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If equal amounts of matter and antimatter had formed in the Big Bang more than 13 billion years ago, one would have annihilated the other upon meeting, and today’s universe would be full of energy but no matter to form stars, planets and life. Yet, matter exists now. That fact suggests something is wrong with Standard Model equations describing symmetry between subatomic particles and their antiparticles. Researchers have shown they can shield a sensitive, scalable 44-kilogram germanium detector array from background radioactivity. This accomplishment is critical to developing and proposing a much larger future experiment — with approximately a ton of detectors — to study the nature of neutrinos. These electrically neutral particles interact only weakly with matter, making their detection exceedingly difficult.

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