A new experiment could confirm the fifth form of matter

It could change physics as we know it.


Previous research has suggested that all elementary particles store information about themselves, like the way humans have DNA. In a new paper from the University of Portsmouth, scientists propose an experimental protocol that allows for empirical verification of these theories.

This new experiment could confirm the fifth form of matter and change the physics. If this experiment is correct, scientists will have discovered that information is the fifth form of matter, alongside another state of matter: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.

Physicist Dr. Melvin Vopson said, “If we assume that information is physical and has mass and that elementary particles have a DNA of information about themselves, how can we prove it?”

“My latest paper is about putting these theories to the test so they can be taken seriously by the scientific community.”

This new experiment proposes how to detect and measure the information in an elementary particle by using a particle-antiparticle collision.

Dr. Vopson said“The information in an electron is 22 million times smaller than its mass, but we can measure the information content by erasing it.”

“We know that when you collide a particle of matter with a particle of antimatter, they annihilate each other. And the information from the particle has to go somewhere when it’s annihilated.”

Diagrammatic representation of the positron–electron annihilation process
Diagrammatic representation of the positron-electron annihilation process. (a) Standard positron-electron annihilation process that produces two 511 keV gamma photons only and (b) positron-electron annihilation process that produces two 511 keV gamma photons and two additional low energy photons from information erasure. Credit: AIP Advances

The annihilation process converts all the remaining mass of the particles into energy, typically gamma photons. Any particles containing information are converted into low-energy infrared photons.

In the study, Dr. Vopson predicts the exact energy of the infrared photons resulting from erasing the information. He believes that this work could demonstrate how information is a critical component of everything in the universe, and a new field of physics research could emerge.

Journal Reference:

  1. Melvin M. Vopson et al. Experimental protocol for testing the mass-energy–information equivalence principle. DOI: 10.1063/5.0087175
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