The model describes how the universe expanded from an initial state of extremely high density and high temperature. Detailed measurements of the expansion rate of the universe place the event at around 13.8 billion years ago, which is considered the age of the universe.
Immediately after the Big Bang, cosmic inflation transformed energy into matter and physicists think inflation created the same amount of matter and antimatter, which annihilate each other upon contact.
But then something happened that tipped the scales in favor of matter, allowing everything we see and touch today to come into existence – and a new study suggests that the explanation is hidden in very slight ripples in space-time.
Jeff Dror, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, said: “If you start with just an equal component of matter and antimatter, you end up with nothing.”
The answer could surround particles known as neutrinos, which have no electric charge and can therefore act as both matter and antimatter.
The theory is that about a million years after the Big Bang, the universe cooled down and underwent a phase transition, an event similar to how boiling water turns liquid into gas.
According to the study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, this change prompted the decaying neutrinos to create more matter than antimatter of a certain “small, small amount”.
Dror added: “There are no very simple ways – or hardly any way – to probe [this theory] and understand if it really happened in the early universe “.
But Dr. Dror and his team have found a way that we might be able to see this phase transition in action today, and thus give more credence to the hypothesis.
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When the team modeled this hypothetical phase transition under various temperature conditions that could have occurred during this phase transition, they made an encouraging discovery.
They found that in all cases, cosmic strings would create gravitational waves that could be detectable by future observers, such as the European Space Agency’s Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA).
Tanmay Vachaspati, an Arizona State University theoretical physicist who was not part of the study, told Live Science in May: “If these strings are produced at sufficiently high energy scales, they will actually produce gravitational waves that can be detected by planned observers. . “.