Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physicists make atoms and dark matter add up

Date:
December 13, 2010
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
Physicists have proposed a unified explanation for dark matter and the so-called baryon asymmetry -- the apparent imbalance of matter with positive baryon charge and antimatter with negative baryon charge in the universe.

UBC and TRIUMF physicists have proposed a unified explanation for dark matter and the so-called baryon asymmetry--the apparent imbalance of matter with positive baryon charge and antimatter with negative baryon charge in the Universe.

Related Articles


The visible Universe appears to be made of atoms, and each of these atoms carries a positive baryon charge equal to total number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus.

However, since the discovery of antimatter in 1932, researchers have wondered why the Universe doesn't hold a neutral baryon charge--requiring as much negatively charged antimatter as positively charged matter.

This net asymmetry of particles over antiparticles remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in physics.

"We've proposed a matter formation scenario where the positive baryon number of visible atoms is in balance with the equal and opposite negative baryon number of dark matter," says Kris Sigurdson, an assistant professor of Physics and Astronomy at UBC, who worked with colleagues at TRIUMF, Canada's National Laboratory for Particle Physics, and researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the US, on the theory.

"This links the formation of atoms and dark matter and helps resolve the baryon asymmetry mystery, as the total dark plus visible baryon balance of the Universe is restored."

The proposal was published November 19 in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Observations of the the big bang's afterglow, the cosmic microwave background, by the WMAP satellite now show about 4.6 per cent of the Universe (by density) is comprised of atoms, with about five times more dark matter (23 per cent).

The cosmic balancing act proposed by the researchers may explain why the measured densities of dark matter and atoms differ only by a factor of five.

The researchers also predict an entirely new method to detect dark matter.

"Occasionally a dark-matter antiparticle may collide with and annihilate an ordinary atomic particle, releasing a burst of energy," says Sigurdson. "While extremely rare, this means dark matter might be observed in nucleon decay experiments on Earth that look for the spontaneous decay of protons."

Dark matter -- first hinted at nearly 80 years ago -- is an elusive material inferred to exist from measurements of its gravitational effects on visible matter in galaxies, background radiation, and the Universe as a whole. It interacts very weakly with ordinary matter and, while playing a key role in our Universe, is almost undetectable.

Hooman Davoudiasl, Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York and David Morrissey and Sean Tulin of TRIUMF's Theory Group, co-authored the letter.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hooman Davoudiasl, David Morrissey, Kris Sigurdson, Sean Tulin. Unified Origin for Baryonic Visible Matter and Antibaryonic Dark Matter. Physical Review Letters, 2010; 105 (21): 211304 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.211304

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Physicists make atoms and dark matter add up." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129102456.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2010, December 13). Physicists make atoms and dark matter add up. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129102456.htm
University of British Columbia. "Physicists make atoms and dark matter add up." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129102456.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hubble Marks 25th Birthday as Successor Readies for Launch

Hubble Marks 25th Birthday as Successor Readies for Launch

AFP (Apr. 20, 2015) — With the Hubble Space Telescope celebrating its 25th anniversary on April 24, 2015, AFPTV takes a look at Hubble&apos;s control room and gets a sneak peek inside the space center assembling the James Webb Telescope - Hubble&apos;s successor. Duration: 02:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rocket Science: Building And Testing The Space Launch System

Rocket Science: Building And Testing The Space Launch System

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2015) — NASA&apos;s new rocket system will eventually be the most powerful ever built by man, but there are a lot of moving parts to test first. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
2015 NASA Rover Challenge Underway in Alabama

2015 NASA Rover Challenge Underway in Alabama

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Apr. 19, 2015) — Teams face an uphill battle for fastest rover in this year&apos;s NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge in Alabama. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
International Space Station Captures SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft

International Space Station Captures SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 17, 2015) — SpaceX&apos;s Dragon spacecraft reaches the International Space Station and is successfully captured by the station&apos;s robotic arm. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins