The unseen ordinary matter might have been finally found

What’s with this ordinary matter?

So, it seems that besides the never seen dark matter – that which constitutes the majority of the matter from which the Universe is made – there is another unseen kind of matter. And this one is ordinary, not special dark.

They say that when the Universe was created (however that happened, cause that’s another huge mystery that could knockout physics as we know it) only 5% of the matter that miraculously appeared out of nowhere were baryons.

Baryons or fermions are the scientific terms for ordinary matter. Ordinary matter is the matter that has a mass and a volume. So, protons and neutron are baryons. Light and sound aren’t ordinary matter because they are made from massless particles.

Studying the mystery of being ordinary

So, 5% ordinary matter + dark matter + a majority made of dark energy + an tiny piece of extraordinary matter, such as light and sound = the Universe! There you go!

The smallest part of it seems to be the only one we can see and measure accordingly to our superior wisdom called science. But not all of it. Only half. The other half of the ordinary matter was hiding from us and a new study claims to know where.

Astrophysicist J. Xavier Prochaska of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his colleagues say that the rest of the matter is dispersed between galaxies at densities 1 million times smaller than Milky Way’s density.

How did they come up with this answer?

Well, it seems that galaxies are communicating with one another through fast radio bursts (FRB). Don’t giggle, it’s not aliens sending letters, it’s just physics doing what physics does.

If those FRBs would travel into empty space, they would get to destination unaltered. But it looks like the FRBs sent to Earth from five different galaxies reached Earth rather smeared. The more matter comes their way, the further back the low-frequency waves of the FRBs remain.

Prochaska and his team used the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder data to study the FRBs. They calculated the supposed baryon density that stood between the FRBs’ source and the Milky Way, and they concluded that between galaxies there is one baryon per cubic meter. And that this is where the hidden half of ordinary matter has always been hiding.

Still, astrophysicist J. Michael Shull of the University of Colorado Boulder is unconvinced that this measurement is the same everywhere in the Universe. After all, the team studied only 5 galaxies. Old Hubble measured up to 100 billion galaxies in the Universe. And with the Universe keep expanding, soon the Milky Way will be one in 200 billion galaxies.

The Milky Way

Is it true?

Who can tell? Maybe. Maybe not.

The more you learn about science the more obscure it gets. Scientists are stronger believers than Jesus’s disciples. Church people pray, scientists learn. Learning is like a chronic disease. Once you get infected, you can never get cured. And the purpose that made you start learning is gone.

You dream to get to know everything and the more you know, the clearer it gets to you that you know nothing. The only way to be as close as possible to knowing everything is to stay as far away as possible from knowing anything. It might sound as a sophism, but it doesn’t feel like one.

 

Iulia Lumanare
Iulia Lumanare is an actress and a screenwriter working on the role of a journalist. Writing and playing at the same time.