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  Gone in an instantJul 19, 2016 9:48 PM PDT | url
 
Added 1 new A* page:Flavour changing neutrinos give insight into Big Bang says the title of a BBC article, which elaborates to say that results from an experiment involving shooting neutrinos (extremely tiny fundamental particles that scarcely interact with matter and are thus tricky to detect, "the neutrino is the second most abundant known particle; 60 billion neutrinos from the Sun pass through an area the size of your fingernail every second") and anti-neutrinos 295 kilometers across Japan, into the giant Super-Kamiokande detector (there's a cool picture of the inside of that at the head of the article), seem to show that anti-neutrinos oscillate their "flavor" (some sort of quantum mechanical property that Wikipedia has never managed to explain to me in terms I can understand : P—all I get is that neutrinos and anti-neutrinos can exist in one of three flavors, and can switch from one to another as they move through space) less frequently than neutrinos: more neutrinos arrived at the detector with a different flavor than they had had when they started than did anti-neutrinos.
 
Scientists get excited about this sort of thing because it suggests they could be on the way to understanding one of the great mysteries of modern cosmology, namely why it is that in the second after the Big Bang happened, equal numbers of particles and anti-particles were produced, but instead of the matter and antimatter particles annihilating each other, leaving the universe "consisting of nothing but light," the universe instead became quickly dominated by matter, with the antimatter becoming scarce; science has not been able to explain how this could have happened, given that, as far as has been known, particles and their anti-particles are identical, only with opposite charges. (One quirk in this is that for all we know for sure at present, neutrinos, which have a neutral charge, may actually be identical to anti-neutrinos.)
 
I seem to recall seeing several other articles about other findings suggesting other causes of the observed universe's matter/antimatter asymmetry over the past few years—none of which have panned out just yet, apparently. Anyway, the reason I mention this article is that it has an interesting way of quantifying our universe's survival of the matter/antimatter near-annihilation that theory says would have taken place in those early primordial moments: "Somehow, one 10 billionth of the matter that was created managed to survive and makes up everything we see around us today."
 
All the rest of the stuff created in the Big Bang? Pfft! Gone.
 
 
 
 
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