Scientists said that the universe should not really exist at all, citing that matter and antimatter should have annihilated each other right from the beginning because they were produced in equal amounts.
Matter And Antimatter
Scientists who conducted experiments at the CERN in Switzerland have found that besides producing opposing charges, matter and antimatter are completely identical.
"All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the Universe should not actually exist," said study researcher Christian Smorra.
Matter and antimatter are both bound to get destroyed when they meet. The Big Bang that marked the birth of the universe, however, is known to have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter. This means that there must be something that scientists do not yet know about that stopped the destruction of both the oppositely charged twins when the universe was born.
Scientists hoped that the magnetic properties of antiproton, the antimatter equivalent of matter's regular proton, could offer the missing imbalance between matter and antimatter.
"At its core, the question is whether the antiproton has the same magnetism as a proton," said Stefan Ulmer, spokesperson of the Baryon Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment (BASE) at CERN. "This is the riddle we need to solve."
No Significant Discrepancy
After making what to date are the most accurate measurements, however, scientists still failed to find a discrepancy between the two types of matter.
Researchers used a two-particle measurement method that involves simultaneously trapping and measuring two separate antiprotons within an even magnetic field.
One was measured at a temperature equivalent to that of hot water and the other at close to absolute zero. The first antiproton calibrated the magnetic field by measuring the property known as the cyclotron frequency. The other antiproton measured a quality called Larmor frequency to get the precise measurements of the magnetic moment.
Using this method, researchers found the magnetic moments of the antiproton is 2.792 847 344 1(42). The value is very close to the 2.792 847 350(9) found for proton in 2014.
"Our result = -2.7928473441(42)μN (where the number in parentheses represents the 68% confidence interval on the last digits of the value) improves the precision of the previous best measurement by a factor of approximately 350. The measured value is consistent with the proton magnetic moment, μp = 2.792847350(9)μN, and is in agreement with CPT invariance," the scientists reported in the journal Nature.