Reasons to Believe

Where'd the Antimatter Go? Fine-Tuning of Tiny Particles Shows Design, Part 2 (of 2)

Who remembers the water snake toys (see images below)? For at least thirty years, these water-balloon-like toys have entertained kids and adults alike. These slippery gadgets also help illustrate an important apologetic point.

 

 

A previous TNRTB described how the fact that we live in a matter-dominated universe rests on a finely-tuned violation of symmetry. The "broken" symmetry (in physicist lingo) in question relates to how the outcomes of certain physical processes change when the particles are altered to antiparticles and their positions are changed to mirror images.

A group of particle physicists has recently sought to explain the fine-tuned nature of this asymmetry by relating it to a seemingly unrelated quantity: namely the quark masses. Most of the "stuff" we encounter every day consists predominantly of protons and neutrons. These, in turn, are made of quarks. Although the properties of protons and neutrons can be described with only two quarks (and their antiparticles), scientists know that six different quarks contribute to the universe's characteristics. From the least massive to the most massive, physicists have named them–creatively enough–up, down, strange, charm, bottom, and top. The top quark registers a mass almost five orders of magnitude (factors of ten) larger than the up quark.

According to a research team of British physicists, the amount of CP-symmetry breaking arises naturally if the quark mass distribution is assumed. In other words, given the masses of quarks determined by physicists, the amount of symmetry violation required for a matter-dominated universe no longer appears fine-tuned. Thus, it seems that this research has eliminated some of the design detected by scientists.

How does all this relate to a water snake toy, you ask? The difficulty in handling the water snake arises when someone tries to hold on to it by squeezing it. The pressure makes the snake squirt off to a different location. Similarly, when scientists make a discovery that seems to reduce the amount of fine-tuning in the universe, the just-right conditions often move to a different location in the model. In this particular instance, explaining the fine-tuning seems to have moved the perfect calibration to the masses of the quarks.

So, the question now centers on whether the masses of the quarks exhibit fine-tuning or not. The jury still deliberates over that question. RTB expects that the final verdict will continue to enhance the case for a Designer who created and fashioned this universe specifically to support advanced life like human beings.


Part 1 | Part 2

 

Subjects: Particle Physics

Dr. Jeff Zweerink

While many Christians and non-Christians see faith and science as in perpetual conflict, I find they integrate well. They operate by the same principles and are committed to discovering foundational truths. Read more about Dr. Jeff Zweerink.