Obviously, we know that there must be something, because we're here. If there were nothing, we couldn't ask the question. But why? Why is there something? Why is the universe not a featureless void? Why does our universe have matter and not only energy? It might seem surprising, but given our current theories and measurements, science cannot answer those questions.
To grasp why science has trouble explaining why matter exists — and to understand the scientific achievement of Majorana -- we must first know a few simple things. First, our universe is made exclusively of matter; you, me, the Earth, even distant galaxies. All of it is matter.
So how is our universe made exclusively of matter? Where did the antimatter go?
The simplest answer is that we don't know. In fact, it remains one of the biggest unanswered problems of modern physics.iPhone transfer software
However, we don't know the process whereby the asymmetry in the laws of the universe arose. One possible explanation revolves around a class of subatomic particles called leptons.
The most well-known of the leptons is the familiar electron, found around atoms. However, a less known lepton is called the neutrino. Neutrinos are emitted in a particular kind of nuclear radiation, called beta decay. Beta decay occurs when a neutron in an atom decays into a proton, an electron, and a neutrino.
Imagine you have a set of twins, with each twin standing in for the matter and antimatter neutrinos. If the twins are fraternal, you can tell them apart, but if they are identical, you can't. Essentially, we don't know which kind of twins the neutrino matter/antimatter pair are.
If neutrinos are their own antimatter particle, it would be an enormous clue in the mystery of the missing antimatter. So, naturally, scientists are working to figure this out.
The way they do that is to look first for a very rare form of beta decay, called double beta decay. That's when two neutrons in the nucleus of an atom simultaneously decay. In this process, two neutrinos are emitted. Scientists have observed this kind of decay.
If indeed neutrinoless double beta decay exists, it's very hard to detect and it's important that scientists can discriminate between the many types of radioactive decay that mimic that of a neutrino. This requires the design and construction of very precise detectors.
For millennia, introspective thinkers have pondered the great questions of existence. Why are we here? Why is the universe the way it is? Do