Is the New Physics Here? Atom Smashers Get an Antimatter Surprise
The world’s largest atom smasher, designed as a portal to a new view of physics, has produced its first peek at the unexpected: bits of matter that don’t mirror the behavior of their antimatter counterparts.
The discovery, if confirmed, could rewrite the known laws of particle physics and help explain why our universe is made mostly of matter and not antimatter.
Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider, the 17-mile (27 km) circular particle accelerator underground near Geneva, Switzerland, have been colliding protons at high speeds to create explosions of energy. From this energy many subatomic particles are produced.
Now researchers at the accelerator’s LHCb experiment are reporting that some matter particles produced inside the machine appear to be behaving differently from their antimatter counterparts, which might provide a partial explanation to the mystery of antimatter.