June 16th, 2012 by James Ayre
The existence of mirror particles may explain the anomalous loss of neutrons witnessed during recent experiments, according to a new study just published in the European Physical Journal (EPJ) C.
The existence of matter that mirrors our own has been theorized to exist, in a variety of different scientific contexts, for some time now, including as the identity of dark matter.
Experimental data obtained by the research group of Anatoly Serebrov at the Institut Laue-Langevin, France was reanalyzed by theoretical physicists Zurab Berezhiani and Fabrizio Nesti from the University of l’Aquila, Italy. They found that the loss rate of very slow free neutrons appeared to depend on the direction and strength of the magnetic field applied. This anomaly is unexplainable by known physics.
Zurab Berezhiani thinks that the anomaly can be explained by the existence of a parallel world consisting of mirror particles. Each neutron would have the ability to transition into its invisible mirror twin, and back again, oscillating between the two worlds. “The probability of such a transition happening was predicted to be sensitive to the presence of magnetic fields, and could therefore be detected experimentally.”
This oscillation between the two worlds could occur over time scales of just a few seconds, according to the research. “The possibility of such a fast disappearance of neutrons — much faster than the ten-minute long neutron decay — albeit surprising, could not be excluded by existing experimental and astrophysical limits.”
“This interpretation is subject to the condition that the earth possesses a mirror magnetic field on the order of 0.1 Gauss. Such a field could be induced by mirror particles floating around in the galaxy as dark matter.” Hypothetically then, the earth would be able to capture the mirror matter via “some feeble interactions between ordinary particles and those from parallel worlds.”
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