The mystery of matter
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Updated June 01, 2011
It is the cosmic dark age, that the matter has appeared. Before the Big Bang, there is 13.7 billion years there was nothing, no space, time either, it was nothing. The WMAP telescope shows us here against an image of the universe, some 380 000 years after the Big Bang, but we're still not able to attend the birth. Between 0 and 400 million years, the Universe is so dense that light can not escape. This period will always remain invisible. To get closer to the birth of the universe, we are forced to go across time and space on the side of the infinitely small. It is in the Large Hadron Collider (CERN) scientists that want to see what nature hides from us. This machine to reproduce the Big Bang, centralizes all hopes of particle physicists. In this machine, protons are accelerated to the speed of light to 800 million collisions per second are generated to analyze the interactions. The LHC could lead to unexpected phenomena such as generation of parallel dimensions. String theory predicts the existence of extra dimensions beyond the three spatial dimensions we know. Physicists hope with this machine, find the explanation at all. The world today is too complex to be understood but by going back to the origins of the universe, everything found there is a simple structure consisting of few particles and few strengths. From here you can understand how the universe has reached up to more complex matter.
Since the discovery of the first particles of matter by Leon Lederman, physicists have classified the material through a multitude of particles. The energy and mass are related in the matter.
E = MC2 (Einstein), works in both directions, the mass creates energy but the energy can create matter.
Subjecting the atoms to powerful energy physicists show block elements indivisible elementary particles. In fact physicists seeking to turn back the clock to find the time when the energy of the Big Bang has become for the first time, matter. Up quark, the down quark, electron, electron neutrino, the W boson, the W-boson, the quark Charm, Strange quark, the muon neutrino Muon, the top quark, the bottom quark, the tau , Tau neutrinos, the Z boson, the gluon and photon are constituents of matter. The standard model describes the basic elements of matter, but it is incomplete, there is still something to be discovered is the appearance of the mass. The thing that gives substance to the elementary particles.
nota: The light appeared 380,000 years after the Big Bang, when free electrons are combined with atomic nuclei. This period marked the decoupling between matter and radiation.
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Image: Analyzes images of the WMAP telescope on the observable Universe, indicate that old of 13.7 billion years (with an accuracy of 1%). It is composed of 73% dark energy, 23% of cold dark matter, and only 4% of atoms, i.e. of material. Our universe is currently expanding at a rate of 71 km/s / Mpc (with an accuracy of 5%), it rose by episodes of rapid expansion called inflation and grow forever. Credit: WMAP Science Team, NASA
What is mass?
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Without mass particles moving at the speed of light and the universe would be only radiation, there would be nothing solid. If the material can agglomerate is due to the mass. Why is this substance that constitutes us, is it matter, why is it strong, why has it mass?
To connect the standard model with the real world, scientists have to invent a new theory. This is the Higgs mechanism, which makes the matter is matter. The gluon is the mediator of the strong interaction, i.e. the nuclear force, the photon is the mediator of the electromagnetic interaction, but the weak interaction is still not a mediator. The physicist Peter Higgs came up with one in the 1960s. This hypothetical particle is the Higgs. Thus the Higgs mechanism fills the entire universe and all space, a molasses, a field of bosons.
Some particles passing through the Higgs fields, interact with him and would be constrained, hence the inertia. These heavy particles, like all the particles that make up our body. The Higgs field is holding back the quarks that make up the objects that we raise. Thus the inertial mass of a particle resulting from the degree of interaction with the Higgs field. The photon, mediator of the electromagnetic interaction, does not interact at all with the Higgs fields and travels at the speed of light.
The hypothetical Higgs field is currently the missing piece of the standard model, it explains the existence of a world of solid objects, consisting of massive particles. The discovery of the electroweak Higgs fields, will explain the workings of the universe. But to prove the existence of the Higgs fields, scientists must first find the Higgs boson, i.e. the particle which is related to this field. But since the 1960s, no particle physicist has found the Higgs. The scientific world has focused on the LHC to get there. The LHC will approach the Big Bang and see if this particle exists or not. The LHC will enable us perhaps to discover the origin of mass and first moments of time. By cons if you can not find the Higgs boson is that science is at an impasse and it went wrong. Every advance in science at least allows us to measure the size of our ignorance.
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Today the Standard Model successfully describes three of the four fundamental interactions: strong, weak and electromagnetic.
The table of elementary particles contains three families:
- up and down quarks and leptons, electron and electron neutrino,
- the charm and strange quarks and leptons muon and muon neutrino,
- top and bottom quarks and tau leptons and tau neutrino.
Four of the elementary particles would be sufficient in principle to build the world around us: the up and down quarks, the electron and the electron neutrino.
The others are unstable and decay to reach these four particles.
Note: The Standard Model does not describe the fourth interaction: gravitational interaction.
Image: The table of elementary particles of the Standard Model, Class fermions, constituents of matter and bosons.
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