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talljasperman's avatar

If Matter is +1 and Antimatter is -1 then what would 0 be (details inside)

Asked by talljasperman (16729 points ) February 18th, 2012

If Matter, Dark Matter and Dark Energy =+1 and, If Anti-Matter, Dark Anti-Matter and Dark Anti-Energy = -1 Then is it logical to conclude that Neutral-Matter, Neutral Dark Matter and Neutral Energy exist and = 0?

Say that a pile of dirt, as an example, would be =+1 and the pit it came from would be=-1 Then would the leftover space around the edges, of the bottom (of the pile) and the top of (the hole) be =0 Also, then what could the hypothetical properties of the 0 Matter be?

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14 Answers

The_Idler's avatar


The_Idler's avatar

Continuing with the analogy, spacetime is like the flat ground the hole was dug from, and the pile was placed upon.

Everything that isn’t mass-energy is dimension (i.e. space, time, maybe some others).

Do we have any real physicists here to give us a more in-depth look at present theories’ interpretations?

CaptainHarley's avatar

It doesn’t… matter. : D

RocketGuy's avatar

0 would be nothingness. Matter + antimatter = energy. Energy would leave the scene, leaving nothing but the empty space that was there before.

jerv's avatar

@CaptainHarley Beat me to it :(

A quick glance would indicate 0, but J.B.S. Haldane summed it up nicely:

” I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”

It might be Dark Matter (is it really +1?), it might be tapioca pudding, but whatever it is, I’m sure plenty of money will be spent on research.

CaptainHarley's avatar

It’s my wife’s pantyhose! They’ve already taken over the bathroom. First the bathroom, then the universe! RUN!

flutherother's avatar

And what about 42?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@CaptainHarley Haha! But I bet your answers are soon to be modded into the pantyhose zone. <cue dramatic music>

gasman's avatar

Is this an actual physics question, or a zen koan? There really is such a thing as anti-matter, predicted by Dirac in 1928 & discovered in 1932. Antiparticles relate to electric charge: Each kind of particle has a corresponding anti-particle of opposite charge. Oppositely-charged quarks and anti-quarks may combine as well, which is why neutrons & anti-neutrons both have zero charge but are not identical particles.

An electron has -1 charge so an anti-electron (aka positron) has a +1 charge, but is otherwise identical in mass and spin. Similarly antiprotons are negatively charged versions of the normally positively charged proton. Positrons and antiprotons may combine to form antihydrogen. Because of charge symmetry the laws of physics & chemistry are pretty much the same for antimatter as matter, with all the usual elements and molecules, so there could be entire antimatter galaxies with antimatter planets harboring antimatter people.

A physicist (Feynman?) suggested that if you greet an alien & he extends his left arm instead of right, don’t shake his hand! Parity reversal implies that he’s made of antimatter – touch and you’ll both be annihilated in a huge burst of gamma ray energy. This is the basis for sci-fi spaceship propulsion using matter-antimatter annihilation as an energy supply (the trick being to contain and control the flow of antimatter using equipment made of ordinary matter).

A persistent cosmological enigma is why matter seems to greatly predominate over antimatter in the observable universe? – some kind of broken symmetry.

Dark matter (needed to explain the gravitational behavior of galaxies) and dark energy (needed to explain the accelerating expansion of the cosmos) are still huge mysteries as well, but whatever they are they can’t simply be antimatter, which is known to be luminous by interacting with photons just as ordinary matter does. Antimatter is not “dark.”

The idea that the existence of an object always leaves behind a negative “hole” from whence it came has actual physical underpinnings in the form of so-called negative energy or vacuum energy, which I first read about in The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, 2000.

So far as I know, there is no “anti-dark-matter” or “anti-dark-energy”, i.e., I don’t think those terms have meaning to a physicist.

As it happens I’m presently partway through A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, 2011. Unfortunately I haven’t yet gotten to the part about dark energy or – the ultimate mystery – the origin of the big bang.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

For some reason, you’ve chosen to model the universe on Z, the set of integers, cut down to {1, 0, -1}. It’s a start. ;)

You’ve got immediate candidates for 1 and -1 but wonder what 0 represents.

This actually isn’t too far removed from what theoretical particle physicists have been doing since Murray Gell-Mann hit the scene.

In 1961, Gell-Mann noticed that one of the representations of the group SU(3) (just think of it as a more elaborate structure than your set {1, 0, -1}) was a good fit for the known types of hadrons (those particles that “feel” the strong nuclear force). There was a point in the representation that did not have a known particle assigned to it though (just like 0 in your toy theory). Gell-Mann predicted that such a particle actually existed, and could work out some if it’s properties in relation to its neighbors. This particle was discovered at Brookhaven in 1964. Largely on the strength of this, Gell-Mann won the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1969.

rebbel's avatar

0 = Obscurity.

ETpro's avatar

Great question. It’s fascinating to think about. If I do run across nothing in my travels, I’ll send some to you so you can test its lack of properties.

Paradox25's avatar

I’ve read some books that I’ve ordered on these topics but you can get some basic info about the hypothesis that I’m about to present in some brief detail online. I’ll start off with matter and antimatter. First off neither of these are hypothetical particles (the former one obvious) and antimatter has already been proven to exist. Paul Dirac’s formula predicted it, and antihydrogen has been created in particle accelerators.

Getting into dark matter and dark energy is tricky since both are hypothetical concepts that scientists have come up with to try to explain away the accelerating expansion of the universe. According to physics and the Big Bang Theory this acceleration should have been slowing down, not speeding up. Nobody knows why the universe is accelerating faster but a temporary constructed idea to try to explain away this problem of the cosmological constant was given away to being that of some mysterious force with long range repulsion properties. Even though we see the effects of the cosmological constant, the existence of dark energy and dark matter are hypothetical.

There is a third potential option, though hypothetical as well, it is mathematically strong, possible and does not violate the conservation of momentum and energy. There is a concept (not necessarily new) of the existence of negative or exotic matter. Exotic matter would have what is called a negative mass and unlike the matter with positive mass that we’re all familiar with, matter with negative mass would have its momentum in the opposite direction of the force applied to it.

Ron D Pearson and his exact classical mechanics (ECM) hypothesis completely relies on the idea of subquantum positive and negative matter to try to explain away the problem of the cosmological constant and to try to define what dark energy and matter really is. When matter and antimatter collide they annihilate each other with a great amount of energy. The subquantum positive and negative mass particles would also annihilate each other when colliding head on. However a unique energy gain, ironically, without violating the conservation of momentum and energy would occur if opposite mass particles collided with each other at a certain angle. Pearson uses this idea to try to explain the accelerating expansion of the universe, rather than the orthodox approach of a mysterious force with long range repulsion power (dark energy). I would suggest reading the links I’ve provided to try to gain an insight into what I’m saying here.

According to ECM both matter and antimatter are nothing more than abstract energy waves generated by the subquantum neuther (made up of positive and negative mass particles), and what is perceived as dark energy and matter is the neuther itself. According to ECM the only type of real matter in the entire universe would be the subquantum positive/negative mass particles and the only real form of energy would be kinetic energy. The four forces of nature; electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force and gravity would be nothing more than forces that quantum energy waves (generated by particle collisions in the neuther) rely upon to generate what we perceive as reality.

Personally I’m still up in the air about this hypothesis but it is mathematically strong, possible and even predicted the accelerated expansion of the universe five years before this was discovered so I’m going with this one to try to answer your question, and make it interesting with an alternative, but possible view. As long as there is a zero involved a +10 and a -10 are entirely possible (only using 10’s as examples). While annihilation is possible and is what the zero would represent here, the zero would be an unstable state of ‘nonexistence’ that only came about through mutual annihilation of + and – mass particles colliding head on. The zero therefore would be an extremely unstable state of annihilation, where + and – mass particles would be constantly popping in and out of existence. Quantum mechanics operates on an entirely different set of mechanics (example there theoretically can’t be – electrons) so using matter and antimatter to try to answer this in relation to a zero (in between state) is difficult for me, so I went fringe here.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

If antimatter is -1 and matter is 1, then antimatter is not matter. In fact matter is not 1, and antimatter is not -1, and the question has no meaning to physics. In physics talking about quantities without units means nothing.

Antimatter and matter are the same thing. They are both types of matter. The only difference is that antimatter is composed of antiparticles. Antiparticles are particles which are identical to ordinary particles except that they have opposite charge: for example, a positron is the same as an electron except that it has charge +1 instead of charge -1, and therefore would be repelled by a proton instead of attracted to it.

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