Relax, we aren’t going to talk about the latest “Dark Night” movie or Adam West, as the dynamic duo of interest here doesn’t wear a cape and tights and in fact you can’t even see them. As the duo here is even stranger as they are real and they dance for us everyday yet we don’t even know it as here the tangoing two is matter and anti-matter. As our friends at CERN have once again employed the largest machine on earth to do an amazing thing in actually creating anti-matter atoms which they have been able to hold in a stable state.
Ok, don’t get all Dan Brown on me here and run to protect the Pope as they have a long ways to go to accumulate that much anti-matter and in fact what they found may even change things a bit in the story line. As you can check out an article in the recent Economist magazine titled Antimatter In Fact where we see that the researcher there may have found support for a long standing puzzle piece the in the battle of matter and anti-matter as while the math of the day says that equal amounts would need to be created for the proof to hold true then a simple thought experiment would then say the universe should not exist as equal amounts would have canceled each other out shortly after the big bang took place.
Alright don’t get all glassy eyed on me just yet as there is a practical point coming worth staying around for however we need to get some of the ground work out of the way for it to make sense in a life/business context. Up until now we lived in a universe of basically equal duality supported by our math such as the quadratic equation which gives us both positive and negative answers (note that negative in this discussion is meant to mean the opposite and not bad). To the physical observation that for each electron in an atom you need a proton and for each of those you need a neutron and so on down the line you could name matched pairs.
However the scientists at CERN believe they may have found an “asymmetry” in a major building block of the universe in that matter may in fact out weight anti-matter and therefore be the reason we live in a matter based universe after all. So what does this have to do with my life you’re asking? Plenty as these are the basic building blocks and this discovery says that all forks [in the road] are not equal as one of my passions is “Decision Science” as how and why do we “decide” something. Up until now, I would have argued that each were in fact equal along with the greater system therefore equaling zero (hence zero sum concepts) however this does now seem to point to the fact there may exist asymmetries in the sub-systems after all.
Alright I promised a better practical example didn’t I, how about “Russian Roulette” where we pop a bullet in a chamber of a revolver with six potential slots therefore after spinning we say there is a 1 in 6 chance the chamber with the bullet will end up in the firing position. Where with asymmetry at play we would find that the 16.6% (1 divided by 6) distribution of chance for each is no longer in balance as each would have a unique yet “unequal” chance. Therefore one “will” have a higher likely hood of occurrence then the others, the question in this case is which?
It’s worth noting that these asymmetries maybe hugely small, however if you add them [all] up you may start to see the formations of Black Swans swimming around…