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Our universe isn't supposed to exist -- but we're slowly learning why it does


You're probably familiar with the following story: 13.8 billion years ago, the Big Bang led to stars and galaxies, which led to planets and life, and eventually, to you and me. But there's a glaring gap in this chronicle, an aperture so big, solving it would shake our knowledge of reality.

"If we pluck, in principle, the best physics theories … we would need to conclude that the universe, as we observe it, cannot exist," said Stefan Ulmer, a physicist at the RIKEN-led Baryon Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment at the European Council for Nuclear Research.

But… here we are playing Wordle and paying taxes, so either our laws of physics are wrong or we're missing massive pieces of the metaphysical puzzle. 

Among the army of scientists looking for those pieces, Ulmer has spent years studying the seed of our universe's existential crisis: antimatter. In a paper published ...


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