Friday, May 15, 2015

Background signals may solve space mystery


Time now again for Science Friday.

It is one of the biggest mysteries in the study of space.

Why did regular matter...material such as hydrogen gas, metals, and all the other "stuff" that makes up stars like our Sun...come to compose the universe rather than anti-matter? It is heavily postulated that at one point after the Big Bang, our cosmos was fairly evenly split in composition between matter and ant-matter. But somehow, matter won out for dominance. Why? Believe it or not, no one's really been able to come up with an answer. Now, according to a recent post at Space.com, an answer may have been found.

Findings from the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope have determined that a magnetic field came into existence only split seconds after the Big Bang. This determination comes via the fact that there is a "twisting" effect in gamma rays with a left-hand orientation. This means a vast production of matter in the early universe as a right-handed signal would have produced more anti-matter. So in a way, the universe is left-handed.

Bad joke. Sorry. I digress...

It is still early to conclusively determine whether it was this universal magnetic field that helped give matter the edge over anti-matter. The numbers are still being verified through new data on the gamma ray signals becoming available through the Fermi telescope. Bereft of conclusive data, I will now engage in one of my favorite pastimes: wild speculation.

While modern astronomy learns more every day, we still don't know much. We're finding constant surprises when it comes to celestial objects like black holes and supervoids. So what captivates me about the early duel between matter and anti-matter is connected to the ideas of a multiverse and a "clockwork" universe. Or at least that's what I'm calling it.

In the case of the latter, there are those, mostly deists of various forms, who say that the universe works too perfectly for it not to have been intelligently designed. Indeed, if anything were off just a few degrees one way or another, we would not even be here. It could not have been up to chance. If, on the other hand, we exist in a multiverse of numerous universes, it might make more sense. There may be plenty of universes where things didn't work out for whatever reason and they are filled with mostly empty space or dead forms. Why? Just shook out that way. Same reason we came into existence.

So, maybe there are universes composed entirely or mostly of anti-matter. In fact, maybe that primordial magnetic field managed to shunt the majority of the anti-matter of our universe into another one with all due sturm and scroop.

Like I said...speculation.




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