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Nobody knows why matter and antimatter aren't equal

Written by: Classic Nerd

Nobody knows why matter and antimatter aren't equal
Photo by Greg Rakozy / Unsplash

It seems like most scientists sort of have things figured out.

You have your gravity, your ability to send humans to space and, of course, the microwave.


And yet, apparently not a single one of those eggheads can figure out the asymmetry problem.

Here's the deal: When the Big Bang created our little universe, it sent out a whoooole bunch of stuff. Particles and whatnot. Some of it became matter — i.e., everything you can see or touch — and some of it became antimatter.

According to Einstein's general theory of relativity — which, you know, blew everyone's damn minds and changed how we look at the universe — and the Standard Model of particle physics — which is another important science thing — everything we know about physics is telling us that the Big Bang should have created matter and antimatter in equal parts.

But that's not true. We know because we can measure, and even produce our own, antimatter. And we know, because we all exist. When antimatter and matter come into contact, they destroy each other and leave only energy. Sort of like King Kong vs. Godzilla.

No, Physicists Still Don't Know Why Matter (And Not Antimatter) Dominates Our Universehttps://t.co/xBqaDB3O8d
It's incredible: we've measured CP violation now in strange, bottom, and charm quark systems.

But we're no closer to solving the matter/antimatter asymmetry problem.

— Ethan Siegel (@StartsWithABang) March 29, 2019

But we have waaaay more matter than antimatter in the universe, as evidenced by, once again, the existence of the universe. If things were equal, there would be nothing but energy. And, well, someone seems to be typing this and reading this.

There are also hints that some particles can change their properties from that of matter to antimatter. Sort of like when your uncle goes from totally normal dude to super creep at Thanksgiving.

Just chalk it up to yet one of the many failures of science.

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