RT, May 15
Why does matter exist in the universe? It’s not a simple question, but NASA’s Fermi space telescope may be on its way to an answer. The instrument has detected gamma rays which could provide scientists with clues surrounding the mystery of matter.
Researchers believe the telescope’s detection of the gamma rays (high-energy light) has provided the answer as to why the universe is filled with matter, instead of anti-matter.
Tanmay Vachaspati, a professor of physics at Arizona State University, and his colleagues think they have found a clue to that mystery, believing a signal in the Fermi gamma ray data suggests an overwhelming production of matter – but not anti-matter – in the early universe.
The team claims to have identified a “twisting” of the gamma rays detected by the telescope. They believe the twisted rays are evidence of a magnetic field that has existed in the universe since less than a second after the Big Bang occurred.
The gamma rays, sensitive to the effect of a magnetic field, carried a spiral pattern imprint from the field. Analysis of the imprint and its properties showed the field is predominately left-handed.
The left-hand orientation is evidence of the overwhelming production of matter. Vachaspati and his team say that anti-matter would have produced a right-hand orientation.
The researchers did, however, point out that there is a 0.3 percent chance that the results aren’t what they seem.
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