Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Tiny Difference that Created the Universe

07.05.2002


Roughly 15 billion years ago, during the Big Bang, equal amounts of matter and anti-matter should have been created, with an anti-particle for every particle created. Yet when matter and anti-matter meet, they both disappear in a flash of light, so why didn’t they annihilate each other completely? For some reason, during the first moments of the Big Bang, although lots of matter and anti-matter did meet and annihilate, we were left with a slight surplus of matter, which makes up the Universe today. Whilst grateful for our existence, scientists have been struggling for many years to find an explanation. A new laboratory just completed at the University of Sussex will test one of the possible answers.



The researchers at Sussex believe that the surviving matter must have a special kind of asymmetry in order to explain its survival. They think that the negative charge of the electron must be pushed over to one side instead of being centred. This offset is so tiny, that even if the electron were enlarged to the size of the Earth, the offset would only be the size of an atom. A similar effect is predicted in the neutron where the positive and negative charges within it may also be displaced. It could be thanks to this tiny effect, called an electric dipole moment that the Universe itself exists.

Scientific theory can predict how big this electric dipole moment should be, but to actually look for it, researchers need the latest in low temperature equipment and lasers. The new laboratory, the Centre for the Measurement of Particle Electric Dipole Moments, has been equipped with a £1.7 million award from the Joint Infrastructure Fund and offers the
possibility of a breakthrough in the near future.



Professor Ed Hinds, the director of the new centre, said: “This is a unique and very exciting project. We hope eventually to find out what happened between ‘matter’ and ‘anti-matter’ when the Universe was created.”

Dr Alun Anderson, Editor in Chief of the New Scientist and a Sussex alumnus will open the Centre on May 14th.

Julia Maddock | alphagalileo

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

nachricht Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect
24.05.2017 | University of Cologne

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>