© 2022 Carol Natasha Diviney
It's the fundamental building block of everything: life on Earth, the planet we live on, the stars, and galaxies. It's typically defined as anything that has mass and occupies a volume of space. The building blocks of matter are called "atoms" and "molecules." They, too, are matter.10 Jan 2020
baryosynthesis) is the physical process that is hypothesized to have taken place during the early universe to produce baryonic asymmetry, i.e. the imbalance of matter (baryons) and antimatter (antibaryons) in the observed universe.
One of the outstanding problems in modern physics is the predominance of matter over antimatter in the universe. The universe, as a whole, seems to have a nonzero positive baryon number density. Since it is assumed in cosmology that the particles we see were created using the same physics we measure today, it would normally be expected that the overall baryon number should be zero, as matter and antimatter should have been created in equal amounts. A number of theoretical mechanisms are proposed to account for this discrepancy, namely identifying conditions that favour symmetry breaking and the creation of normal matter (as opposed to antimatter). This imbalance has to be exceptionally small, on the order of 1 in every 1630000000 (~2×109) particles a small fraction of a second after the Big Bang. After most of the matter and antimatter was annihilated, what remained was all the baryonic matter in the current universe, along with a much greater number of bosons. Experiments reported in 2010 at Fermilab, however, seem to show that this imbalance is much greater than previously assumed. These experiments involved a series of particle collisions and found that the amount of generated matter was approximately 1% larger than the amount of generated antimatter. The reason for this discrepancy is not yet known.
Most grand unified theories explicitly break the baryon number symmetry, which would account for this discrepancy, typically invoking reactions mediated by very massive X bosons (
) or massive Higgs bosons (
). The rate at which these events occur is governed largely by the mass of the intermediate
particles, so by assuming these reactions are responsible for the majority of the baryon number seen today, a maximum mass can be calculated above which the rate would be too slow to explain the presence of matter today. These estimates predict that a large volume of material will occasionally exhibit a spontaneous proton decay, which has not been observed. Therefore, the imbalance between matter and antimatter remains a mystery.
Baryogenesis theories are based on different descriptions of the interaction between fundamental particles. Two main theories are electroweak baryogenesis (standard model), which would occur during the electroweak epoch, and the GUT baryogenesis, which would occur during or shortly after the grand unification epoch. Quantum field theory and statistical physics are used to describe such possible mechanisms.
Baryogenesis is followed by primordial nucleosynthesis, when atomic nuclei began to form