By Lawrence M. Krauss
Now in paperback: the booklet during which the writer of the nationwide bestseller The Physics of famous person Trek strains the background of the cosmos through telling the tale of a unmarried oxygen atom-from the start of time to the current second and deep into the longer term. Writing with grace and wit, Lawrence Krauss explicates state-of-the-art technology as he is taking us on an exciting, millennia-spanning trip that tells the reality of matter-what it's, the place it got here from, and the place it is going.
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Extra resources for Atom - A Single Oxygen Atoms Journey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond
But if there were even the tiniest difference in the rates of decay for each of the two decay channels of X-antiparticles, compared to X-particles, then the total number of quarks left over after all the X-particles and X-antiparticles decayed might have been ever so slightly different from the number of antiquarks. A small difference is all that was needed. One extra quark produced in the early universe for every 1 billion quarks and antiquarks would be sufficient to account for all of the matter we observe in the universe today.
PRIMO LEVI A simple accident often determines the difference between life and death. This can occur in art, as in the 1999 film Sliding Doors, where the fact of missing a subway train changes the course of a young woman’s future, or in real life, as when a friend of mine missed TWA Flight 800 to Paris on July 17, 1996, in order to visit his father in the hospital, and thus avoided incineration in the sky. The events near the beginning of time that immediately preceded the birth of our atom may seem innocuous enough.
If the laws of nature at a fundamental level are insensitive to time’s arrow, then every process that can occur involving particles can also occur at precisely the same rates if all particles are replaced by their antiparticles with opposite electric charge. If neutrons can decay into protons, electrons, and antineutrinos, then antineutrons must decay at precisely the same rate into antiprotons, positrons, and neutrinos. This in turn implies something very strange indeed. If a particle– antiparticle asymmetry developed dynamically in the universe where none initially existed, then some physical reactions must have occurred at a different rate for particles and antiparticles.
Atom - A Single Oxygen Atoms Journey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth...and Beyond by Lawrence M. Krauss