Possible explanation for missing antimatter detected

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Possible explanation for missing antimatter detected

Left-handed cosmic magnetic field could explain missing antimatter

May 14, 2015

Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)

The discovery of a 'left-handed' magnetic field that pervades the universe could help explain a long standing mystery -- the absence of cosmic antimatter.

FGST, launched in 2008, observes gamma rays (electromagnetic radiation with a shorter wavelength than X-rays) from very distant sources, such as the supermassive black holes found in many large galaxies. The gamma rays are sensitive to effect of the magnetic field they travel through on their long journey to Earth. If the field is helical, it will imprint a spiral pattern on the distribution of gamma rays.

Vachaspati and his team see exactly this effect in the FGST data, allowing them to not only detect the magnetic field but to measure its properties. The data shows not only a helical field, but show that there is an excess of left-handedness -- a fundamental discovery that for the first time suggests the precise mechanism that led to the absence of antimatter.

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