Stars, galaxies, planets, pretty much everything that makes up our everyday lives owes its existence to a cosmic quirk.
The nature of this quirk, which allowed matter to dominate the Universe at the expense of antimatter, remains a mystery.
Now, results from an experiment in Japan could help researchers solve the puzzle – one of the biggest in science.
It hinges on a difference in the way matter and antimatter particles behave.
The world that’s familiar to us – including all the everyday objects we can touch – is made up of matter. The fundamental building blocks of matter are sub-atomic particles, such as electrons, quarks and neutrinos.
But matter has a shadowy counterpart called antimatter. Each sub-atomic particle of ordinary matter has a corresponding “antiparticle”.
Today, there is far more matter than antimatter in the Universe. But it wasn’t always this way.
The Big Bang should have created matter and antimatter in equal amounts.
Read more: BBC