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Listen&Learn: The Mystery of Antimatter

12th August 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • theory: an attempt to explain a scientific concept
  • matter: anything that has mass and occupies space
  • antimatter: material made up of antiparticles
  • subatomic particle: a particle that is smaller than an atom
  • identical: exactly the same as something else
  • electron: a type of subatomic particle with a negative electrical charge
  • Big Bang: the explosion that likely created the universe

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

In 1928, British physicist Paul Dirac the existence of antimatter. His theory was that every type of subatomic particle had an antiparticle. He believed that an antiparticle would be almost identical to a normal particle, only with an electrical charge. This theory was proven two years later, when American physicist Carl David Anderson discovered a positively-charged electron, later named the “positron”. Today, physicists know that our is made up of both matter and antimatter. They have even successfully created antimatter atoms. However, antimatter is still one of the greatest in the universe. Scientific theory states that the Big Bang should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter. The problem with this idea is the fact that matter and antimatter instantly destroy each other when they come into contact. This means that if the Big Bang had as much antimatter as it did matter, the universe would not exist today.

Comprehension questions

1. The physicist who predicted the existence of antimatter was

Correct! Wrong!

The physicist who predicted the existence of antimatter was Paul Dirac.

2. An antiparticle is almost identical to a particle, except for its

Correct! Wrong!

An antiparticle is almost identical to a particle, except for its charge.

3. When particles and antiparticles come into contact, they

Correct! Wrong!

When particles and antiparticles come into contact, they destroy each other.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. For years, scientists have debated the reason why our universe has more matter than antimatter. Some scientists have even suggested the idea that the Big Bang created another, parallel universe, made up mostly of antimatter. However, there isn’t a lot of evidence for this. Do you think scientists will ever know the answer to this question, or are there just some things about the universe we will never understand?

Transcript

In 1928, British physicist Paul Dirac predicted the existence of antimatter. His theory was that every type of subatomic particle had an antiparticle. He believed that an antiparticle would be almost identical to a normal particle, only with an opposite electrical charge. This theory was proven two years later, when American physicist Carl David Anderson discovered a positively-charged electron, later named the “positron”. Today, physicists know that our universe contains both matter and antimatter. They have even successfully created antimatter atoms. However, antimatter is still one of the greatest mysteries in the universe. Scientific theory states that the Big Bang should have created equal amounts of matter and antimatter. The problem with this idea is the fact that matter and antimatter instantly destroy each other when they come into contact. This means that if the Big Bang had created as much antimatter as it did matter, the universe would not exist today.

The Big Bang Theory

3rd June 2020 by Jaksyn Peacock

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • theory: a possible scientific explanation for something
  • astronomer: a scientist who studies space
  • evidence: proof that supports an idea
  • observe: to notice something while performing an experiment
  • matter: any substance that has mass and takes up space
  • criticism: comments expressing a negative opinion about something
  • accurate: true; correct

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Big Bang theory is a theory scientists use to the creation of the universe. The theory states that all of the matter in the universe began to expand from one single point. This idea was first proposed by astronomer Georges Lemaître in 1927. He received evidence to support his theory when another astronomer named Edwin Hubble observed that seemed to be moving away from each other. This was an indication that the universe was expanding. Because of this new information, Lemaître concluded that the universe must have once been smaller and denser. According to the theory, the universe began as something known as a singularity, which is an where matter is infinitely dense. Over 13 billion years ago, this singularity began to expand, and the matter inside it formed atoms that would later form stars and planets. Lemaître’s idea received a lot of criticism, because most scientists at the time believed that the universe had existed . However, throughout the 20th century, scientists continued to find proof that Lemaître’s theory was accurate. Today, the Big Bang theory is the most widely accepted explanation for how the universe was .

Comprehension questions

1. The idea of the Big Bang was first proposed by

Correct! Wrong!

The idea of the Big Bang was first proposed by Georges Lemaître.

2. Edwin Hubble made the observation that

Correct! Wrong!

Edwin Hubble made the observation that galaxies were moving away from each other.

3. Lemaître's idea received criticism because

Correct! Wrong!

Lemaître's idea received criticism because most scientists believed that the universe had existed forever.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. While most scientists today agree that the universe was created by a Big Bang, some have other theories. Do you believe that the Big Bang theory is the correct explanation? Why or why not?

Transcript

The Big Bang theory is a theory scientists use to explain the creation of the universe. The theory states that all of the matter in the universe began to expand from one single point. This idea was first proposed by astronomer Georges Lemaître in 1927. He received evidence to support his theory when another astronomer named Edwin Hubble observed that galaxies seemed to be moving away from each other. This was an indication that the universe was expanding. Because of this new information, Lemaître concluded that the universe must have once been smaller and denser. According to the theory, the universe began as something known as a singularity, which is an area where matter is infinitely dense. Over 13 billion years ago, this singularity began to expand, and the matter inside it formed atoms that would later form stars and planets. Lemaître’s idea received a lot of criticism, because most scientists at the time believed that the universe had existed forever. However, throughout the 20th century, scientists continued to find proof that Lemaître’s theory was accurate. Today, the Big Bang theory is the most widely accepted explanation for how the universe was created.