Scientists are searching for a mirror universe. It could be sitting right in front of you.

JUNE 30, 2019

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee, physicist Leah Broussard is trying to open a portal to a parallel universe.

Leah Broussard studies subatomic particles at Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
where she will be searching for mirror matter this summer.
Credit: Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

She calls it an “oscillation” that would lead her to “mirror matter,” but the idea is fundamentally the same. In a series of experiments she plans to run at Oak Ridge this summer, Broussard will send a beam of subatomic particles down a 50-foot tunnel, past a powerful magnet and into an impenetrable wall. If the setup is just right — and if the universe cooperates — some of those particles will transform into mirror-image versions of themselves, allowing them to tunnel right through the wall. And if that happens, Broussard will have uncovered the first evidence of a mirror world right alongside our own.

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