Mirror universe, to be or not to be

Physicist Leah Broussard wants to investigate whether a mirror universe exists with an experiment with subatomic particles.

A mirror universe seems to be hidden behind a mirror, but this is an optical illusion. Source

Is there a mirror universe?

The ancient Maya believed that a mirror was a gateway to other, supernatural worlds. Now we know that’s nonsense, a mirror reflects ‘ordinary’ light, which only makes it seem as if there is another world. Interior designers make good use of this effect to make a room appear larger.

But what if there really is a mirror universe? According to a physical theory, a mirror version of every particle exists and forms mirror matter. So, for example, a mirror neutron, a mirror proton and a mirror electron, which together can form mirror atoms, mirror stars, mirror planets and, who knows, mirror people. We cannot observe these, because these mirror particles do not interact with matter, except through gravity.

Do mirror particles explain dark matter?

But, says the same theory, very occasionally ‘normal’ particles change into mirror particles and back again. So if ‘we’ observe this effect, then it has been proven that mirror particles exist. And with it the mirror universe. This discovery would turn physics as we know it on its head. What is attractive about this theory is that it explains what dark matter consists of.

Dark matter is matter that exerts gravity, but is otherwise unobservable. This is true for most of all matter. This theory also explains why the dark matter detector DAMA under the Italian mountain Gran Sasso did detect a dark matter signal and other experiments did not.

The proposed arrangement. Mirror neutrons (N’), if they exist, avoid the middle detector via the mirror universe.

Particles that can move through a wall via the mirror universe

Suppose you have a magical device, say a kind of remote control. As soon as you press a button, you end up in a mirror universe. You could walk through a wall that way. Just before the wall you press the button, you end up in the mirror universe. You take a step (more likely: you move through space, because the mirror universe, like this universe, will be almost completely empty). And release the button. And lo and behold, you are in this universe again, beyond the wall. Very useful of course if you want to rob a bank.

A version of this experiment is what Broussard plans to do, but with neutrons. A beam of neutrons is fired at a neutron detector, behind which, a few meters away, is another neutron detector. If a neutron changes into a mirror neutron en route, ie travels through the mirror universe, it is not detected in the intermediate detector, the ‘wall’ in the example, but is detected in the second detector.

A cheap experiment that would solve a thorny physics and cosmological question. And who knows, we may soon be able to travel through walls via the mirror universe.

The post Mirror Universe, to be or not to be appeared first on Apparata.

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