Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Antimatter is like matter on opposite day: it has the same properties as the stuff that makes up planets, stars and galaxies, but one vital piece is different—its charge. The universe supposedly started off with equal parts matter and antimatter, but somehow, matter won out. Most of both substances annihilated each other shortly after the big bang, and left a small surplus of matter remaining.

share|improve this question
3  
The answer is not currently known and the question is an ongoing topic of research in physics. For details on the various theories, try googling terms such as "matter antimatter asymmetry" or "Baryon asymmetry". –  mcFreid Feb 3 at 6:55
2  
Your question doesn't seem to be about why there is an asymmetry so much as it's about why matter "won". It's actually completely arbitrary. See physics.stackexchange.com/q/81787 –  Brandon Enright Feb 3 at 7:02
2  
Free Nobel Prize to writer of the first upvoted answer! –  DarenW Feb 3 at 7:08
2  
This is a really big and currently actively researched question: if you happen to meet Physics SE user Michael Brown on chat his dissertation is in exactly this field. –  WetSavannaAnimal aka Rod Vance Feb 3 at 7:28
2  
@SajinShereef See Brandon's comment above. At the moment, you aren't really asking a question worth answering. Asking why antimatter lost the tug-o-war is like asking why the team with the least points lost. "Ordinary matter" is a label we slap in the winner, and anti-matter is a label we slap on its opposite. A better question is why is there a winner at all? –  David H Feb 3 at 8:45

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This was answered well in the comments but I'll write it up as a proper answer. There are two main questions here:

  • Why is there an asymmetry between matter and antimatter?
  • given that there's an asymmetry, why did matter win out?

The second question is answered rather easily. The Big Bang produced more of one of the two types and everything, from galaxies to human beings, ended up made of this. Since we're made of that type, it is no surprise we ended up calling that one matter and the exotic type antimatter. This is not an intrinsic distinction, though: there is nothing in the lab that distinguishes antimatter from matter.

The real question, of course, is why there is more of one type to begin with. Indeed, as far as we can tell, all the pair production mechanisms that would have turned energy into mass just after the Big Bang ought to create equal amounts of matter and antimatter. Nevertheless, we observe more of the former and less of the latter.

This question is, alas, completely unresolved. We simply do not know. This 'baryon asymmetry problem' is currently an open and active research field, though no one really knows what the solution might look like. If we do find out, though, be sure that you will hear about it in the news, and that there will be a Nobel prize or two for the people that resolve it.

share|improve this answer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baryogenesis
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/ParticleAndNuclear/baryogenesis.html
Start with baryogenesis. Bottom line: Nobody knows why the universe is not mirror symmetric. We are still exploring how the universe is not mirror symmetric.

As to origin...anybody can be a theorist! Massless boson photons detect no vacuum refraction, dispersion, dissipation, dichroism, gyrotropy. Postulate this is exactly true for fermionic matter (quarks). Parity violations, symmetry breakings, chiral anomalies, Chern-Simons repair of Einstein-Hilbert action reveal vacuum trace chirality toward hadrons. Big Bang matter is fundamentally chosen over antimatter. Crazy talk!

Vacuum trace chiral anisotropy selective to fermionic matter alters Noetherian coupling of exact vacuum isotropy to angular momentum conservation. It leaks for matter as MoND's 1.2×10^(-10) m/s^2 Milgrom acceleration. Dark matter curve-fits the Tully-Fisher relation. Crazy talk?

Opposite shoes embed within chiral vacuum (mount a left foot) with different energies. They vacuum free fall non-identically, exhibiting Equivalence Principle (EP) violation. Crystallography's opposite shoes are visually and chemically identical, single crystal test masses in enantiomorphic space groups: P3(1)21 vs. P3(2)21 alpha-quartz, geometrically right-handed versus left-handed atomic mass distributions.
Theory only fears experiment.

http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/erotor1.jpg
http://www.npl.washington.edu/eotwash/EquivalencePrinciple
Two geometric Eötvös experiments. 0.113 nm^3 volume/α-quartz unit cell. 40 grams net as 8 single crystal test masses compare 6.68×10^22 pairs of opposite shoes (pairs of 9-atom enantiomorphic unit cells, the test mass array cube's opposite vertical sides).

The significant difference between blowing warm air and respected scholarship

http://phys.columbia.edu/~dvp/dvp-sakharov.pdf

is that this warm air can be tested within 90 days in existing bench top apparatus using commercial materials. Crazy talk or epiphany, at least we can know.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.