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Collisions at RHIC fleetingly produce conditions that existed a few microseconds after the Big Bang, which scientists believe gave birth to the universe as we know it some 13.7 billion years ago. In both nucleus-nucleus collisions at RHIC and in the Big Bang, quarks and antiquarks emerge with equal abundance. At RHIC, among the collision fragments that survive to the final state, matter and antimatter are still close to equally abundant, even in the case of the relatively complex antinucleus and its normal-matter partner featured in the present study. In contrast, antimatter appears to be largely absent from the present-day universe.
“Understanding precisely how and why there’s a predominance of matter over antimatter remains a major unsolved problem of physics,” said Brookhaven physicist Zhangbu Xu, another one of the lead authors. “A solution will require measurements of subtle deviations from perfect symmetry between matter and antimatter, and there are good prospects for future antimatter measurements at RHIC to address this key issue.”
Originally posted by bulletproof_monk
why did they use gold ions? could they have done the same experiments with ions of a different element?
For One Tiny Instant, Physicists May Have Broken a Law of Nature
For a brief instant, it appears, scientists at Brook haven National Laboratory on Long Island recently discovered a law of nature had been broken.
We collide gold nuclei together in our experiments because we need to use
the biggest and most spherical nuclei possible. There are nuclei like
uranium that are somewhat bigger than gold, but those nuclei are not
spherical like gold. So gold is the best compromise. Similar experiments
at CERN in Europe use lead nuclei, which are very close to the same size
as gold, and are also spherical.
Originally posted by JacKatMtn
Here's another piece on this event:
But, if you get the chance it looks like quite the heated battle is going on by observing the comments below the linked article.