A new experiment could confirm information as the fifth state of matter
A scientist from the University of Portsmouth devised an experiment that they believe confirms the fifth state of matter, a discovery that would change the field of physics for good, a press release reveals.
Physicist Dr. Melvin Vopson, the researcher behind the new experiment, previously published work theorizing that information has mass and that all elementary particles store information in a manner reminiscent to DNA in humans.
Vopson posited that information is the fundamental building block of the universe and that it might even account for the mysterious force known as dark matter. If proved to be true, it would be a world-altering revelation that would allow us to understand the formation of the universe in a whole new light.
Theirs isn't the first experiment to try to verify the existence of a fifth state of matter. In 2020, NASA researchers reported the production of rubidium Bose-Einstein condensates aboard the International Space Station, which they described as the fifth state of matter.
An experiment that could "change physics as we know it"
Vopson, who outlined his experiment in a new paper in the journal AIP Advances, set out to prove that this information is the fifth state of matter, joining solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. He believes the fifth state of matter takes the form of information and that his experiment could alter our understanding of the universe, leading to an entire new avenue for researchers worldwide. "This would be a eureka moment because it would change physics as we know it and expand our understanding of the universe," Dr. Vopson explained. "But it wouldn't conflict with any of the existing laws of physics."
"It doesn't contradict quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, thermodynamics or classical mechanics," they added. "All it does is complement physics with something new and incredibly exciting."
Vopson's experiment was designed to detect and measure the information in an elementary particle by using particle-antiparticle collision. "The information in an electron is 22 million times smaller than the mass of it, but we can measure the information content by erasing it," he explained. "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."
This annihilation process converts the remaining mass of the particles into energy, usually in the form of gamma photons. Any particles containing information will be converted into low-energy infrared photons. In his paper, Vopson predicts the energy of the infrared photons after erasing this information. If the experiment is proven to be accurate, it could show that information is indeed a key building block of the universe, completely changing our understanding of physics.
The Hybrid Observatory for Earth-like Exoplanets (HOEE) would convert the largest ground-based telescopes into the most powerful planet finders yet.