Yes, But Does God Wear Toenail Polish?


From the very little bit I feel like I understand about particle physics, this discovery out of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois seems pretty awesome. Scientists using the Tevatron particle accelerator (which, I’m so glad they named it that, but there should be number after it, right? The Tevatron 5000?) found that when you collide protons and antiprotons to make explosions that are kind of like miniature versions of the Big Bang, you get these “fat electrons” called muons that oscillate back and forth between being matter and antimatter trillions of times per second. But for some reason, it takes them slightly longer to go from their matter state to their antimatter state than the other way. (Maybe because they’re so fat?) So at the end of the experiment, you end up with matter, as opposed to nothingness. And this might start to solve a big mystery and usher in a “new physics,” because according to Einstein’s theories and quantum physics, apparently, the Big Bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter-that should have immediately canceled each other out. “So I would not say that this announcement is the equivalent of seeing the face of God,” said Fermilab’s Joe Lykken. “But it might turn out to be the toe of God.”