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Why Are We Made of Matter?

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the better-than-the-alternate dept.

Science 393

StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "The Universe began with equal amounts of matter and antimatter after the Big Bang, and yet when we look out at today's Universe, we find that, even on the largest scales, it's made of at least 99.999%+ matter and not antimatter. The problem of how we went from a matter-antimatter-symmetric Universe to the matter-dominated one we have today is known as baryogenesis, and is one of the greatest unsolved problems in physics. Where are we on the quest to understand it as of April, 2014? A wonderful and comprehensive recap is here."

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393 comments

Ah, antimatter (5, Funny)

Adam Colley (3026155) | about 4 months ago | (#46677409)

God hid it.

God is made of it.

Okay, that's the god excuses out of the way... now on with the physics!

Re:Ah, antimatter (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 4 months ago | (#46677527)

Because God left the cap off the Matter toothpaste.

Re:Ah, antimatter (3, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | about 4 months ago | (#46677847)

Not quite. It's because god squeezed the tube from the middle rather than neatly from the bottom up, leaving a lot left in the tube. So much for omnipotence.

Re:Ah, antimatter (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 4 months ago | (#46677871)

Ugh, now there's matter everywhere. Except where there is antimatter.

Re:Ah, antimatter (3, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#46677927)

What difference, at this point, does it matter?

Re:Ah, antimatter (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#46677657)

Ah, the obligatory /. cheap shot at religion, always good for a cheap +5 funny. You failed to complete the cliche though, there should have been a slam aimed at the GOP in there somewhere.

Re:Ah, antimatter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677715)

Religion is a cheap thing. Anyone can make one up and get all offended when we call you out on your BS.

Re:Ah, antimatter (-1, Troll)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 4 months ago | (#46677953)

What do you mean? We're paying big bucks for the research into the scientific faith. Not saying we should not, I hasten to add, as this is /., but let's call faith like we see it.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46678117)

What do you mean? We're paying big bucks for the research into the scientific faith. Not saying we should not, I hasten to add, as this is /., but let's call faith like we see it.

Faith is belief without evidence.

Science is about getting evidence.

Religion is based on Iron Age superstition (Scientology and Buddhism* are excepted). Religion was created by man to explain the natural world and was a form of primitive government (Armstrong, "History of God").

Religion came thousands of years before science was invented. To take religious allegorical stories as fact is ludicrous.

..

*Buddhism at its base is mental training to be in the present and to work in training the mind. Later on this teaching had shit piled onto it (reincarnation) and it was turned into a religion. But the base teachings are brilliant; although, modern neuroscience is discovering the Siddhartha (AKA, the Historical Buddha) was only half way there. American Secular Buddhism, IMHO, is probably the first time in history where humans are progressing on a spiritual level - spiritual in the sense that we are more than the evolved apes that we are.

tl;dr; Judeo-Christianity is Iron Age superstition and it's pathetic that people still whorship that god in the 21st Century.

Re:Ah, antimatter (0)

sjames (1099) | about 4 months ago | (#46677733)

Hey, we're not the ones making fools of ourselves by claiming the moon is made of green cheese and the earth is a flat disk sitting on a turtle's back and stuff. If the literalists and the GOP would quit making fools of themselves, they would quit being the butt of cheap shots here.

Re:Ah, antimatter (0, Offtopic)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 4 months ago | (#46678073)

Neither are they, dumbass.

Re:Ah, antimatter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677735)

Someone call the Wahmbulance.

Re:Ah, antimatter (0)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 4 months ago | (#46677759)

Ah, the obligatory /. cheap shot at religion...

More whine, my dear?

Re:Ah, antimatter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46678019)

ah, the obligatory defense of religion,
can't we all just get along?

matter, antimatter, Christ!

- the Antichrist

Re:Ah, antimatter (4, Funny)

Bengie (1121981) | about 4 months ago | (#46677897)

Finally, news that matters.

Re:Ah, antimatter (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677967)

"News for WIMPs, stuff that's matter."

Re:Ah, antimatter (1)

Torodung (31985) | about 4 months ago | (#46678107)

That brings to mind an idea: Maybe dark matter is antimatter, and the universe isn't as inscrutable as we think.

So what? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677425)

What does it matter that we're made of matter? Were we made of anti-matter, would it anti-matter to anyone? Don't lose any energy on this matter, because it doesn't fucking matter.

Re:So what? (5, Funny)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 4 months ago | (#46678133)

There are 3 kinds of universes -

1. mostly matter
2. 50/50
3. mostly antimatter.

In type 1 universes everyone is asking "why is everything made of matter".
type 2 universes are empty.
type 3 universes electricty flows the right way.

You see... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677441)

There's this book...

Something From Nothing. (1, Flamebait)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 4 months ago | (#46677445)

You gullible idiots really think matter and giant 'big bang', which is a high energy event, just popped up from nowhere. Let me know when you can make matter out of empty space. Then let me know when that matter can make itself. An object stays at rest unless acted on by an outside force. But here on Earth, matter can just pop out of nowhere and dumbasses believe it. And with all these different looking humans that have evolved 4 arms and 12 legs and extra heads and lungs... O yea, we all still look the same.. FOOLS!!!

Re:Something From Nothing. (5, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | about 4 months ago | (#46677521)

Actually, the big bang theory simply says that the universe started in a hot, dense state and expanded into a cold, sparse state. It doesn't even try to explain how the universe came to be in that hot, dense state. It is similar to how evolution does not even try to explain how life started, just how species evolve once they exist.

Re:Something From Nothing. (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 4 months ago | (#46677713)

You do realize origin of species, origin of life, origin of universe are all interchangeable to most people, right? Once there was a Russian cosmonaut who visited our college campus, with the cultural attache acting as the translator. We were engineering students, he was talking about rockets and orbits and the cultural attache made no distinction between the terms "force", "power", "momentum" and "energy". It is all one and the same to him.

Re:Something From Nothing. (1)

bunratty (545641) | about 4 months ago | (#46677873)

It's way worse than that. There's a video of someone asking astronomy graduates from an Ivy League university what causes the phases of the moon and the seasons, and most cannot answer. What most people do is choose a belief, then actively look only for confirmation of that belief, even if it's an obviously lame excuse to desperately cling to that belief -- they act with willful ignorance. The Doobie brothers say it best -- see my signature.

Re:Something From Nothing. (2)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 4 months ago | (#46677955)

Well....there is your problem....asking (pure) astronomy grads a question about physics is like asking a (pure) physics grads questions about math. Sure, they know the stuff they need to know to do their work but they can't answer the deeper "why" questions related to the field.

Re:Something From Nothing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46678093)

From an astronomy perspective it's a hard question. Sure, there is the junior high version with the earth's rotation being tilted yada yada, but why is the earth's rotation like that?

Re:Something From Nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677523)

Uh, where do YOU think it came from? If you say "God," then you have to explain why God can pop up from nowhere, or why he can be eternal, but nothing else can. Oh, wait... it's "ineffable," sorry.

Besides, no one has given any reason why existence itself must be subject to cause and effect; only things that already exist can be observed to hold to that law.

Re:Something From Nothing. (2)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#46677727)

Uh, where do YOU think it came from? If you say "God," then you have to explain why God can pop up from nowhere, or why he can be eternal, but nothing else can.

Actually they don't have to explain it. That's why it's called faith.

I'm not a particularly religious sort, more agnostic than anything, and faith doesn't really enter into my daily life. That said, there's plenty of things about the universe we just can't explain, so I would think there's room left for faith if that's what a particular person finds to be fulfilling. It doesn't do much for me, but to each their own, and I certainly don't derive a sense of smug superiority from mocking the religious people among us.

Re:Something From Nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46678135)

> Actually they don't have to explain it. That's why it's called faith.

Of course they don't have to explain it, but it would sure help to make sense if they want others to believe it.

Then they insist they have the right to call you a fool for believing something they consider ridiculous, and run and hide behind their "faith" when you call their beliefs ridiculous... crying "You can't criticize my SACRED beliefs! Neener neener!"

Stupid is as stupid does.

Re:Something From Nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677557)

Yes, that is the prevailing working hypothesis at the moment, as counter intuitive as it may be. But intuition does not matter. Experimentation and math do.
You seem to know more about this, calling us all fools et al, so please enlighten us by sharing your math and the experiments you did for verification, and the wisdom it lead you too.

Re:Something From Nothing. (2)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 4 months ago | (#46677701)

Math does not dictate reality. Reality dictates math. There are many things we,you,them cannot comprehend. Time is a prime example. Time never 'started'. It has always been. Humans have a hard time grasping the concept of something never having a 'beginning'. It makes our head hurt just trying to conceptualize it. Another concept is 'will'. Matter and energy do not have a 'will'. They have 'laws' and 'characteristics' that define them. Humans have a 'will' and try to further it most all the time. I understand not liking being tossed into a game that You didn't want to play, but to try to make up some disillusioning story is a bad service to society. Just because I know how to fix my car doesn't mean I know how to create the car. The knowledge we have before us today is intoxicating, and leads us to misuse our will. And to that end is Evil. Which can only exist in the form of Will. You have been warned.

Re:Something From Nothing. (0)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 4 months ago | (#46677743)

"You gullible idiots really think matter and giant 'big bang'"

Something eternal can exist and not be god, I know you find that hard to fathom. You're hung up on the idea of "creation" and "destruction" the reality is human concepts and idea's break down when dealing with nature. You're reasoning from the concepts you've derived from human sized world (aka models your brain developed to deal with human sized world). William James sidis thought the universe was similar to a circuit and that we are on one side of the universe and there is a universe that mirrors ours going in the opposite direction. The point being that those who espouse God usually always have an idea of who/what god is and a book with teachings that go against what we know about the universe.

William James Sidis, the animate and inanimate (for those interested).

http://www.sidis.net/ANIMConte... [sidis.net]

Re:Something From Nothing. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 4 months ago | (#46677775)

Nobody in science actually claims it just popped up from nowhere. Best guesses range from "we don't know" to "we cannot ever know".

Re:Something From Nothing. (1)

idji (984038) | about 4 months ago | (#46677861)

of course matter can pop out of nowhere - it happens all the time, see Virtual Particle [wikipedia.org] . What is different here is the vast scale at which it happened, and where this phenomon applies to the origin of the Big Bang
Don't throw away a theory because you don't understand how it is started. The Big Bang Theory is simply stunning in it's ability to explain [wikipedia.org] almost everything in the know universe that we observe. It is up to someone else to work out what may have triggered it.
This is just like Evolution which brilliantly explains almost everything we see in terms of life as it is. but evolution is not Abiogensis [wikipedia.org]
When you understand that Evolution and Abogenesis are different things, as are sex and embryology, you will also understand how you mixed up the Big Bang Theory with another area of study [wikipedia.org] which is about multiverses, unverse bubbles, oscillating universes, God's Poke, and other interesting ideas that are today all still in the realm of speculation - because we have no way yet of seeing which of them could be true.
Big Bang cosmologists work on what is observable and testable and predictable. Big Bang cosmologists are not expecting to find out how to create a big bang, but describe what happens after it occurs.

Actually... (4, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 months ago | (#46677457)

By mass, I'm currently ~70% water, ~29.5% matter, and 0.5% cookie dough

Disclaimer: Do not eat raw cookie dough made with unpasteurized eggs.

Re:Actually... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677587)

"If God dwells inside us, like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that's what He's getting!"
  - Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts

Re:Actually... (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#46677673)

By mass, I'm currently ~70% water, ~29.5% matter, and 0.5% cookie dough

Water and cookie dough are both made up of.... wait for it.... matter.

Re:Actually... (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 4 months ago | (#46677811)

The batter matter better matter, mate.

Re:Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46678145)

OK, I guess I am the "whoosh" - but water IS matter.

Well I'm antimatter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677461)

Can you see me?
well , I'm made out of Anitmatter,I know you are still looking for me as of April 2014. if it matters.

Matter, anti-matter... (1)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 4 months ago | (#46677481)

If we were made from anti-matter, we'd call that matter, and call matter anti-matter. TFS summary starts out with the statement that the universe began with equal amounts of matter and anti-matter. Are we sure there were equal amounts? It seems like there must have been more of one than the other. Why that would be is the real question in my mind.

Re:Matter, anti-matter... (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 4 months ago | (#46678027)

I believe it was a hypothesis that the universe began with symmetric amounts of matter and anti-matter. The recent BICEP2 results should provide a method for us to inquire about that idea either directly or through constraints by tossing out many hypothesizes related to quantum gravity and the nature of the early universe.

civilizations' bottleneck (-1)

Max_W (812974) | about 4 months ago | (#46677511)

As soon as physicists solve the problem of antimatter the antimatter bomb will be created.

It will be the size of a coin and could literally destroy literally a quoter of a planet. This is how civilizations end in the Universe.

And that is why we do not hear any intelligent radio transmissions from other star systems.

Re:civilizations' bottleneck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677573)

And that is why we do not hear any intelligent radio transmissions from other star systems.

But does it explain why there's apparently no intelligent postings on Slashdot?

Re:civilizations' bottleneck (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 4 months ago | (#46677807)

And that is why we do not hear any intelligent radio transmissions from other star systems.

But does it explain why there's apparently no intelligent postings on Slashdot?

There were originally equal amounts of facts and anti-facts. Computer Scientists are still trying to explain why anti-facts now make up 99.999% of the postings.

Umm , thats unlikely to happen (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 4 months ago | (#46677655)

Unlike the energy from nuclear fission or fusion which we essentially get for free because its already in a sense locked up in the atoms, for an anti matter bomb you'd first have to make the antimatter - from scratch. And the amount of energy you'd have to put in to do that would have to be at least equal to the amount of energy you'd get out. So to create an anti matter bomb to physically destroy a planet (rather than just laying waste to the surface) you'd have to put in enough energy to do that in the first place which if you used the entire earth electricity generating capacity would - at a guestimate - take a few hundred years minimum.

Re:Umm , thats unlikely to happen (1)

Max_W (812974) | about 4 months ago | (#46677813)

The Earth emitting readable radio transmissions about 100 years.

Since we cannot detect signals from other civilizations, it means that this period does not last long. Perhaps, we are also close to the bottleneck.

Just devastation of planet's surface does not stop radio transmissions. Radio is simple and robust technology. It should be something else.

Certainly, it could be that humanity is unique in the Universe, and the Civilizations' Bottleneck theory is not valid.

Still the Universe's Great Silence is disturbing, seeing how many worlds are out there.

Re:Umm , thats unlikely to happen (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 4 months ago | (#46677853)

If you used coal or nuclear energy to create all that anti-matter it would cause a great deal of pollution. Personally, I think we should go green and use solar energy powered death rays.

Re:civilizations' bottleneck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677669)

a planet

Guess now I get literally destroyed by the antimatter bomb.

Re:civilizations' bottleneck (4, Insightful)

stoploss (2842505) | about 4 months ago | (#46678075)

As soon as physicists solve the problem of antimatter the antimatter bomb will be created.

It will be the size of a coin and could literally destroy literally a quoter of a planet. This is how civilizations end in the Universe.

You vastly overstate the yield of an antimatter weapon.

antimatter weapon yield calculator [edwardmuller.com]

Because... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677517)

If we were made of anti-matter, we would see matter as anti-matter and the anti-matter that we are made of as matter.

Re:Because... (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 4 months ago | (#46678175)

If we were made of anti-matter, we would see matter as anti-matter and the anti-matter that we are made of as matter.

...and Spock would have a Van Dyke and (gasp) Sulu would be hitting on Uhura.

easy (-1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#46677529)

Because if we were made up of anti-matter, we would call that matter instead. Why do people think these simple questions are hard???

Re:easy (4, Informative)

Smallpond (221300) | about 4 months ago | (#46677869)

Why do people think these simple questions are hard???

I agree. It's almost as if they don't read past the headline.

Probably due to spin (1)

JDeane (1402533) | about 4 months ago | (#46677543)

The beginning probably had a spin one way or another that predisposed one type of matter VS the other.

The effect was probably small, but over the vast space and energies involved that small difference made a giant outcome.

Butterfly effect and all that.

This would be my completely uneducated guess. Physics persons can freely rip on me as an idiot lol Please when ripping on me, tell me something in terms an idiot would understand though, I do enjoy learning some things. Especially the why of things! :)

One of my other stupid persons theories, maybe energy just likes to form matter under the right conditions and when matter and anti matter meet they create energy and this destruction and creation cycle trended to making the universe just matter.

Re:Probably due to spin (4, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 months ago | (#46677677)

tell me something in terms an idiot would understand

Richard Feynman answered that question with something like:

"I can't explain it in terms that you would understand, because I can't understand it, in terms that you would understand."

Re:Probably due to spin (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 4 months ago | (#46677691)

Usually the simplest explanations are correct. Also, my humble guess is that first we need to make sure that it should have the same amount of matter and antimatter in the universe, and then think about what happened to anti-matter.

What does god need with a starship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677571)

nt

What if there is no reason? (5, Interesting)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 4 months ago | (#46677581)

In spite of my better judgement I'm about to attempt an analogy, so bear with me here. The lowest number of moves to unscramble a maximally scrambled rubik's cube (a 3x3x3 one) is 20. That is, for every configuration of a rubik's cube, there is a sequence of 20 moves or less that will unscramble it. However, there is no algorithm to generate those solutions. They are unstructured; they're simply lists of moves. The algorithms used by human (and computer) rubik's cube solvers are far from move-optimal, but benefit from being executable by non-omniscient beings. They pick out some pattern that is applicable to the rubik's cube, and then direct you in manipulating it according to that pattern until it's solved.

The way science understands the world is by comparing new data to what we already know. For example, we know penicillin kills bacteria; if we discover a new disease, and then discover that it is caused by bacteria, we can safely draw the conclusion that we'll probably be able to treat it with penicillin. We've used science to discover a pattern in the world ('penicillin kills bacteria'), then use deduction to determine where it is and isn't applicable, and form new categories based on what happens when we encounter new data (like bacteria not killed by penicillin being classified as anti-biotic resistant). Science is basically a collection of patterns like this, and because they're patterns (structures, structured rules, whatever you want to call them) we can understand them.

Now, what I wonder about is this. What if the fact that we live in a matter universe now (rather than an anti-matter one) is like the set of move-optimal solutions to a rubik's cube? They both describe a certain state of affairs, but they also both completely lack (could lack) any kind of structure. And because they lack this structure, there is nothing for us to latch onto, nothing for us to understand, no pattern to detect. It is simply the case, and there is no further reason. There is no reason why there is no structure in the move-optimal solutions to a rubik's cube. There might not be a reason why there is a massive matter/anti-matter imbalance either.

This is something I've been trying to work out for a while, so please excuse me if my explanation is unclear. I just think it would be a really interesting possibility, something which isn't often discussed, maybe because it simply gets overlooked.

Re:What if there is no reason? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 4 months ago | (#46677687)

I'm sure there is a reason though perhaps I'm just too wedded to cause and effect. Anyway, whether that mooted reason occured in this universe after the big bang , or the seeds were sown "outside" in the multiverse - if there is one - we don't yet know. If its the latter then we'll probably never know what it was - as you say , its just the way it is. If this universe is part of a multiverse or some other larger structure and isn't completely self contained then physics may find itself up against a brick wall because ultimately things may have happened - or even still happen- due to outside influences we simply cannot know about.

Re:What if there is no reason? (3, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 4 months ago | (#46677747)

Occam's razor... the simplest answer is that the universe didn't start out with equal parts matter/antimatter

Re:What if there is no reason? (3, Informative)

Bengie (1121981) | about 4 months ago | (#46678067)

As far as we can tell, the Universe is symmetrical, so stating that we didn't have equal parts indicates that our physics is wrong or matter/anti-matter are an exception to all other particles, which is the opposite of Occam's Razor.

Re:What if there is no reason? (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 4 months ago | (#46677879)

Here's another thing for you to work out while you're at it:

Why are you even conscious? Couldn't a machine exist like you that did the exact same things you'd do but wasn't conscious at all?

Note: I'm not talking about "free will". I'm talking about the subjective experience that I have (and I believe you have) of being aware. I don't think I'm the only conscious being in this universe.

To me the two amazing things are:
0) That there is anything at all in the first place.
1) That there is this consciousness phenomenon that I'm experiencing.

Re:What if there is no reason? (2)

sjames (1099) | about 4 months ago | (#46677921)

The question isn't why matter instead of anti-matter, the question is how did it not end up as a homogeneous 50/50 self-annihilating mixture?

Re:What if there is no reason? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677957)

A Rubik's cube is a finite space, so there is certainly an algorithm to calculate the 20 moves necessary. Worst case you "try everything" without going into an infinite loop.

Re:What if there is no reason? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 months ago | (#46678055)

I think the problem in this case is understanding the order of moves that got us to where we are. Maybe it would happen differently next time there is a 'big bang', but even if there is no consistency, there was still some pattern of moves that got us to where we are.

Why Are We Made of Matter? (1)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about 4 months ago | (#46677603)

Why Are We Made of Matter? Why Am I Reading This Website?

the question is not valid because (1)

etash (1907284) | about 4 months ago | (#46677615)

we don't know we are made of matter. What if what we call matter is in fact anti-matter ? Or to put it differently, if the universe was made of "antimatter" wouldn't we think we were made of matter and the definition of antimatter (positron etc.) would be the opposite of what's now? Isn't it just a matter (no pun intended) of definition ?

Re:the question is not valid because (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 4 months ago | (#46677875)

Simple. If we and the Universe were as overwhelmingly made of anti-matter as it is instead matter, we would call anti-matter matter and matter anti-matter. It's just semantics. You reading into it way too much.

easy! (1)

Connie_Lingus (317691) | about 4 months ago | (#46677619)

because we are almost surely living in simulation. [simulation-argument.com] and in that simulation, things just have to be so for us to be simulated.

Re:easy! (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 4 months ago | (#46677991)

Yeah we might be in a simulation (that's in another simulation and so on) but why do we experience this consciousness thing? Not talking about free will, but the experience of awareness itself.

Are the rules of this universe such that no matter what as long as you have certain processes, consciousness will arise as an emergent phenomenon? And what would those certain processes be?

Could it be extinguished and yet the person still continues on "living" and moving as before? For example say a person went to sleep, and woke up the next day but never had the consciousness thing anymore - but just walked and talked etc like before as if he/she still had it.

It's simple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677625)

The antimatter is just on the inside of the universe. We are on the outside of it.
Applying enough energy to space breaks the surface down and they exchange through to the source of the rip.

Where is my science prize of the year award 2014 4 years running?

Although this actually is sort of a theory, I just cannot remember the name of it. I remember seeing a diagram of it.
I also remember seeing something else about there being antimatter galaxies and such, and we just can't see them.

Equal amounts? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 4 months ago | (#46677637)

Did it really 'start' with equal amounts?

Is the question about what happened to the anti-matter, or what happened to our theory?

Re:Equal amounts? (2)

Jaime2 (824950) | about 4 months ago | (#46678023)

If it didn't, then we would simply change the question to "why did it start with unequal amounts". Since that question would involve forces outside our universe or before the big-bang, it would be much harder to answer. So, scientists try to answer the this question first. If they disprove all of the theories that come up, they will start to consider that there may not be an in-universe explanation. But, it's much better to not jump to the unanswerable question prematurely, or science will become religion.

Matter-Antimatter Explosions (4, Interesting)

seyfarth (323827) | about 4 months ago | (#46677651)

I wonder if it is possible that the Universe has some regions of matter and some of antimatter. In between there would be mixed regions and the resulting explosions could tend to keep the different regions separate. Initially asymmetry in the distribution would leave some small regions of each type. The m-am explosions could force separation and a certain portion of the matter regions would merge with other matter regions and the same for antimatter. This seems like a fairly obvious thought, so I assume that it has been considered and ruled out. Why or why not?

Re:Matter-Antimatter Explosions (2)

JDeane (1402533) | about 4 months ago | (#46677693)

I am not a physicist, but since light is a particle and a wave it would seem that light being matter would break down anti matter over time?

Like I said it's just what I would think and I could be insanely stupid and wrong lol

Re:Matter-Antimatter Explosions (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 4 months ago | (#46678101)

I am not a physicist, but since light is a particle and a wave it would seem that light being matter would break down anti matter over time?

Like I said it's just what I would think and I could be insanely stupid and wrong lol

Nah, light isn't matter at all (a particle, yes, but not matter). More precisely: every particle has an equivalent antiparticle with exactly opposite charge (or other properties). For example, electrons are charged leptons with lepton number +1 and electric charge -1 (in units of electron-charge). The antielectron (positron) has lepton number -1, and electric charge +1. Conservation laws require that lepton number and charge be conserved, so the positron and electron can annihilate each other. The proton and the positron, however, cannot (as the proton is a baryon, not a lepton, and both have charge +1, so such an annihilation would violate 3 conservation laws). However, photons have no charge or lepton number, and thus conservation dictates that they cannot annihilate with electrons. Interestingly enough, they can annihilate with each other (photons are their own antiparticle).

This conservation is the entire reason matter-antimatter asymmetry is a problem in physics: every process we know of that produces electrons should also produce antielectrons. It's worth noting that the universe as a whole is not conservative (the expansion of space violates energy conservation, for example), so it isn't necessarily surprising to find an asymmetry, we'd just like to know by what process this comes about (of course, this is hard to do, as every process we can initiate does obey conservation laws: asymmetry may well only happen in some universe-level process, so we may not be able to study it directly).

Re:Matter-Antimatter Explosions (3, Informative)

Jaime2 (824950) | about 4 months ago | (#46677989)

Read the article. It explains that if there were anti-matter regions, we should be able to detect gamma rays from the explosions. The number of gamma rays we detect are far too few for there to be large regions of antimatter.

Re:Matter-Antimatter Explosions (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 4 months ago | (#46678149)

Matter of all kinds is just energy and in the beginning, the only thing that existed was energy. As matter and anti-matter was created from this abundance of energy, they would collide with each other and turn back into energy, then that energy would turn back into matter and anti-matter. This oscillation between energy and general matter would continue until the expansion of space would cause the density of energy to drop below the threshold to create matter.

All of our current physics shows all matter has a pair and anti-pair and they are exactly a 50/50 split. Assuming matter and anti-matter are not special, we should, on average, see a 50/50 split between matter and anti-matter. Like you said, where the two types came in contact, they would destroy themselves, but in any given local region, there should be a general "winner". We should observe a 50/50 mixture of regions with matter or anti-matter, but not both at the same time. Instead, all we see is matter, everywhere.

The only thing that comes to my mind is positrons are the only particle that I've heard described as mathematically "going backwards in time". I am not a physicist, but having not heard this description for other particle pairs, it makes me wonder if something is special about what we call "anti-matter".

Two universes, probably (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677681)

I imagine if you went to the edge of the universe you'd see an abrupt transition into one made of antimatter.

Re:Two universes, probably (1)

JDeane (1402533) | about 4 months ago | (#46677745)

I think the edge of the universe is just unrealized potential, or grasping at straws another way... lol

I always think of the edge of the expansion like Schrodinger cat, it neither exists or doesn't exist until you go there, then it exists and would be part of normal space.

P.S. I am not a physics expert by any means.

They are just over there. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 4 months ago | (#46677685)

In this universe we have this abundance of matter over anti-matter. Just over the quantum horizon in a parallel universe there is an abundance of antimatter. Together the baryon count would match and everything would be hunky dory. It happened this way because in the very early universe an matter+antimatter pair manifested themselves such a way that 99.9999%th of one matterparticle happened in this universe and 99.9999%th of its counterpart materialized over the quantum gap in the parallel universe.

There is no evidence for this hypothesis, but I plan to capitalize on the first mover advantage. When the internet completely destorys all vestiges of religion and make everyone atheists, they will be looking for someone to mouth of fantastic things without any evidence to provide "meaning for their lives". I am going to be there on the mountain, mouthing of stuff like matter, anti-matter, quantum horizon etc etc.

Re:They are just over there. (1)

JDeane (1402533) | about 4 months ago | (#46677817)

Just make sure to charge people to find out the "truth" take a page from l'ron hubbard.....

Why Are We Made of Matter? (4, Funny)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 4 months ago | (#46677711)

Because we travel the way we do through time.

Antimatter travels through it in the other direction.

And we when we and the antimatter get all the way from one end of Time to the other--BOOM! It's the end.

.gninnigeb eht s'tI !MOOB--rehto eht ot emiT fo dne eno morf yaw eht lla teg rettamitna eht dna ew nehw ew dnA

Re:Why Are We Made of Matter? (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 4 months ago | (#46677883)

I'll have some of what he's having.

tachyons travel backwards in time fool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46678167)

You can't understand that though: You're from "loonyland" http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

the stuff we're made of doesn't grow on trees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677717)

most of it does.. our sometimes perceived as vaporous spirits are our main ingredient? try living without one? conscious conscience is our specialty? as for our shells, we leak & go weak easily & should be treated by each other as irreplaceable..

It tastes better (1)

srussia (884021) | about 4 months ago | (#46677819)

Same reason why my martinis are 99.999% gin. I just rely on the probability cloud from the vermouth sitting on my bar shelf.

Prove it (3, Insightful)

TomGreenhaw (929233) | about 4 months ago | (#46677849)

That the universe started out with equal amounts of matter and anti-matter is an interesting hypothesis.

pfff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677855)

i know where it went

the other way dimensionally speaking

our matter got shoved into a matter universe and a antimatter universe went dimensionally polar opposite directions.

so how many hundreds of millions of dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46677919)

have we pissed away on a question brought up by a hippy stoner

Only two possible outcomes (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 4 months ago | (#46677937)

There are only two possible outcomes:
- either matter and antimatter annihilate each other and the universe is mostly void
- either one eventually wins over the other, leaving majorly one in the universe and pockets of the other

Out of those two, one is clearly more likely to lead to intelligent life.

Perhaps... (1)

TomGreenhaw (929233) | about 4 months ago | (#46677975)

Maybe the anti-matter went backwards in time. Take a look at Paul Dirac's equations.

Personally I don't like this idea because I perceive time as an emergent phenomenon of the expansion and disturbance of space and as such is not a dimension.

Its more likely that the energy released by annihilation in the early universe reconstituted to form ordinary matter.

How do we know? (2)

cyberspittle (519754) | about 4 months ago | (#46677985)

How do we know that there was a 50/50 distribution of matter and antimatter? Perhaps antimatter is rare, or more common in the anti universe in a parallel dimension?

Because ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#46678053)

... Bacon [gkworld.com] is made out of matter. Had the universe evolved without bacon, we wouldn't be here to discuss the issue.

matter, anti-matter or anti-anti-matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46678121)

if it was the other way around, we would call anti-matter, matter and matter, anti-matter. in the words of hornsby, that's just the way it is.

left-handed and right-handed knots (1)

lkcl (517947) | about 4 months ago | (#46678131)

in the studies that i've been doing for the past four months the best explanation i've encountered is one where particles are actually photons obeying maxwell's equations *to the absolute* letter, on some form of circular (or knotted, or hubius helical) path, where the epicentre creates a synchtronic electro-magnetic field that it in symbiotic support of the epicentre. there is actually a lot of research recently into optics which shows that it *is* actually possible to create phased laser beams that will literally bend in a semi-circle.

with that description in mind, the definition of a "particle" is therefore that the phase of the photon at the centre rotates in one direction.... and that for an anti-particle it rotates in the opposite direction. the string theorists / knot physics people have this down as "the knot being tied left-handed or right-handed".

it's really that simple... but it requires a bit of explanation otherwise it makes no sense. why did the universe choose one in priority over the other? who knows: who cares. the choice has been made.

Obligatory Slashdot Quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46678187)

At the very bottom of this page, I find...

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison

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