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New Discovery May Explain How Matter Outpaced Antimatter in the Early Universe

Why does anything exist at all?



Antimatter Matter Universe
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(TMU) — Earlier this week, we reported on a wild new hypothesis for the true nature of the cosmos, a physics-based amalgam of panpsychism and the simulation argument which argues that the universe is one grand thought simulating itself into existence on loop. Since non-materialist explanations for the universe lay at the very fringes of accepted science, today we will look at an equally new mainstream discovery that is just as mind-boggling.

This recent cosmological discovery may contain clues as to what happened at the beginning of the universe. How did the dynasty of matter take hold and create the stars and planets around us? It has always been one of the most confounding mysteries in science: Why does anything exist at all?

The new discovery involves evidence for a concept known as leptogenesis. This hypothesis suggests that during the initial moments of the Big Bang, giant neutrinos formed but then broke down and eventually tilted the scale of matter to antimatter just enough to create the physical stuff of our universe.

It’s less sexy than a self-simulating universal consciousness that can will matter into existence, but in some ways, it’s not any less mystical. You’re still left with the fundamental question posed by Stephan Hawking: “What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?”

The announcement came from scientists at the T2K (Tokai to Kamioka) experiment in Japan, where a team of researchers has observed the oscillation of neutrinos as they travel through 300 km of underground cables. What the T2K researchers discovered was that neutrinos and antineutrinos do not mirror each other in the same as a particle of matter and its doppelganger antimatter particle. Such a discovery in physics is called a CP Violation and it provides corroboration for the idea that matter got the upper hand on antimatter.

Leptogenesis has competition, though. Another leading theory, called electroweak baryogenesis, argues that early versions of the Higgs boson particle triggered a phase shift in the early universe that destroyed most of everything but left a tiny amount of surviving matter, which became our universe.

The T2K team doesn’t claim to have settled the matter. In fact, they say future experiments and evidence will be needed, as neutrinos are more difficult to study than other elementary particles.

Theoretical physicist Jessica Turner, who works at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Ill said to Scientific American, “Leptogenesis is a very elegant way of explaining things. Firstly, you answer why there’s more matter than antimatter. And second, you explain why neutrinos have such small masses.”

However, theoretical physicist Seyda Ipek says it’s possible that neither leptogenesis nor electroweak baryogenesis is correct.

Turner agrees: “I think we need to let ourselves explore all possibilities. Nature unravels as it does; we can’t control that. We just try our best to understand it.”

New experiments could unveil the nature of the early universe, including the ever-nebulous dark matter that has not been detected or even proven to exist but which may hold the answer to the riddle. In the 2030s the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA), a space-based gravitational-wave detector, will launch and could detect gravitational waves that prove a cosmological phase transition took place right after the Big Bang.

In the meantime, the mystery persists but we’re a few steps closer to resolving how matter came about at all.

By Jake Anderson | Creative Commons |

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Chinese Military Satellite Smashed by Russian Rocket in “Major Confirmed Orbital Collision”



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In an incident that is likely illustrative of things to come, Chinese military satellite 1-02 was smashed after it appears to have collided into the debris from a disintegrating Russian rocket.

The collision, which occurred earlier this year, shows the increasing danger of space junk such as satellite parts and other miscellaneous jetsam littering the Earth’s orbit. An estimated 8,000 metric tons of space debris pose the risk of destroying functional equipment such as weather forecasting systems, telecoms and GPS systems – and even manned space travel missions – if the problem isn’t reined in.

The fate of the Chinese satellite was uncovered by Harvard astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.

The breakup of Yunhai 1-02 was initially reported by the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron (18SPCS). However, it wasn’t until recently that McDowell found out what caused the breakup.

The astrophysicist soon found that it was destroyed by space junk that originated from a Russian Zenit-2 rocket that had launched a spy satellite in 1996. On Aug. 14, McDowell found a strange entry in a database on “Collided with satellite.”

 “This is a new kind of comment entry — haven’t seen such a comment for any other satellites before,” McDowell tweeted.

“A quick analysis of the TLEs show that Yunhai 1-02 (44547) and [the debris object] passed within 1 km of each other (so within the uncertainty of the TLEs) at 0741 UTC Mar 18, exactly when 18SPCS reports Yunhai broke up,” he added, noting that this “looks to be the first major confirmed orbital collision in a decade.”

However, the Yunhai satellite still remains functional and is transmitting radio signals, notes

The incident shows the growing likelihood of such collisions in the high-traffic, littered near-Earth orbital zone.

“Collisions are proportional to the square of the number of things in orbit,” McDowell explained. “That is to say, if you have 10 times as many satellites, you’re going to get 100 times as many collisions.”

He added: “So, as the traffic density goes up, collisions are going to go from being a minor constituent of the space junk problem to being the major constituent. That’s just math.”

A worst-case scenario of such collisions is known as the “Kessler Syndrome,” and describes the possibility of one collision setting in motion a chain of collisions. Such a disaster was the premise of the 2013 film “Gravity.”

One hopes that things don’t reach that point.

In the meantime, however, there have been a number of initiatives meant to tackle the growing problem of space debris, such as the ELSA-d spacecraft launched in a demonstration mission earlier this year.

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Boston Dynamics Drops New Video Of 5-Foot Atlas Humanoid Robot Effortlessly Doing Parkour



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Robot maker Boston Dynamics has released new video of its two-legged Atlas robot effortlessly completing a parkour obstacle course, offering a new display of its humanoid machines’ unsettling repertoire.

In the video, a pair of Atlas robots can be seen leaping over large gaps, vaulting beams, and even performing backflips. The robot can even be seen jumping over a board while using its arm to remain steady.

While the display seems like anything but “free” running – as the original developers of parkour had envisioned – the routine does seem like an impressive, if terrifying, display of effective coding that took months to perfect, according to the Hyundai-owned robotics firm.

“It’s not the robot just magically deciding to do parkour, it’s kind of a choreographed routine, much like a skateboard video or a parkour video,” said Atlas control lead Benjamin Stephens.

See for yourself:

Unlike its robotic dog Spot, which controversially hit New York City streets last year before being pulled, Atlas isn’t a production robot. Instead, it’s a research model meant to see how far the limits of robotics can be pushed.

In the past, Boston Dynamics has displayed the robot’s feats with videos of Atlas jogging and even busting out some cool dance moves.

Team lead Scott Kuindersma said in a statement that in about two decades, we can expect to coexist with robots that move “with grace, reliability, and work alongside humans to enrich our lives.”

Until then, some of us will continue to reserve our right to feel a bit queasy about the prospect of people being chased down by these skilled free-running (and dancing) machines.

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South Korean Toilet Turns Poo Into Green Energy and Pays Its Users Digital Cash



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What if your morning #2 not only powered your stove to cook your eggs, but also allowed you to pay for your coffee and pastry on the way to class?

It seems like an absurd question, but one university in South Korea has invented a toilet that allows human excrement to not only be used for clean power, but also dumps a bit of digital currency into your wallet that can be exchanged for some fruit or cup noodles at the campus canteen, reports Reuters.

The BeeVi toilet – short for Bee-Vision – was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and is meant to not only save resources but also reward students for their feces.

The toilet is designed to first deliver your excrement into a special underground tank, reducing water use, before microorganisms break the waste down into methane, a clean source of energy that can power the numerous appliances that dorm life requires.

“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”

The toilet can transform approximately a pound of solid human waste – roughly the average amount people poop per day – into some 50 liters of methane gas, said Cho. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day.

Cho has even devised a special virtual currency for the BeeVi toilet called Ggool, or honey in Korean. Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day, covering some of the many expenses students rack up on campus every day.

Students have given the new system glowing reviews, and don’t even mind discussing their bodily functions at lunchtime – even expressing their hopes to use their fecal credits to purchase books.

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