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Antimatter Binds The Same Way As Matter

Update Date: Nov 06, 2015 09:52 AM EST

In their pursuit to understand the abundance of matter over antimatter, researchers have discovered the nature of force that holds antimatter- it is not different from what holds matter together.

According to NPR, researchers used the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory created antimatter by smashing gold atoms which created conditions similar to just moments after Big Bang which resulted in the universe. Big Bang is known to have led to equal amounts of matter and antimatter but it is not clear why antimatter is rare in the universe. If matter meets its antimatter counterpart, they annihilate each other releasing energy as light.

"Although this puzzle [abundance of matter over antimatter] has been known for decades and little clues have emerged, it remains one of the big challenges of science. Anything we learn about the nature of antimatter can potentially contribute to solving this puzzle," researcher Aihong Tang said.

Antiprotons produced by smashing gold atoms could bind to each other through the strong nuclear force in much the same way as protons by overcoming the force of repulsion between two similarly charged particles.

The measurements showed no asymmetry between matter and antimatter that explains the overabundance of matter.

"There are many ways to test for matter/antimatter asymmetry, and there are more precise tests, but in addition to precision, it's important to test it in qualitatively different ways. This experiment was a qualitatively new test," said Richard Lednický, an RHIC scientist.

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