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Conversations About Other Worlds > Anti matter and neutrinos

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message 1: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Okay, whomever can explain to me about anti-matter and neutrinos will have my admiration for their scientific knowledge. Looking forward to your replies.

message 2: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
Let me take a stab.

#1 Dark Matter (my best understanding)
We think there's some form of matter we can't observe or directly detect (thus dark matter). It isn't clear yet if it's an actual type of matter present in the unvierse, or only a theoretical construct that explains some deeper as of yet not understood mechanic.

The reason the scientists are so convinced that the dark matter is there is that we see the results of its gravitational influence on the large-scale structure of the universe. Think whole galaxies and galaxy clusters forming the superstructure. We have a pretty good idea of how much mass galaxies have because we can measure the diameter of stars and their chemical make-up. And yet galaxies behave as if they had orders of magnitude more mass than they actually do. The current models say that the mass and energy we see is only about 5% of the total mass and energy of the universe, with the rest being the Dark Matter and Dark Energy. The hunt to detect either continues, and will probably result in decades worth of Noble Prizes for when it's finally understood better.

Taken from some science site: "A neutrino is a subatomic particle that is very similar to an electron, but has no electrical charge and a very small mass, which might even be zero."

It's a long shot, but knowing you, you're probably wondering how neutrinos travel faster than light. They don't. The only research to claim so found a fault within their equipment. Their result has been debunked by independent teams, and the question has been looked at in depth by many scientists. Neutrinos move consistently with the speed of light.

message 3: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
I found a great and interesting article about neutrinos: https://www.businessinsider.com/super...

They had mentioned dark matter too. I realized I knew very little about both. ]

It's amazing to me that neutrinos are so small, they can pass through solid matter.

Hope you enjoy the article. Thanks for the information. I was curious, though, how they know their measurements are accurate. So, what they are saying is that for the places where there is no matter, there isn't just empty space, it's something we cannot see or detect that is putting force on the matter in the universe and providing it with structure?

message 4: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
You can think of matter as a really dense mesh, or a sponge (though a mesh is more accurate). When you touch, say a sheet of glass, the particles of your finger don't really touch the glass, but they push against the glass particles. So there isn't really a place where there is no matter. Even in regular vacuum there's plenty of matter (stray gas particles, stardust, etc) it's just isn't as dense. The reason neutrinos can pass through matter is that they avoid interacting with the nuclear forces, though how they do it is where my understanding gets fuzzy.

I highly recommend watching the show Cosmos (you can find it on netflix) by Neil DaGrasse Tyson. He does a much better job than I of explaining the current scientific knowledge of pretty much everything important. From what light is, to how we know evolution works, how the universe began, and all kinds of other topics (how matter is built among them).

You seem interested in science and there's probably no better starting point than Cosmos in grasping it at a glance.

message 5: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
Also - a great article. I read about that chamber before, but not in such detail.

message 6: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Thanks for the recommendation. I will check it out. I think you told me about it before. This conversation will most likely motivate me to action.

message 7: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Schuder (goodreadscomkirstenschuder) | 233 comments Mod
Well, touch is a matter of our nervous system combining with our brain so we can interpret the input coming in, such as, ow, that's hot, or brrr, that's cold. I am touching my computer screen now, and the plastic on it feels smooth. SO, you're saying that I'm not really touching it, as in placing my finger on it and then my finger and brain process the information to tell me that it feels smooth to me?

message 8: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Springs | 181 comments Mod
In my dreamscape warriors series (though not published yet) I have something called neodreleum, which is helium and antihelium in a neutral state. It allows for the storage of fuel without using a magnetic bottle to keep the ship from blowing up. It is based on the theory that there was a time in the early universe that mater was combined and eventually separated into matter and antimatter.

message 9: by A.R. (new)

A.R. Davis (drardavis) | 10 comments Sebastian ... "So there isn't really a place where there is no matter. Even in regular vacuum there's plenty of matter (stray gas particles, stardust, etc) it's just isn't as dense."

Doesn't the concept of density imply that there IS a place where there is no matter? In fact, particle theory itself implies that. What is between two particles? It isn't the same as the real number line where between any two real numbers is another real number.

Is the universe discrete or continuous? :-) Just wondering.

message 10: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
A.R. You're right of course when considering the particle scale. On that scale everything is a mostly empty space bound in points by nuclear forces, like wire fence. I'm not sure I would call it a place where there is no matter, since there's plenty of it even in the densest kinds of matter. Now I said it though, I think this is a matter of semantics, and probably not worth debating much.

The more interesting point you raise is what's called the granularity of the universe. A pendulum has a fixed number of states. Space is granular in its nature. You can read about it on the net, but a great book that made realize that's the case is "The Reality is not what it seems" by a renowned italian physicist - Carlo Rovielli.

message 11: by A.R. (new)

A.R. Davis (drardavis) | 10 comments Thanks for the tip. I'll check out that book.

As a mathematician I think of space as a 3D continuum. As a computer programmer I see it more pixelated.

But, if you believe "space is granular in its nature", then what do you think about time?

message 12: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
Wouldn’t call it a belief, rather a worldview I subscribe to because I’ve seen a consensus from the scientific community. I am only an armchai physicist since I follow the news and developments with keen interest, but dont really work in the field.

The structure of time is something that bothers me since I cant get my head around the explanations that I came across. And dont get me started on quantum gravity and the quantum loops theory...

message 13: by Sebastian (new)

Sebastian Hetman | 26 comments Mod
@A.R. - I've revisited my worldview about the granularity of space (and time while I was at it). I seem to have stumbled upon a series of arguments for the granularity of space, which convinced me it is the prevailing view amongst the physicist nowadays, but it is far from being so.

I don't want to make any claims on what's real or not... I am endlessly fascinated by the development of the working model of reality, and closely follow the advances we're making. For now the granularity is more of a popular scientific thesis, than a proven theory. Apologies for misleading you. I guess reading lots isn't the same as education :)

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