What’s the matter with antimatter, where has it all gone? Results of eight years of Tevatron collider data at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, USA suggest that matter won, by one percent.
I always loved the concepts found in theoretical physics, in another lifetime I would indeed have focused on that and pure mathematics, the most noble of the sciences. That and Music, which in my mind is very similar. Also Love, not similar to any of the others but just a ‘nice to have’, I digress, back to the plot.
What’s the matter?
Matter is what everything, that has any substance and takes up space, is made of. That just about wraps up everything in the universe but it has an opposite, in a sense, called antimatter.
Antimatter, you don’t get to see around often, when it is created can be considered the mostly valuable stuff in existence. To create a gram of it, according to physicists, would cost about $25 million and physicists don’t get paid that much, so it is a very rare substance indeed.
It has been known by physicists for a long time that matter and antimatter do not get on, I mean really, not at all, in the extreme. If they are in close proximity to each other they practically destroy themselves, resulting in nothing but a massive flash and loads of energy to clear up after. The amount of energy that gets released when these arch enemies meet is equivalent to 10,000,000,000 times that of what you get from TNT.
I am currently looking at my coffee cup in front of me and considering the result of having an anti-cup full of anti-coffee meet up with my regular percolation. The result would be comparable to any self-respecting nuclear weapon that was even a bit on the large side. Something like the result of 25 megatons of TNT exploding would produce the same effect as my anti-drink. A bit inconvenient; if not unfortunate for me anyway, but imagine the possibilities for removing our tendency to run the world on energy from the remains of ancient dead plants, oil.
The problem that physicists had though was that matter and antimatter should have been created equally. There should have been equal amounts of the stuff in the early and indiscriminate days of the universe. The fact that they, according to current physics, should have totally annihilated each other out leaves the poor physicist with a bit of a problem. If they do completely disappear, then it would be impossible for there to be, a physicist, in existence, to worry about it.
So with deep theoretical physics insight I can prove that indeed matter must win by the very fact that I exist and pushing away at it merrily as I type this.
Luckily for me, and physicists everywhere, an interesting result has been collected and reported back. Eight years’ worth of smashing tiny particles together, who unfortunately for them are too small to fight back, have been collected from a Tevatron collider at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, USA.
It seems we have a winner in this deadly duel, and that is ‘Matter Wins by 1%’!
Thereby reassuring everyone who knows of this that we do exist after all and physicists can sleep at night happily dreaming up new theories as to why it is one percent. What a wonderful universe. Happy days.