It’s “one of the Universe’s best-kept secrets” and a mystery that physicists are working to resolve. Every subatomic particle in the universe has an antimatter equivalent. Each atom consists of electrons, protons, and neutrons. The negative electrons have alternative positrons with a positive charge. If you could combine an electron and a positron, they would cancel each other. Protons and neutrons, which compose the nucleus of atoms, are made of smaller particles called quarks. There are also anti-quarks, and if you combined a quark and an anti-quark, they would explode and destroy each other. Our universe, and us, can only exist because matter greatly exceeds antimatter.
If matter and antimatter were in a state of symmetry with equal amounts, they would have destroyed each other, and nothing would exist. Scientists theorize that the creation event, or Big Bang, should have created an equal amount of matter and antimatter, so they wonder why the lack of symmetry. In other words, why does anything exist in the universe, our planet, and our bodies? The universe is made of matter, while antimatter is almost non-existent except in radioactive particle decay and particle colliders such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland and France.
According to the Standard Model of particle physics, physicists theorize that a “charge-conjugation parity violation” (CP) caused the lack of symmetry – but how and why? Physicists working with the LHC say particles and antiparticles can spontaneously transform from one to the other. LHC spokesperson Chris Parkes said, “Through more precise measurement, large improvements have been made in our knowledge. These are key parameters that aid our search for unknown effects from beyond our current theory.”
We can be thankful that in today’s universe, the amount of matter greatly exceeds antimatter. Since physicists are looking for an explanation, they may eventually solve the mystery. It will be interesting to see the scientific explanation for the lack of symmetry. Whatever process scientists discover, we suggest that this is another example where intelligence and wisdom provide a more reasonable ultimate explanation than accidental chance offers.
— Roland Earnst © 2023