NPR

Why Corned Beef Sandwiches — And The Rest Of The Universe — Exist

Somehow, at the beginning of time, there was an imbalance of matter and antimatter. That's how all the stuff in the universe came about. Scientists think they may find an answer by studying neutrons.
An imbalance between matter and antimatter in the universe produced all the things in existence, including corned beef sandwiches. Source: Erik Rank

It's easy to take corned beef sandwiches for granted. There's no mystery about them. They simply exist.

But corned beef sandwiches, along with everything else in the universe, raise a critical question in the minds of physicists: Why do they exist?

In the earliest moments of the universe, energy turned into matter. But matter comes in two forms, matter and antimatter. And when a particle of matter encounters a particle of antimatter, they

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min readPolitics
Mulvaney Walks Back Ukraine Remarks, Admits It Wasn't A 'Perfect Press Conference'
The acting White House chief of staff denied what he previously said: that defense funding to Ukraine was frozen in part over the demand that Kyiv dig up dirt on Trump's political rivals.
NPR5 min read
When Snakes Slither Into Bangkok Homes, This Is The Wrangler Who Gets Rid Of Them
When pythons, cobras and pit vipers show up, Pinyo Pukpinyo, a sergeant in Bangkok's fire department, is the expert who catches them. He's been bitten 20 times but says his work "makes me happy."
NPR2 min read
Jovino Santos Neto Trio: Tiny Desk Concert
Along with his trio, the pianist, multi-instrumentalist and composer cast a spell over the NPR Music offices in this joyful turn behind the Tiny Desk.