Is the Universe Full of Antimatter?

First we created positrons, electrons' antimatter counterparts. Now, the newly-discovered antihelium-4 could tell us whether there are vast pockets of antimatter in our universe.

We wouldn't expect to find large pockets of antimatter in our universe, but cosmologists are testing for their presence in cosmic rays. "Because we're surrounded by regular matter, we make the assumption that the universe as a whole is dominated by matter. But we can't be absolutely sure about that, and this is where antihelium-4 enters the picture. ... It's these improbable pockets of antimatter that we're about to start looking for. The space shuttle Endeavour's final mission will include bringing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station, where it will begin looking for antimatter particles in cosmic rays. If we live in a matter-dominated cosmos, Alpha shouldn't detect any anti-helium at all."

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

This 5-minute neck scan can spot dementia 10 years before it emerges

The results come from a 15-year study that used ultrasound scans to track blood vessels in middle-aged adults starting in 2002.

Mikhail Kalinin via Wikipedia
Mind & Brain
  • The study measured the stiffness of blood vessels in middle-aged patients over time.
  • Stiff blood vessels can lead to the destruction of delicate blood vessels in the brain, which can contribute to cognitive decline.
  • The scans could someday become a widely used tool to identify people at high risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.
Keep reading Show less

How 'dark horses' flip the script of success and happiness

What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.

Big Think Books

When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.

Keep reading Show less