Antimatter Problem Still Defies Natural Explanation
The latest test of matter and antimatter shows
that they both respond identically to gravity.
Secular cosmologists are still puzzling over why our universe is made primarily of matter. According to the Standard Model, the Big Bang should have produced equal quantities of matter and antimatter, which differ only in charge (e.g., a positron is a twin of an electron, but with a positive charge). Scientists at RIKEN have now run the most precise test at CERN ever done, and it failed to find any difference. “Matter and antimatter seem to respond equally to gravity,” their January 6 press release reads.
This work involved 18 months of work at CERN’s antimatter factory. To make the measurements, the team confined antiprotons and negatively charged hydrogen ions, which they used as a proxy for protons, in a Penning trap. In this device, a particle follows a cyclical trajectory with a frequency, close to the cyclotron frequency, that scales with the trap’s magnetic-field strength and the particle’s charge-to-mass ratio. By feeding antiprotons and negatively charged hydrogen ions into the trap, one at a time, they were able to measure, under identical conditions, the cyclotron frequencies of the two particle types, comparing their charge-to-mass ratios. According to Stefan Ulmer, the leader of the project, “By doing this, we were able to obtain a result that they are essentially equivalent, to a degree four times more precise than previous measures. To this level of CPT invariance, causality and locality hold in the relativistic quantum field theories of the Standard Model.”
RIKEN is “Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution renowned for high-quality research in a diverse range of scientific disciplines,” and CERN is the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator.
The team’s paper in Nature calls this measurement “A 16-parts-per-trillion measurement of the antiproton-to-proton charge–mass ratio.” It’s opening sentences are startling:
The standard model of particle physics is both incredibly successful and glaringly incomplete. Among the questions left open is the striking imbalance of matter and antimatter in the observable universe, which inspires experiments to compare the fundamental properties of matter/antimatter conjugates with high precision.
Significant antimatter in the universe, if it existed, would be detectable by observation of high-energy explosions when ordinary matter and antimatter collide. These are not observed, which is good, because such a universe would likely be uninhabitable.
Cosmologists have long hoped to explain the extreme prevalence of ordinary matter by postulating differences between the two forms of matter—however slight—that would have led to a tiny excess of one over the other. The universe would then consist of whatever was left over after the rest annihilated itself. This would be our “ordinary” matter. An antimatter universe is possible in principle, and would behave just the same.
Update 10 Jan 2022: The Kavli Institute at the University of Tokyo offered up another idea to address the antimatter asymmetry. “Gravitational waves could be key to answering why more matter was left over after Big Bang,” their press release says (Jan 8). They put forth a weird theory of “Q balls” that depend on the speed of inflation, the inflation field and gravitational waves. They admit it is “a bit tricky to understand” and “testing of this paradigm has been difficult” – an understatement, since inflation was a theory rescue device, not an observation (1 July 2014). More interesting is their description of the antimatter problem:
The reason humans exist is because at some time in the first second of the Universe’s existence, somehow more matter was produced than anti-matter. The asymmetry is so small that only one extra particle of matter was produced every time ten billion particles of anti matter were produced. The problem is that even though this asymmetry is small, current theories of physics cannot explain it. In fact, standard theories say matter and anti matter should have been produced in exactly equal quantities, but the existence of humans, Earth, and everything else in the universe proves there must be more, undiscovered physics.
The Antimatter Problem, which never seems to go away no matter how precise the measurements, echoes another “glaringly incomplete” aspect of the Standard Model: The Dark Matter problem. Increasingly precise measurements have also failed to identify the mysterious unknown stuff that is supposed to be far more plentiful than ordinary matter (10 April 2021).
Ben Panko writes for Carnegie Mellon University that physicists there hope to understand dark matter using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which launched on Christmas 2021 and is now in its deployment and testing phase. Continuing the search for dark matter is the primary goal of Matthew Walker at CMU.
“The top-level science goal is to learn about the nature of dark matter,” Walker explained. This theoretical form of matter has never been directly detected but is estimated to comprise most of the matter in the universe. Various theories have arisen about the form dark matter takes, with the currently dominant cold dark matter theory predicting that it exists in clumps called halos with small basic units, as opposed to galaxy-sized agglomerations.
Shameful Degree of Error
One more “glaringly incomplete” aspect of the Standard Model in Big Bang cosmology is the mismatch between theory and observation of the vacuum energy of the universe. The two differ by 120 orders of magnitude: an error so inconceivably large, it is beyond ridiculous (1 July 2014). In any other field, an error of one order of magnitude would be a firing offense. Cosmology’s error is not just 120 times as big. It is 120 orders of magnitude worse, each order multiplying the previous error by ten.
So here are three glaring errors in the Standard Model that still plague secular cosmology after decades of research, theorizing, observing and pondering by the brightest minds in the most prestigious institutions in science, using the best equipment:
- The Antimatter Problem
- The Dark Matter Problem
- The Vacuum Energy Mismatch
To these can be added the non-detection of life anywhere beyond Earth, which evolutionary cosmologists assume must be plentiful. The Fermi Paradox continues its rebuke: “Where are they?” (26 June 2018). If the universe is as old as the Standard Model claims, and if evolution is as common as biologists assume, why haven’t advanced alien beings visited our planet yet?
These problems can be summarized as follows: secular cosmologists believe in things they cannot see, and cannot explain the things they can see. This seems appallingly at odds with the ideals of science.
All these problems find their resolution in this short statement in the Bible:
For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:18)
There is a God, and he designed the Earth to be inhabited. The universe has what it needs to exist: no need for dark matter. It doesn’t have what would destroy it (antimatter). And it is finely tuned with the right vacuum energy (and many other properties) for complex life.
We can conclude that God is at least 120 orders of magnitude smarter than unbelieving secular cosmologists.
Out of the entire heavens, God designed an Earth with his special care and planning as a habitat for beings to be made in his image, who would have the capacity to investigate the excellence of his attributes for eternity. Do you know him? We have a purpose beyond being born, living, and dying. It is detectable within our conscience and our observation of the creation. Read Acts 17:16-34.