For years, scientists have been puzzled by the imbalance between matter and antimatter, the mirror image of matter with an opposite charge. According to the laws of physics, events of the big-bang 13.8 billion years ago should have resulted in an equal amount of both, which should have met and annihilated each other leaving nothing but leftover energy from the process. Matter dominates and exists all around, consisting of our universe and everything we see around, while antimatter is nowhere to be found. To understand this discrepancy and solve the mystery of our existence, a group of physicists forged an atom of "antihydrogen" in an underground particle and took its most precise observation yet. They expected some answers from the experiment but the findings are making things even more complicated.
The colored lines represent calculated particle tracks from particle collisions occurring within Brookhaven National Laboratory's STAR detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, and an illustration of a digital brain. The yellow-red glow at center shows a hydrodynamic simulation of quark-gluon plasma created in particle collisions.
Computers can beat chess champions, simulate star explosions, and forecast global climate. We are even teaching them to be infallible problem-solvers and fast learners. And now, physicists at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and their collaborators have demonstrated that computers are ready to tackle the universe's greatest mysteries. The team fed thousands of images from simulated high-energy particle collisions to train computer networks to identify important features. The researchers programmed powerful arrays known as neural networks to serve as a sort of hivelike digital brain in analyzing and interpreting the images of the simulated particle debris left over from the collisions.
Space is a pretty big place. We live in a solar system around an average star in a pretty average spiral galaxy in a random region of the universe. While we may never be able to travel out of our solar system, much less the Milky Way, we are able to use powerful telescopes to study what's happening beyond our little corner in the cosmos. This week, we gaze at a galaxy cluster that glows in x-ray light, then at a globular cluster that contains hundreds of thousands of stars. Clusters like these are bound together by gravity and house some the universe's oldest stars.