A new kind of atomic nuclei has been discovered by researchers in a new study issued in the journal Physical Review Letters. This newly confirmed pear-shaped, asymmetrical nuclei, was initially detected in 2013 by scientists from CERN in the isotope Radium-224. This is atomic nuclei was also detected in isotope Barium-144. This is a huge development because most essential theories in physics are grounded on symmetry. This new confirmation demonstrates that it is conceivable to hold a nuclei that has more mass on one side than the other.
|Radium-224 nucleus. Image Credit: CERN|
Marcus Scheck of University of the West of Scotland, one of the authors of this recent study, said:
“This violates the theory of mirror symmetry and relates to the violation shown in the distribution of matter and antimatter in our Universe,”
Until now, there were only three forms of nuclei — discus, spherical, and rugby ball. There is a precise mixture of protons and neutrons in a definite category of atom that edicts the shape molded by the scattering of charges within a nuclei. These all the three shapes are symmetric and approve the current theory known as the CP-symmetry, the grouping of charge and parity symmetry.
Now this recently confirmed asymmetrical nuclei could help us understand why our universe is the way that it is. As astrophysicist Brian Koberlein notes:
“It’s been proposed that a violation of CP symmetry could have produced more matter than antimatter, but the currently known violations are not sufficient to produce the amount of matter we see. If there are other avenues of CP violation hidden within pear-shaped nuclei, they could explain this mystery after all.”
This rough scattering of mass and charge in the nuclei sources the isotope to ‘point’ in a definite direction in space-time, and the team proposes that this could clarify why time appears to only go forward and not backward.
Marcus Scheck from the University of the West of Scotland told Kenneth MacDonald at BBC News:
“We’ve found these nuclei literally point towards a direction in space. This relates to a direction in time, proving there’s a well-defined direction in time and we will always travel from past to present,”
In the end, this recent discovery is again proves that the Universe might not be what we believed, which will ultimately push us to a new era of theoretical physics.