Scientists have claimed our universe shouldn’t exist and are even questioning how we are here.
Some of the most elite scientists in the world are struggling to find out why our universe didn’t destroy itself when it was created, as according to them, that should have happened.
When the universe came into existence, according to the standard model, there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter and so the two should have destroyed each other.
This would have left us with none of the matter that surrounds us today, our universe. Or us.
Research teams have been searching for any difference between the matter and antimatter that meant they didn’t annihilate each other as soon as they came into contact.
The new study, conducted by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), tested out a range of different possibilities including mass and electric charge, but the scientists found no differences.
As reported by Cosmos Magazine, Christian Smorra, the author behind the study, said:
All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist.
An asymmetry must exist here somewhere but we simply do not understand where the difference is. What is the source of the symmetry break?
What a mystery…
This latest study looked into the possibility that there was a difference in magnetism but the matter and antimatter were identical in this too.
That has left scientists even more desperate to find out the answer as to why our universe exists but with very few leads to go on.
As revealed by the recent research, the matter and antimatter are even more symmetrical than first thought.
In the study, scientists captured antiprotons in special ‘Penning traps’ as it is impossible to hold this antimatter inside a physical container.
About the size of a Pringles tube, these traps contain the particles in specialised magnetic and electrical fields.
Being the world’s most effective antimatter container, this technique allows scientists to measure the magnetism of antimatter more accurately than ever before.
CERN spokesperson Stefan Ulmer, said:
This result is the culmination of many years of continuous research and development, and the successful completion of one of the most difficult measurements ever performed in a Penning trap instrument.
This tremendous increase in such a short period of time was only possible thanks to completely new methods.
— CERN (@CERN) October 19, 2017
The team now hope to examine the antimatter in even more detail in order to solve the mystery.
Meanwhile other scientists are looking into other possibilities such as the antimatter having upside down gravity which means it would fall upwards.
Normal matter is made up of positively-charged nuclei orbited by negatively-charged electrons with antimatter being the other way round.
— CERN (@CERN) September 28, 2017
This means when matter and antimatter meet they, normally, would instantly destroy each other releasing a burst of energy.
However, paradoxically our universe is made up of mostly normal matter with virtually no antimatter to be found.
This must mean something prevented the matter and antimatter from cancelling each other out, a tiny difference somewhere that is frustrating scientists.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.