There is a possibility that the solution to one of the most perplexing questions about the cosmos can be found in one of the tiniest and creepiest particles.
The universe is filled with various types of matter. Everything in our immediate environment, from galaxies and stars to planets and puppies, is composed of matter. However, the opposite of matter is called antimatter. Antiparticles of protons, electrons, and other particles, such as positrons and antielectrons, are all examples of antimatter particles. However, antimatter is significantly less common than matter, and the reason for this remains a mystery to scientists.
According to the consensus of physicists, the cosmos began with an equal amount of matter and antimatter. Since their corresponding matter and antimatter states annihilate one another upon coming into touch, this argues that the universe should have culminated in nothing but energy. There must have been a factor that tipped the balance.
Neutrinos are very light subatomic particles, and some physicists believe that they may hold the key to solving this mystery. These particles have masses that are less than a millionth of a millionth of a millionth of that of an electron (SN: 4/21/21). They are created when radioactive material breaks down, as well as in the sun and other celestial conditions. Neutrinos are often referred to as “ghost particles” due to their ethereal properties and their ability to avoid being detected. It was first believed that these eerie particles had no mass at all; nonetheless, they have a healthy track record of creating scientific surprises (SN: 10/6/15).
Now, scientists are constructing gigantic detectors in order to determine whether or not neutrinos can shed light on the enigma of the matter in the cosmos. Experiments called Hyper-Kamiokande, which will be conducted in Hida City, Japan, and the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, which will be conducted in Lead, South Dakota, will investigate neutrinos and antineutrinos, which are the antimatter counterparts of neutrinos. Scientists assume that the imbalance between matter and antimatter was caused by the behavior of neutrinos and antineutrinos being fundamentally different from one another.