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If we make anti-matter, would there be another universe?

If it is possible to make anti-matter would there be another universe that consists of this type of matter?
Aaron Raj Chadda & Simon Ford from Hampshire (age 5-14)

What is antimatter?
Sophie Degen from Somerset
Age: 5-14

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2 Responses

  1. Well, first of all, it is definitely possible to make anti-matter. It takes a lot of energy for us to do artificially, and because anti-matter annihilates when it touches the ‘normal’ matter the rest of the universe is made from, it doesn’t last long, but we can definitely make it.

    We think that a universe made from anti-matter would work in the same way ours would, because anti-matter behaves almost exactly like normal matter. The only differences are that the charges on particles are switched round so that the positive charges become negative ones and vice versa, which doesn’t make any difference to their behaviour overall, and that some very exotic particles which you only see at super high energies change into other particles at a different rate.

    Even though this difference is only noticeable at very high energies, very young universes *have* a lot of energy, so this small variation will start to matter. We don’t know how a universe made this way would be different to ours. We can’t find one and study it either, because of the small exploding problem I mentioned before.

    But there is no reason why a universe made of antimatter shouldn’t exist – we would just never know about it, because any particles from it would explode before they reached us.

  2. Hello Aaron and Simon,

    Yes, anti-matter exists and particle physicists deal with anti-matter almost on a daily basis!

    What’s very interesting is that all experiments show that the laws of physics do not distinguish between matter and anti-matter. There are some exceptions to this, but they are too small to worry about here.

    If the laws of physics treat matter and anti-matter on the same footing, and the big bang created the universe, then it should have created a universe made up of equal amounts of matter and anti-matter. In which case the matter and anti-matter would have annihilated (as the previous answer states) a long time ago.

    But the universe we see is completely made of matter. So the real question is: Where did all the anti-matter go?

    Scientists are looking for this effect (known as CP-violation) which could answer the question, at particle accelerators in California, Japan, and also in Geneva. So far however, no satisfactory answers have been found.

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