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Challenge #46

Solving the mystery of antimatter.

According to recent science, the history of the universe began more than 13 billion years ago with the Big Bang, and according to common models, equal proportions of matter and antimatter were created in the process. However, we observe only matter in today’s universe.

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Making something disappear and something new appear – in the world of the smallest particles, this is no trick. Antiparticles are the building blocks of antimatter. For every particle of our 'normal' matter, there is a so-called antiparticle. The reason for this is one of the great mysteries of cosmology and particle physics, the solution to which is being sought by numerous physicists at Helmholtz Centers and other research laboratories.

The violation of a symmetry between particles and antiparticles plays a significant role in this process, which manifests itself, for example, in quantum mechanical quark and neutrino oscillations or in electric dipole moments of protons and neutrons. Current research at the Helmholtz Centers KIT, GSI and DESY focuses on possible effects of new, currently unknown particles. The search for such particles of "new physics" can therefore provide information about the origin of matter, and could thus help explain, among other things, basis of our existence.

(Header: KEK)

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