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A Matter of Matter
In Defense of the Faith
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Wendy Wippel

Matter is defined (at least by science) as everything that has mass and occupies space.  Translation:  everything you see.  (And some of what you don’t.)  So you’re an expert on matter!  But what you might not know about matter is this: it’s a mystery.  We really don’t know why it exists at all.

The existence of matter is actually considered one of the unfathomable mysteries of all science: according to science, whatever started the whole process that became the universe we know and love should have operated in balance.  As subatomic particles coalesced into atoms, creating matter, matter and antimatter should, according to the cosmologist’s models, have been formed in equal amounts. 

And (as I learned from Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott OF the starship Enterprise) matter and antimatter are incompatible.  They’re reluctant to (despite the bumper sticker), coexist.  When they get too close to each other, in fact, they immediately destroy each other, creating no small explosion.  The scientific term for it this inevitable process is, in fact, “annihilation”.

(The U.S.S. Enterprise was partially powered by a matter/antimatter Integrator, which putatively encouraged controlled annihilation and put all those explosions to good use.) 

Matter and antimatter, in the presence of each other, spontaneously combust.  And, as Scotty once emotionally explained to Spock (The Integrator being on the fritz), “This thing is going to blow up, and there's nothing in the universe can stop it!”

Antimatter, and matter, if they existed in similar amounts at the moment of creation, would have self-destructed and there would have been nothing in the universe that could have stopped it.  And there would have been nothing in the universe to discuss.

But here’s the rub.  Everything, seen or unseen in the universe, is made of matter (which shouldn’t exist).  However, antimatter is relatively hard to come by.  In fact, you can’t order it, even from scientific supply stores.  When cosmologists want to study it, they have to make it.  (Very carefully.)

So it’s no small imbalance we’re talking here.  There’s a trillion times more matter than antimatter.  And that, scientifically, has been more than a little hard to explain.  Particle physicists, in fact, to put it colloquially, have had their collective particle panties in a wad about the whole conundrum for a long time. 

Finally, for the scientists, there's some hope of enlightenment on the horizon.  Just a couple of weeks ago scientists announced that, courtesy of the Large Hadron Collider,  they may finally found the beginnings of an answer.

By colliding high-energy protons in the Large Hadron Collider (a two-billion dollar particle accelerator) the scientists created  BOs mesons and then watched them decay

(Decay means that the BOs mesons threw off parts, basically).

Intriguingly, the parts that the BOs mesons threw off were comprised of both matter particles and antimatter particles. 

Here's the reason for their euphoria: the BOs mesons (Hallelujah!) threw off more matter particles than antimatter particles.  

Pierluigi Campana, the media spokesguy for the Large Hadron Collider, explained the significance of the finding:

“The discovery of the asymmetric behavior in the BOs particle comes with a significance of more than 5 sigma — a result that was only possible thanks to the large amount of data provided by the LHC and to the LHC detector’s particle identification capabilities. Experiments elsewhere have not been in a position to accumulate a large enough number of BOs decays.”

Translation: their statistical analysis indicates that the data is not a chance observation that could just as likely go the other way if repeated.  It seems to be a genuine scientific  process with some real cause.

A celebration may, however, be a little premature.  Why?  Because they still don't know what caused it.

“Pierluigi continued, saying that the scientist are aware that their observations " are too small to account for the matter-dominated universe,” said Campana. “However, by studying these …. effects we are looking for the missing pieces of the puzzle, which provide stringent tests of the theory and are a sensitive probe for revealing the presence of physics beyond the Standard Model.”

They are looking for the (as yet unidentifiable) cause for the effect noted.  Namely, the reason that matter is produced in greater quantity than antimatter.  By all definitions, a very fundamental process, beginning essentially at the moment of creation itself. 

And if it happens at that level, wouldn't it have been the creative force that programmed that preference?  Wouldn't that have been design?  (By whatever designer you choose to credit? )

The diligent student of their Bible has no need to search vainly for the cause or for the purpose.

God tells us that,

"By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." (Hebrews 11:3 NKJV)

Notice it doesn't say that the things that are seen were made out of nothing.  It says that they were made out of things were not visible.  Not matter, like subatomic particles.

Like Bos Mesons.

God tells us,

"Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm." (Psalms 33:9) 

He commanded, and it stood firm!  Matter (that which is solid, and has mass) outweighed antimatter, and the world today exists.

And He had a reason.  He created it to be inhabited:

“For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, who is God,  who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited:  “I am the Lord, and there is no other”.  (Isaiah 45:18)  

Alternatively,you can keep looking for the random, purposeless process that  brought everything we see into being.

Richard Feynman, a Nobel-prize winning cosmologist often named the most brilliant mind in modern science, once pointed out that,

"If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar."

Now there's an idea.

Wippel" href="http://www.omegaletter.com/content/?Bio_Wendy_page">About Wendy Wippel

Last week: Wippel" href="http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=7589">Mystery Lady

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