolling /. by posting random letters that look like physics, then I spend some time on Wikipedia and realise how little I know.

          • by BitterOak (537666)
            Actually the GP (AC) is absolutely right, and GGP (hajus) has it wrong. CP violation in a strong decay would be really big news. Strong decays aren't even believed to exhibit P or C violation separately. What this experiment observed was CP violation in decays of the B^0_s (B superscript 0 subscript s) meson, a weakly decaying particle. (This meson consists of a bottom quark together with an anti-strange quark). This is the fourth particle for which CP violation has been observed, the first seen by Fitch
      • by lgw (121541)

        But this was predicted years ago, right? (IIRC there are two commonly predicted CP violations) This is "just" experimental confirmation?

    • by mu22le (766735)

      I think the headline is correct, LHCb has observed CP violation in an experimental domain where it had not been observed before. The headline does not claim that LHCb has discovered CP violation.

  • What type of matter most of the universe is made of? Past this particular gravity well of our sun, how do we tell that the rest of the planets and stars are not anti-matter planets and anti-matter stars?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, let me start by saying I don't know anything about this field. However, it seems to me that the interstellar medium is that kind of combination of really close to a vacuum and really big that still allows for quite a lot of particles out there hitting the edge of our solar system (I believe we're close to (or already are) getting actual measurements from probes we've sent out that have already left or will soon leave the solar system). Where these collisions occur, we'd expect matter-antimatter pairs

    • by Brucelet (1857158)
      If there were large pockets of matter and anti-matter in different places, then there would be boundaries between them where annihilations are frequent. We observe no such boundaries.
      • But matter grouts together with indistinct borders that are not often crossed.

        We are in the The Milky Way galaxy, it is probably fair to say that it is made of a vast majority of matter.

        But how do well know that the Andromeda Galaxy is not made of a vast majority of antimatter.

        • by Brucelet (1857158)
          If antimatter galaxies were common, then we'd see collisions between matter and anti-matter galaxies which would be radically different and more energetic than the collisions we do see.
    • by thrich81 (1357561)

      Read the AC comment before mine, it says about about what I was going to say. Certainly within galaxies and galaxy groups, there are enough interactions that we would see the results of the matter-antimatter annihilation if there were significant amounts of both, especially gamma rays at the energy of electron-positron annihilations. And many cosmic ray particles come from a long ways out, maybe even intergalactic, I think -- if there was a lot of antimatter out there we would see more antimatter in the i

  • Matter...Anti-Matter...I'm the guy with the gun.
  • by moeinvt (851793) on Wednesday April 24, 2013 @12:06PM (#43537413)

    Meanwhile, in a parallel universe: "...experiments at the LHC are seeking to cast light on this dominance of antimatter over matter."

    • by jfengel (409917)

      Except they call it the CHL.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, the headline would be exactly the same. THAT's curious.

    • > Meanwhile, in a parallel universe: "...experiments at the LHC are
      > seeking to cast light on this dominance of antimatter over matter."

      Actually, they would consider their form of matter to be "matter" and "the other kind" would be "anti-matter".

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. -- Francis Bacon

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