Universe: Why is there something, instead of nothing?
A group of scientists from Japan conducted an experiment, called T2K experiment, on neutrino and anti-neutrino oscillation frequencies, the outcome of which would be an important step towards understanding the fact that the universe is made up of matter.
There are many unanswered questions in science of which the question of the existence of excess matter in universe is an intriguing one for the science world, which even today with the huge technological advancement, has no proper answer. However, scientists from Japan conducted research on this fascinating question by studying the oscillations of the coolest little particles of the universe called neutrinos and their antimatter counterparts called anti-neutrinos.
Interacting via only the weak nuclear force, neutrinos can pass through matter without interacting nearly at all. Three distinct kinds of neutrinos exist, each associated with a unique subatomic sibling, called electrons, muons and taus. One of the interesting properties exhibited by neutrinos is that the three kinds of neutrinos can morph into other types of neutrinos and back again - a phenomenon called neutrino oscillation. Can their antimatter counterparts, anti -neutrinos also behave in a similar way?
Using the J-PARC accelerator, located in Tokai, Japan, scientists fired a beam of neutrinos and antineutrinos through the Earth to the Super Kamiokande experiment, located in Kamioka, also in Japan. This experiment, called T2K (Tokai to Kamiokande), revealed that neutrinos and anti -neutrinos oscillate differently, which is contradictory to the previous assumption of their identical frequency of oscillation. This discovery would be an important step towards understanding the fact that the universe is made of matter.