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Mirror Matter And Interstellar Pioneers
Melbourne - Aug 19, 2002
The interactions of the known elementary particles (such as the electron, proton etc) violate mirror reflection symmetry, yet respect just about every other plausible symmetry.
In a certain sense, the fundamental particles are left-handed. It has been known for a long time that this inbalance of nature can be repaired if mirror matter exists. Where the ordinary particles are left-handed the mirror particles are right-handed.
The mirror particles interact with the ordinary ones mainly via gravity and perhaps by some new types of interactions. While the theory does not have huge popularity, it is nevertheless a well-defined mathematical theory with implications for many fields including: particle physics, astrophysics, meteoritics and planetary science.
Over the last few years, a significant number of papers have been written on the theory by several scientists including: Nicole Bell, Sergei Blinnikov, Sergei Gninenko, Sasha Ignatiev, Saibal Mitra, Zurab Silagadze, Ray Volkas, T.L.Yoon etc. and some papers have been written by myself as well.
While nobody would argue that the existence of mirror matter has been 'proven' (yet!), the mirror matter theory nevertheless seems to provide an explanation for a large range of puzzles.
Some of these puzzles have alternative more 'standard' explanations, and some don't. In the cases where there are alternative standard explanations, the mirror matter alternative is put forward because it explains some features of the particular phenomena better or more simply than the more 'standard' explanation.
I will very briefly consider 6 puzzles below (4 with no known 'standard' explanation and 2 with standard explanations, but where mirror matter seems to offer a better alternative).
Some Puzzles With No 'standard' Explanation
The leading idea to explain this puzzle was that some comets are able to deplete all of their volatile gases during their first close approach to the sun.
However, a recent study has found that the number of asteroid-like objects being discovered is 100 times too low to account for the expected number of cometary remnants.
The standard explanation - now - is that all of these comets must somehow disintegrate. Although some comets have been observed to disintegrate, the precise mechanism is not understood.
If these comets are made of mirror matter with some volatile ordinary matter component, then the fading of the comets is explained. The ordinary matter evaporates leaving behind an almost pure mirror matter core.
The fact that some comets are observed to disintegrate can also be explained, at least qualitatively, due to the internal heating of the ordinary matter within the core of the comet.
This explanation also ties in with the mirror matter interpretation of the Jordan and Tunguska events.
Of course, mirror matter is still hypothetical, and people should therefore by skeptical of its existence. For example, it is possible that the anomalous behaviour of the Pioneer spacecraft is due to some unidentified systematic error and that the anomalous orthopositronium experiments are due to faulty equipment etc.
But science is not so much about belief, but about testing scientific hypothesis. Thus, the explanations discussed here can be tested by future experiments and observations.
For example, if the Pioneer spacecraft are slowing down because of a mirror matter drag force, then a spacecraft with a larger cross-sectional area/mass ratio will slow down faster. If the Jordan/Tunguska events are due to a mirror matter body then mirror matter must exist in the ground at those impact sites.
This can potentially be extracted and its existence proven. If orthopositronium lifetime anomaly is caused by mirror matter, this can be checked by future experiments too. And, if mirror matter exists, the implications for society and science are extremely important. Clearly, there is good reason to take the theory seriously and test its predictions.
Mirror Planets and More
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New Theory Asserts The Existence Of Mirror Matter
Melbourne - May 06, 2002
Invisible asteroids and other cosmic bodies made of a new form of matter may pose a threat to Earth, asserts Australian Physicist Dr. Robert Foot.