Mirror Matter

Status
Not open for further replies.
K

Kessy

Guest
I recently ran across an article about a hypothetical substance called mirror matter, and I was wondering if anyone here is more familiar with it?

The weak nuclear force does not observe parity symmetry, that is that weak interactions have a distinct handedness to them, and do not look the same if reflected. Since all known particles are left handed, the speculation is that there might be corresponding right handed particles that would only interact very weakly with normal matter. This mirror matter could interact with itself in exactly the same way normal matter interacts with itself, but the bosons that act as mediating particles for the forces would be mirror bosons, so mirror matter would not normally interact with normal matter except by gravity. This makes it a candidate for dark matter, and it's even possible that mirror matter could form mirror stars, planets and galaxies that would be invisible to us.

My understanding of the weak force is pretty basic, but this sounds like a really interesting idea. Can anyone speak to it in more detail? I'm not really clear on why mirror matter would only interact gravitationally with normal matter. I'm also curious if there could be mirror life? Or even mirror stars or planets occupying the same space as their ordinary matter counterparts?

I should note that although the term mirror matter has occasionally been applied to antimatter, this idea is completely different from antimatter and is unrelated.

The article I read is on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_matter
 
V

Vax

Guest
Well mirror matter (not to be confused with anti-matter) is of course hypathetical for now, but can be proven existant through astrophysics and experimention in our universe (even our solar system) in many ways. Scientists found out in the late 1950's that fundamental particles, like protons and electrons do not respect all types of spatial symmetry dealt with in physics today (those being Reflection, Rotation and Translation). The known fundamental particles respect rotation and translation symmetry but do not respect mirror reflection symmetry (also called P-symmetry or parity).

Basically what scientists are postulating is that there are particles all over the universe that can't be seen, that have equal mass to their "shadow" particle. Ordinary and mirror particles do not interact with each other by any of the known fundamental forces except via gravity (other fundamental interactions include electromagnetism, the strong interaction, the weak interaction and gravity, only the weak interaction breaks parity.)

EVIDENCE!

*Since these are "shadow particles" it is believed that there have been large comet or meteor sized objects colliding with the earth. It even may be possible to find remenants of these particles at impact sites.

*It is believed that mirror planets exist. In fact it has been reported that mirror matter planets have been detected orbiting around their counterpart in our solar system.

*There is also evidence that mirror matter has reportedly been observed by their gravitational effects on the bending of light.


I think this is pretty intersting. Mirror matter will easily be detectable if it is impacting gravity in the ways scientists are saying. It is the missing piece of a big puzzle. As for mirror life, I would say it is possible. That is, if all particles are mirror images of each other. It is just a form of matter that was missing from physics, that now is considered to be everpresent
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
Vax":axl1jxwi said:
EVIDENCE!

*Since these are "shadow particles" it is believed that there have been large comet or meteor sized objects colliding with the earth. It even may be possible to find remenants of these particles at impact sites.
Meteors or comets impacting earth has nothing to do with "mirror matter" They are just comets and asteroids.
 
S

Saiph

Guest
well, mirror asteroids couldn't collide with earth, as the collision itself is dictated by electromagnetic forces (the initial attraction and acceleration BEFORE impact is all gravitational). Since mirror matter can't interact with us via EM forces...such an object would likely pass straight through, just like neutrinos.


Also, I haven't heard of any evidence for 'mirror planets' orbiting any other planet in this solar system. Such an object would be detected by observation of a strong wobble in the planet we can see...which we haven't noticed.

Now, observation of 'mirror matter' via gravitational lensing is how we'd notice it..I don't know if anything conclusive has been seen yet.
 
V

Vax

Guest
The whole thing seems a little too fantastic if you ask me.. Good thinking though scientists:D
 
T

trumptor

Guest
If dark matter makes up a large majority of mass in the universe then wouldn't there be lots of bizarre gravitational perturbances even within our own solar system as well as everywhere else we looked if this mirror matter behaves the same as regular matter and is attracted to regular matter through the gravitational force?
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
I guess it depends on what you mean by bizarre. Whatever it is, the dark matter is too diffuse on the local scale to have significant effects on the level of a solar system scale.

They are only measurable at galactic and galactic cluster scale. On galactic levels, they cause rtation rates of the stars in a galxy to not follow the known gravitational mass.

On larger scales they cause gravitational lensing that is greater than the mass of the matter we can detect.

Is that bizarre? You decide :)
 
K

Kessy

Guest
It occurs to me that a lot of our measurements of the mass of solar system objects is based on their gravity. We also use measurements of gravity to get an idea of the internal structure of objects. If there's a significant amount of dark matter at the center of the planets, some of our models could be significantly wrong.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
In fact, all measuremnts of mass are based on gravity.

The scientific results indicate that dark matter is not concentrated anywhere, in fact it is quite diffuse. Our understanding of matter we can see and matter works just fine on the level of stars and planets.
 
T

trumptor

Guest
That's my point though. If it is diffuse then it does not act like normal matter and doesn't form dark matter solar systems and planets and life as somebody mentioned. Otherwise wouldn't it be concentrated in the same areas as regular matter based on gravitational attraction.

And if it was able to share the same space as regular matter, wouldn't it likely clump into some of our stars and planets due to gravitational attraction when the planets and stars were forming? This would give huge inconsistencies in measured densities of planets if it were the case. I don't see this being the case so I assume dark matter behaves much differently than regular matter and isn't composed of mirror matter.

Or maybe Mercury doesn't really have a huge core and instead has a large amount of mirror matterwithin its space :)
 
J

Jerromy

Guest
So many different names for so many hypothetical objects... here's the only way I can make logical sense of it all.

Antimatter is known to exist. Its reaction with normal matter causes annihilation of an equal mass of each type being converted entirely to energy. Its proportion in the universe is unknown since it behaves in much the same way that normal matter does in our solar system. Entire galaxies could consist of antimatter where normal matter would be annihilated and with no reference to say which is which we would never know. Does this affect our laws of gravity? Not in the slightest.

Dark matter is proposed as a possible solution to a discrepancy in the movement of celetial bodies throughout a galaxy. A candidate for dark matter would have to be virtually undetectable on all wavelengths of EM radiation and would not react with normal matter on a visible scale yet have a significant gravitational effect on normal matter without being affected gravitationally itself. Seems a little far-fetched to me but has not been disproved. The reason I say it cannot be affected by gravity as we understand it is because it would have acted the same as normal matter. If the dark matter was concentrated in bodies that we can judge the mass of then its influence would have been measured as if it was normal matter. If it was attracted to other dark matter in the manner normal matter is then it would form obvious bodies with gravity wells much like a black hole, which is another form of "dark" matter. Therefore the supposed invisible mass must not be attracted to any other mass while attracting other mass.

Mirror matter is a new term to me but here is my 2 cents anyway. Antimatter is an opposite charge form of matter. Mirror matter in my oppinion would be an opposite spin form of matter. Could dark matter be a mirror antimatter? Having both opposite polarity and opposite atomic spin could cause some pretty bizarre physical properties IMO.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY