A recent research, which was published in the journal Nature, has left scientists baffled. The research, which was carried out by scientists at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), reveals that there is an absolute symmetry in the universe when it comes to the amount of matter and anti-matter formed at the beginning of the universe. The scientists used BASE (Baryon Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment) with high precision to determine the difference in the magnetism of antiprotons that they had isolated in 2015.
Such symmetry in nature poses a fundamental problem. As matter and antimatter annihilate one other when they come into contact, if there were equal measures of both formed at the beginning of the universe, ie the Big Bang, scientists claim that the universe would not come into existence. According to prevailing scientific theories, there needed to be an imbalance in the between particles and anti-particles at the beginning of the universe.
CERN physicist Christian Smorra was quoted as saying,
All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist.
He further added,
An asymmetry must exist here somewhere, but we simply do not understand where the difference is. What is the source of the symmetry break?
Stefan Ulmer, the spokesperson for the multinational BASE collaboration at CERN, said,
The measurement of antiprotons was extremely difficult, and we had been working on it for ten years. The final breakthrough came with the revolutionary idea of performing the measurement with two particles.
As it is impossible to physically contain antimatter, the team improved upon a method to entrap anti-protons by using magnetic and electric fields involving a pair of Pennings traps.
CERN researchers are also trying to determine whether gravity affects protons and anti-protons differently.
The next step for scientists would be to perform experiments at an even higher precision over the next several years to determine if there is an asymmetry between the protons and anti-protons. Another CERN collaboration, the ALPHA experiment is looking at fundamental symmetries between hydrogen and anti-hydrogen atoms.