Probably, everyone has heard the phrase that it is impossible to create something from nothing. However, in reality, the physics in our world is not that simple. In fact, scientists have been trying for decades to create matter from “nothing”, and today they were able to prove that the theory expressed 70 years ago was correct and that matter can indeed be created from “nothing”.
The universe consists of several conservation laws. These laws govern energy, charge, momentum, etc. Scientists have spent decades trying to fully understand these laws. Although they were able to make matter invisible, creating it “out of nothing” is a completely different difficulty.
There are many theories about the creation of matter “out of nothing”, especially when quantum physicists were trying to better understand the Big Bang and what caused it. We know that the collision of two particles in empty space can sometimes give rise to additional particles. There are even theories that a strong enough electromagnetic field can create matter and antimatter “out of nothing.”
Still, bringing any of the above to reality has always seemed impossible. However, this idea has not stopped scientific research, and it seems that the research has yielded results. As Big Think reports, in early 2022, a group of researchers created electric fields strong enough in their lab to mimic the unique properties of a material known as graphene.
There are all kinds of laws of conservation in the universe: energy, momentum, charge and others. Many properties of all physical systems are conserved: where things cannot be created or destroyed. We have learned how to create matter under specific, defined conditions: by colliding two quanta at energies high enough to produce equal amounts of matter and antimatter, as long as E = mc² allows this. For the first time in history, scientists have been able to create particles without any collisions or precursor particles: through strong electromagnetic fields and the Schwinger effect.
By means of these fields, scientists were able to spontaneously create pairs of particles and antiparticles “out of nothing”, which proved the theory of Julian Schwinger, one of the founders of quantum field theory, that matter can be created “out of nothing”. And with this knowledge, we hope to better understand how the universe creates something from “nothing”.