The unequal amount of antimatter to matter ratio in the universe might be one of the top mysteries of the cosmos, but without there being more matter than antimatter, there would be no galaxies, no stars, no planets and certainly no us.
The Big Bang was supposed to make equal amounts of matter and antimatter. Antimatter is the equal, yet opposite material to matter and when they meet, they annihilate to produce radiation. This is where things take an unexpected turn – if there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter and they annihilated, then there would be nothing but radiation filling the universe. One look around us tells us they clearly weren’t in equal quantities, so why are we left with a surplus of matter?
Theorists have come up with two plausible solutions. One explanation – according to the likes of the people behind the Large Hadron Collider at CERN – showed that one particularly exotic particle known as the Kaon morphed into its antiparticle more often than the reverse happened. A tiny imbalance between matter and antimatter would have been evident.
The second is that it might have been plausible the two populations of opposite particles avoided their fatal grasp – could there be anti-galaxies, anti-stars and even anti-life out there making a mirror image of our universe and the objects in it?
Image Credit: CERN