Since 2001, Bringing you the Best in Fun, Interesting or Scientific News & Information!
"Stop Searching, Start Reading"
NEW THEORY ASSERTS THE EXISTENCE OF MIRROR MATTER
Invisible asteroids and other cosmic bodies made
of a new form of matter may pose a threat to Earth,
asserts Australian Physicist Dr. Robert Foot.
In a revolutionary new theory, Dr. Robert Foot of the
University of Melbourne argues that
meteorites composed of `mirror matter' -- a candidate for
the invisible dark matter that astronomers say is necessary
to explain their observations -- could impact with
the Earth without leaving any ordinary fragments.
Indeed, the theory seems to provide a simple explanation for
the puzzling Tunguska event - the blast which
destroyed a huge area of Siberian forest in 1908.
While scientists have attributed this explosion to
an ordinary meteorite, no significant traces of such an
object have ever been found. Moreover, there are frequent smaller
such events, occurring on a yearly basis, which are even
The idea of mirror matter comes from the established
fact that the interactions of the known elementary particles,
such as the electrons, protons and neutrinos, violate
mirror symmetry -- they have left-handed interactions.
This experimental fact motivates the idea that
a set of `mirror particles' exist. The left-handedness
of the ordinary particles can then be balanced by
the right-handedness of the mirror particles.
In this way mirror reflection symmetry can exist but
requires something profoundly new -- a new form of
matter called `mirror matter'.
In a recently published book -- Shadowlands, quest
for mirror matter in the Universe -- the scientific case
for the existence of mirror matter is given.
At the very least, there is a range of fascinating evidence
for its existence including:
astronomical observations suggesting that most
of our galaxy is made from a new form of matter - dark matter,
puzzling Jupiter sized planets only a few million miles
from their host star, and the mysterious slowing down of spacecraft
in our solar system. Remarkably, it is also possible
that Pluto -- the most distant planet in our
solar system -- might even be a mirror world,
which can explain various anomalous features of its orbit.
Perhaps, the most important
consequence of all this -- if true -- is the possibility
of actually extracting the mirror matter from the
Tunguska impact site and other such sites around the world.
The mirror matter idea has not attracted a huge
following among physicists. In a recent UPI article, Howard Georgi
of Harvard University says:
"Foot's ideas have not attracted a huge following in the community
that cares about these things, perhaps because the problems
they solve, while interesting, are not the most critical
puzzles that we are wrestling with."
Nevertheless, mirror matter, if it exists, would be a completely new
type of material with a potentially huge commercial value.
Its scientific value would be of no less importance.