Why does anything exist at all?
At the moment of the Big Bang, the incredibly hot, impossibly dense mass known as the universe exploded to create every particle of matter that now surrounds us.
Here's the problem: The way physicists understand it, the processes that formed those first particles should have produced an equal number of antiparticles, thereby annihilating all matter and effectively cancelling everything out.
So according to physics, the universe shouldn’t exist. But the universe does exist and this has left physicists scratching their heads for decades trying to answer this most basic question: Why does anything exist at all?
The Big Bang should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter in the early universe. But today, everything we see from the smallest life forms on Earth to the largest stellar objects is made almost entirely of matter. Comparatively, there is not much antimatter to be found. Something must have happened to tip the balance. Why do we see an asymmetry between matter and antimatter?
Antimatter particles share the same mass as their matter counterparts, but qualities such as electric charge are opposite. The positively charged positron, for example, is the antiparticle to the negatively charged electron.
It is a mathematical theorem that every type of particle has a corresponding anti-particle, with exactly the same mass. Actually, it’s not just a theorem: for all known particles the antiparticle has been observed experimentally, so we don’t need to have a debate about it. Matter and antimatter particles are always produced as a pair and, if they come in contact, annihilate one another, leaving behind pure energy.
During the first fractions of a second of the Big Bang, the hot and dense universe was buzzing with particle-antiparticle pairs popping in and out of existence. If matter and antimatter are created and destroyed together, it seems the universe should contain nothing but leftover energy.
CERN explains this using a coin analogy: Consider a coin spinning on a table. It can land on its heads or its tails, but it cannot be defined as “heads” or “tails” until it stops spinning and falls to one side. A coin has a 50-50 chance of landing on its head or its tail, so if enough coins are spun in exactly the same way, half should land on heads and the other half on tails. In the same way, half of the oscillating particles in the early universe should have decayed as matter and the other half as antimatter.
However, if a special kind of marble rolled across a table of spinning coins and caused every coin it hit to land on its head, it would disrupt the whole system. There would be more heads than tails. In the same way, some unknown mechanism could have interfered with the oscillating particles to cause a slight majority of them to decay as matter.
But not always, try to spin a coin a hundred times. Count the outcome. Having 50 Heads and 50 Tails are very less likely to happen. Therefore, the mysterious force which disrupted the whole system and created more matter than anti-matter doesn’t have to exist. As having more matter than anti-matter is completely natural.
What if it isn’t natural and the universe is nothing else just some leftover pure energy? What if the universe we know doesn’t exist at all?
Think of this as your noise-cancelling headphone. To cancel out the noise, the headphone creates an equal and opposite noise. And we as an observer doesn’t hear that noise anymore. But that noise and that anti-noise still exist, as an observer, we fail to hear that as the noise and the anti-noise cancel out each other. Maybe the universe doesn’t exist at all for an observer who is not a part of this universe.
We can interact with this universe as we are a part of this universe. For us, the universe exists but for someone who is not a part of this universe, there is no universe, just some leftover pure energy.
These are just my thoughts, who knows what’s real and what’s not. I may be wrong!
“CERN Accelerating Science.” Superconductivity | CERN, home.cern/science/physics/matter-antimatter-asymmetry-problem.
“Particle/Anti-Particle Annihilation.” Of Particular Significance, 26 Mar. 2012, profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/particleanti-particle-annihilation/.
“The Universe Shouldn't Exist, According to Physics.” Curiosity.com, curiosity.com/topics/the-universe-shouldnt-exist-according-to-physics-curiosity/.