Hot news from Fermilab... (see this article)
A major physics lab in the U.S. has found a particle, far smaller than any atom, that switches itself back and forth between being a piece of matter and a piece of anti-matter 17 trillion times each second.
It has taken 700 people in 20 countries, millions of dollars' worth of custom equipment, vast amounts of energy, and 20 years of work to find this.
The back-and-forth switching appears to be one of the fastest processes in nature. One of the big mysteries in physics is why the universe is practically all matter, and not anti-matter. The universe once had equal amounts of both, scientists believe.
So where did the anti-matter go?
And while the physics world has been buzzing since Thursday's announcement of the latest anti-matter find, outsiders have barely noticed.
The experiment illustrates the difficulty in publicizing work in this abstract world of concepts unknown to most people -- quarks, muons, particle accelerators, and anti-matter itself.
The finding at Fermilab, a U.S. federal physics laboratory, is never going to affect your daily life. Fermilab found a particle called a "B-sub-s meson." You won't ever buy an iPod made of B-sub-s mesons. And Fermilab's announcement was pure gobbledygook, which didn't help.
The work's significance? "This measurement has confirmed the Standard Model," says physicist Wendy Taylor of York University, one of the 700 who toiled on the experiment.