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Science

CERN Scientists Conclude that the Universe Should Not Exist (ign.com) 456

Scientists at CERN are bemused as to why the universe exists, according to a new study. From a report, shared by a reader: Recent discoveries suggest that there's a perfect symmetry between matter and antimatter - meaning it's not clear why they didn't annihilate each other upon the birth of the universe. CERN's latest study sought to find out whether different magnetic properties accounted for matter's seeming victory after the Big Bang, but found another point of symmetry. Essentially, going by our findings so far, there simply shouldn't be a universe. Further reading: Universe shouldn't exist, CERN physicists conclude - Cosmos Magazine.
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CERN Scientists Conclude that the Universe Should Not Exist

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  • News flash: (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 26, 2017 @09:12AM (#55436423)

    ...it doesnâ(TM)t.

  • by Black.Shuck ( 704538 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @09:14AM (#55436435)

    "...the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."

    - Douglas Adams

    • "You are not reading this" - Baghdad Bob AKA Chemical Ali
      • Baghdad Bob and Chemical Ali are two different people. Chemical Ali was Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti, Baghdad Bob was Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf.
        • Chemical Ali was what us Brits called Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf you guys across the pond later used the same monica for Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti.
          • Why? His name was not Ali, and he had nothing to do with Iraq's chemical weapons production.
            • I looked it up on the BBC. He was referred to as "Comical Ali" as a play on "Chemical Ali". Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti earned the name Chemical Ali during the Iran-Iraq war in the 80's. Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf only became well know during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
    • I get conniptions when I see people intimate that there are two and only two possible theories to existence and the nature of reality: Big Bang or Creator God. Why not the Tao?

  • Propaganda (Score:3, Informative)

    by qe2e! ( 1141401 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @09:14AM (#55436439)
    The phrasing here is just terrible. They confirmed the universe is harder to explain. Phrasing like this is for pushing intelligent design arguments.
    • The phrasing here is just terrible. They confirmed the universe is harder to explain. Phrasing like this is for pushing intelligent design arguments.

      Intelligent Design tends to get awkward when you combine questions like "Is God irreducibly complex?" with the same reasoning accepted as applicable to theories about evolution (or anything else for that matter).

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        How about if we lower the bar from to Sentient Influence ?
        Meaning a self-aware or thinking entity's influence caused the universe to come into existence.
        That allows for the possibility that some or many aspects of it were intelligently designed, and other
        aspects were emergent characteristics or occured due to probability (Which might or might not have
        been the primary goal of the Sentient Influencer).

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          It's not clear to me how that's any different that the argument that we're living in a simulation. Interesting idea, but what novel, testable predictions does it make?

        • Why not just say "God" and be done with it. And then you can tell us all your verifiable, falsifiable theory of God with some predictions on what we should be able to see if the claim "God did it" is true, and how we could go about falsifying the claim (ie. evidence incompatible with "God did it").

          • by mysidia ( 191772 )

            Why not just say "God" and be done with it.

            Because a quarter to half the population already has their own preconceived idea about what "God" is.

            So we can let them have their idea that the influencer is "God", and others could attribute different characteristics
            to the apparently-sentient influencer; like the concept that our universe is someone's petri dish, and a mad scientist
            from a different universe made some minor adjustments causing our big bang and physics to work out.

        • How about replacing "In the beginning God said 'Let there be light'"

          With "In the beginning She said, 'I just had a thought...'"

          This aligns contemporary neopagan mythology with information theory, which is a useful early step in building a new bridge from Here to Somewhere Else that avoids reliance on any of the shopworn and unsafe postulates of the old way of thinking about things.

          (There. I think that's vague enough to seem plausibly metaphysical.)

    • The phrasing here is very much hyperbole.

      Standard quantum mechanics (well, relativistic quantum mechanics) states that particles and antiparticles must have exactly the same magnetic properties. Exactly.

      If CERN tests didn't verify this, there would be a big, big problem with parts of physics that we thought we knew pretty well. That's a pretty exciting experiment to try, since if there was a big big problem with quantum mechanics, it would be groundbreaking to find this out. But it's not particularly hea

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      No. The phrasing is great. You shouldn't be too full of yourself.

      The WTF moments that scientific hubris leads to are far more likely to drive people to "intelligent design" then being honest with our limitations.

  • by organgtool ( 966989 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @09:16AM (#55436459)
    Since the law of conservation of mass and energy states that matter and energy can not be created then how did it ever come into existence in the first place?
    • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @09:27AM (#55436593)

      The human mind is particularly bad at handling some concepts... like 'infinity' for one.

      What if the universe always existed, and always will? Why can't it be infinitely long on the time axis as well as the spatial ones? You ask how it came into existence in the first place, and I say what if it DIDN'T and it's simply always been there?

      Everything our current models tell us about reality, from the Big Bang to the Heat Death of the observable universe could very well be nothing more than a finite and insignificant perturbation in the infinity of existence.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by kilfarsnar ( 561956 )

        The human mind is particularly bad at handling some concepts... like 'infinity' for one.

        What if the universe always existed, and always will? Why can't it be infinitely long on the time axis as well as the spatial ones? You ask how it came into existence in the first place, and I say what if it DIDN'T and it's simply always been there?

        Everything our current models tell us about reality, from the Big Bang to the Heat Death of the observable universe could very well be nothing more than a finite and insignificant perturbation in the infinity of existence.

        If Einstein was right, and space and time are the same thing, it seems reasonable that if the Universe has infinite space it should have infinite time.

      • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @10:22AM (#55437075) Homepage

        The human mind is particularly bad at handling some concepts... like 'infinity' for one. What if the universe always existed, and always will? Why can't it be infinitely long on the time axis as well as the spatial ones?

        Because if it had always existed, there would be dead stars that are infinitely (or nearly infinitely) old. But there aren't.

        What we do know absolutely for sure is that the universe has not existed infinitely in its current form. Stars don't last forever. Entropy tends toward maximum. If the universe was infinitely old, it would have slid down the curve of entropy to be a featureless mess.

        The nature of that event at the beginning (of the universe as we know it), however, is still somewhat unclear. We do see the universe expanding, and that's a clue. We can track it backwards to very small and very dense. But we can't track it backwards to the "beginning," because it gets to realms of energy and density for which we don't know the laws of physics.

        • >Because if it had always existed, there would be dead stars that are infinitely (or nearly infinitely) old. But there aren't.

          You have mistakenly interpreted my comment on the existence of the universe being infinite as a claim that the universe is steady-state.

          You probably should have paid more attention to my final statement in that post which would have disabused you of that notion.

          • What we know for sure is that the universe hasn't existed forever in its current form. If it has existed forever, it has been in a different form.

            If you are arguing for the possibillity that the universe is a temporary fluctuation in a thermal equilibrium state, you do realize that large fluctuations are exponentially unlikely, and the probability of any fluctuation being long-lasting is even more exponentially unlikely. So, if what we see as the universe is a fluctuation, it is almost certainly very very

          • by ichthus ( 72442 )

            No, he's recognized that "a finite and insignificant perturbation in the infinity of existence" is simple hand waving nonsense, and doesn't say or answer anything.

      • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

        Among other things, if the universe always existed, where is the fresh matter coming from that's fueling all our stars? Everything should have burned out already in an infinitely old universe. You'd have to invent some source of matter generation or non-energy-conservation, and that's far more problematic than the current big bang theory..

        • > Everything should have burned out already in an infinitely old universe.

          You have mistakenly interpreted my comment on the existence of the universe being infinite as a claim that the universe is steady-state.

          You probably should have paid more attention to my final statement in that post which would have disabused you of that notion.

          • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

            Yeah, it didn't look like you were going in that direction, and I glossed over the last sentence. I'm still not really sure that the idea of being a pocket in an infinitely old universe really changes things much compared to the idea that the Big Bang created the entirety of the universe. Either option is in the realm of unknown and probably unknowable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        > What if the universe always existed, and always will?

        Considering that the 1st Law of Thermodynamics [wikipedia.org] says that:

        Energy can be neither created nor destroyed.

        I would tend to agree with you.

        Either

        a) The universe has always existed, or
        b) God has always existed.

        Either way you end up with the atheist's F word: Faith.

    • by JBMcB ( 73720 )

      There has just always been a universe. Problem solved :)

      • There has just always been a universe. Problem solved :)

        Problem not solved, but replaced by a different problem: where are the infinite number of infinitely old burned-out stars?

    • Because the negative energy balances out the equation.

    • by doug141 ( 863552 )

      Gravity wells are negative energy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • In full general relativity the question of conservation of energy is more complex than commonly imagined, and sometimes seems like 'nonconservation'.

      Remember that the conservation laws are reflections of the presence of operations which leave physical laws unchanged (symmetries & transformations), which results in the usual conservation of energy in flat-spacetime.

      And next---if there were some state prior to BIg Bang---what makes you think it had to be 'zero'?
  • by Rande ( 255599 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @09:20AM (#55436501) Homepage

    poof in a flash of logic?

    (Yes, from the joke {Rene Descartes walks into a bar and orders a drink. When he finishes his drink, the bartender asks him if he would like another. Descartes replies, “No, I think not,” and disappears in a puff of logic.})

  • ...they vanished in a puff of logic.
  • -- Some Religious newsletter probably
    • Oh, it's coming I'm sure.

    • Probably. I personally have stopped trying to use science to justify my faith or lack of.
      Faith in a supernatural entity is outside the realm of science. Because Supernatural is something that cannot be measured or directly observed. It doesn't mean that it cannot be true, but it doesn't prove that it is.

      But saying because of God, is a wonderful way of cutting off the exploration of the topic. This Dichotomy of facts that we exist, however mathematically we shouldn't is an interesting aspect that needs to b

  • It is just a figment of your imagination. There is no universe, no earth, no galaxies, no people. There is just Brahman and Atman. What the Atman perceives as the Universe, is "maya" or illusion. Only when we realize that it is an illusion, we will be able to realize the Truth. Then Atman attains liberation, or "moksha" or "mukti". Truth is Truth. Truth is Brahman.

    [The Truth provided above is released under MIT GPL. Please make sure you provide a copy of original Truth, if you redistribute. Any enhancemen

  • This is an old and well understood mystery in physics. We've known about baryon asymmetry [wikipedia.org] since shortly after we understood E=mc^2 (more properly E^2 = m^2*c^4 + p^2*c^2). We just don't have a model or data that fully explains why we see lots of matter but not much anti-matter. We have some ideas about how it might have happened but nothing that really answers the question adequately.

  • Among a long list of unresolved questions [wikipedia.org] in physics and that's why the creation of AGI is of paramount importance for human kind. Considering the amount of knowledge that we've accumulated so far our biological brains might not be enough to crack the universe. And if it were too simple too understand, it would hardly be able to produce sufficiently intelligent life forms to grok it. But then again we might not be intelligent enough to ever figure it out or create AGI to do the same thing.
  • The Universe

    Some information to help you live in it.

    1. Area: infinite.

    2. Imports: none.

    It is impossible to import things into an infinite area, there being no outside to import things from.

    3. Exports: none.

    See Imports.

    4. Population: none.

    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite numbe

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Thursday October 26, 2017 @09:45AM (#55436757)
    If you study something deeply to comprehend the rules that has the thing working, and you conclude based on these rules that the thing should not exist, then the rules are wrong, or you're missing deeper insights about that object.
    • Yes, scientists know that. Quantum Mechanics does not take gravity into account, and General Relativity doesn't take quantum mechanics into account. So, we know our "rules" aren't right. That's the reason for performing these studies. By determining how the universe differs from the model predictions it can give us insight into where our models are wrong.
  • So after all this time and study, it turns out we really are a fluke of the universe and we really do have no right to be here.

    I suppose it's just a matter of time that we discover that the Cosmic Microwave Background is really just the sound of the universe laughing behind our backs.

  • I like to think that there was originally a whole shitload more matter/antimatter and what we're seeing now is just a rounding error.


  • You sir. You do not exist. My computer says so. -Therefore I shall ignore you from this moment forward.

    My condolences to your non-existent offspring.
  • The big bang was symmetrical, expanding in both positive and negative time. Matter is weakly coupled to time, anti-matter is weakly coupled to negative time. We live in positive time, and thus see mostly matter.
  • "Whew! Thank goodness we're not living in that universe!"

  • by mark-t ( 151149 )
    Lots of things happen all the time that "shouldn't" happen. Lots of things that "should" happen don't. The universe isn't fair, it never has been and never will be. Why should the fact that it happens to exist at all be any different?
  • Evidence that anti-matter would not preferentially annihilate is also evidence that it is still lurking about somewhere. It's worth noting that we have never performed an experiment outside our solar system, and our reasons for inferring what other regions of the universe are made out of are indirect and largely spectroscopic. What if, e.g., anti-matter has repulsive gravitational effect? Would it wind up as a diffused gas of ostensibly normal hydrogen in interstellar space, helping to compact the normal

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