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IT IS one the biggest mysteries in physics - where did all the antimatter go? Now a team of physicists claims to have found the first ever hint of an answer in experimental data. The findings could signal a major crack in the standard model, the theoretical edifice that describes nature's fundamental particles and forces.
In its early days, the cosmos was a cauldron of radiation and equal amounts of matter and antimatter. As it cooled, all the antimatter annihilated in collisions with matter - but for some reason the proportions ended up lopsided, leaving some of the matter intact.
Particle physicists have long thought that they might find such evidence in a particle called the Bs meson, which comprises a bottom antiquark bound to a strange quark. The Bs is one of a handful of mesons that transforms into its own antiparticle and back again 3 trillion times per second before decaying into other particles (see Diagram). These oscillations between matter and antimatter make it a good place to look for evidence that CP violation goes beyond the standard model.
At the Tevatron particle accelerator at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, two groups of scientists running the rival CDF and D-Zero experiments have been studying several properties of Bs mesons and their oscillations by picking through the debris created when protons and antiprotons collide. While each experiment on its own has found faint hints of CP violation above and beyond the standard model, the experimental uncertainties have been too large to make a definitive claim, says Giovanni Punzi, a physicist at the University of Pisa in Italy and one of the leaders of the B meson physics group at CDF.
These oscillations between matter and antimatter make it a good place to look for evidence that CP violation goes beyond the standard model.
Could anti-matter be considered part of a different dimension?
reply to post by lonemaverick
You guys are getting anti-matter and dark matter mixed up.
Physicists think the explanation for this lies with the weak nuclear force, which differs from the other fundamental forces in that it does not act equally on matter and antimatter (allowing for the 5% matter/ 95% antimatter or dark matter). This asymmetry, called CP violation, could have allowed the matter to survive to form the elements, stars and galaxies we see today.
Quote from exterior sorce:
Could the Dark Matter be Antimatter?
It is conceivable that the dark matter (or at least part of it) could be antimatter, but there are very strong experimental reasons to doubt this. For example, if the dark matter out there were antimatter, we would expect it to annihilate with matter whenever it meets up with it, releasing bursts of energy primarily in the form of light. We see no evidence in careful observations for that, which leads most scientists to believe that whatever the dark matter is, it is not antimatter.
No, antimatter is NOT dark matter. Dark matter interacts ONLY through gravity. We can't see it. Anti-matter CAN be seen, and it interacts with regular matter.
I think that the researchers in this article suspect that antimatter is contributing to dark matter and that they are looking for something to explain the preponderance of dark matter. I interpret what they are saying is that there apparently is possibly a way (based on research on the Bs meson) that matter and antimatter can coexist. I also wonder if antimatter can be seen. I know that they have postulated the existance of antimatter stars (even antimatter galaxies) but none have been identified to date.
There is a 2006 probe, Pamela, that may be at work on this now: Antimatter and dark matter are new probe's prey
The observations of the spiral galaxies similar to ours showed that the central part of the galaxy with the radius of 10 thousand light years rotates around the galactic axis like a quasi-solid body. This quasi-solid body behaves as if it "obeyed" the kinematic equation of the solid body rotation, and did not "respect" Kepler's laws of the material bodies rotation round the gravitation centre, as it is in our solar system. The behaviour of the central part of the galaxy evokes the impression that this star system is "reinforced by invisible bars" and forms a quasi-solid complex. What in the universe can create such a state among star objects?