Numerous experiments performed by physicist Leah Broussard have the aim to open a portal to a mirror universe. The physicist from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, calls the experiment an ‘oscillation’ that would conduct her to ‘mirror matter.’ However, the idea is the same at the base.
In a series of experiments she scheduled for this summer, Broussard will dispatch a ray of subatomic particles down a 50-foot tunnel, past a circle of strong magnets and into an impervious wall. If the arrangement is correct, some of those particles will take the shape of a mirror-image version of themselves, enabling them to pass through the wall. If this happens, Broussard will have discovered the first proof of a mirror world adjacent to ours.
If Broussard unambiguously detects even a single mirror particle, it would be the evidence that the visible universe is only a part of what is out there, and that the laws of physics we know are only a part of much larger laws.
Through the mirror universe
Broussard aims to discover if that portal truly exists and, if so, to examine it systematically. That is where the neutron beam and the impervious wall show up.
Oak Ridge owns an 85-megawatt nuclear reactor that can transmit billions of neutrons per request, so finding sufficient raw material to work with was not a problem. The challenging part is to understand how to make some of the neutrons pass over into the mirror world, and then prove the experiment to her skeptical colleagues.
In the meantime, Klaus Kirch is conducting a complementary experiment at the Paul Scherrer Institute in Zurich. He aims to capture slow-moving neutrons, shoot them with a magnetic field, and then calculate to see if all the particles are still present. According to Kirch, if neutrons oscillate into mirror-neutrons, they would vanish from the tool. Kirch and his team have already experimented and hope to have their results assessed this summer.
The mirror universe and dark matter: Are one and the same?
In spite of the conceptual easiness, both experiments are some incredibly delicate enterprises, relying on analyzing the peculiar behavior of a few subatomic particles within a group of billions. Other scientists have suggested that there might be more obvious signs of a mirror world, and we might be observing it everywhere.
Ever since the 1970s, astronomers have understood that the universe is full of ‘dark matter,’ a substance that cannot be seen with the naked eye, but whose strong gravitational pull helps keep galaxies from shattering away. The most recent observations suggest that dark matter surpasses visible matter by a factor of five. Still, numerous concentrated studies around the world have not succeeded in identifying what dark matter is composed of.
Zurab Berezhiani, a physicist at the University of L’Aquila in Italy, has led his own mirror neutron researches is offering a captivating explanation. He states that dark matter has been so challenging to discover because it is concealed in the mirror world. From this perspective, dark matter and mirror matter are the same. If so, the mirror world is prevalent, but also more vast than our own. Broussard also says that dark matter is very probably as rich as the known matter, and it needs to be explored.
Lena Pierce is a reporter for Great Lakes Ledger. After graduating from Ryerson In Toronto, Lena got an internship at CBC radio in Calgary. Lena was also a beat reporter for the Calgary Flames. Lena mostly cover sports and community events. Contact Lena here.