We owe our existence to the fact that our universe is full of lopsided, not balanced, quantities:
Gleiser reminds us that the great French physicist Paul Dirac an ardent devotee of symmetry, used it to predict the existence of antimatter, “the fact that every particle of matter (like electrons and quarks) has a companion anti-particle.”
The problem is, an expectation that the universe will be symmetrical and thus Platonically perfect, is very often disappointed:
The laws that dictate the behavior of the fundamental particles of Nature predict that matter and anti-matter should be equally abundant, that is, that they should appear in a 1:1 ratio. For each electron, one positron. However, if this perfect symmetry prevailed, fractions of a second after the Big Bang, matter and antimatter should have annihilated into radiation (mostly photons). But that’s not what happened. About one in a billion (roughly) particles of matter survived as an excess. And that’s good, because everything that we see in the Universe — the galaxies and their stars, the planets and their moons, life on Earth, every kind of matter clump, living and nonliving — came from this tiny excess, this fundamental asymmetry between matter and antimatter.Marcelo Gleiser, “Symmetry is beautiful, but asymmetry is why the Universe and life exist” at Big Think (February 9, 2022)
It’s a fundamental question, he says, what created this asymmetry we experience — but we owe our existence to it.News, “A physicist defends imperfection in our universe: It’s essential” at Mind Matters News
Takehome: Great physicist Paul Dirac discovered antimatter by assuming symmetry (a quality of perfection). But in the details, the wheels came off.
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Physicist: Why extraterrestrials couldn’t look much like us. Except in films. They follow the same natural laws but conditions differ on each planet. Marcelo Gleiser explains, there is a “staggering diversity of worlds” out there and that diversity would shape life forms in many different ways
Physicist: Science, by nature, can’t have a theory of everything.
Such a theory is a sort of religious quest that has united philosophers, theologians, and scientists, But is it possible? As Marcelo Gleiser puts it, “The very process of discovery leads to more unknowns.” And they may be smaller or larger than our current knowns.