Features Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 26, 2015 | 2:20 pm IST Physicists from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) are offering a possible solution to the mystery of the origin of matter in the universe. Most of the laws of nature treat particles and anti-particles equally but stars and planets are made of particles, or matter, and not anti-particles or antimatter. That asymmetry which favours matter to a very small degree has puzzled scientists for many years. According to Alexander Kusenko, professor of physics and astronomy in the UCLA College, the matter-antimatter asymmetry could be related to the Higgs boson particle which was was discovered at Switzerland's Large Hadron Collider in 2012. Specifically, the asymmetry may have been produced as a result of the motion of the Higgs field which is associated with the Higgs boson. Read - The LHC is back and it's ready to probe the limits of matter "This could have made the masses of particles and anti-particles in the universe temporarily unequal, allowing for a small excess of matter particles over antiparticles," Kusenko explained. If a particle and an anti-particle meet, they disappear by emitting two photons or a pair of some other particles. In the "primordial soup" that existed after the Big Bang, there were almost equal amounts of particles and anti-particles, except for a tiny asymmetry: one particle per 10 billion. As the universe cooled, the particles and anti-particles annihilated each other in equal numbers and only a tiny number of particles remained. "This tiny amount is all the stars and planets and gas in today's universe," Kusenko added. The 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson particle was hailed as one of the great scientific accomplishments of recent decades. The research was published in the journal Physical Review Letters. With IANS Also Read - Exo-Earths and the search for life elsewhere: a brief history