Majorana had theorized it in 1930 when he wrote that the phenomenon of disappearing particles would suggest that neutrinos and antineutrinos, their antimatter counterparts, are one and the same.

Neutrinos are very particular elementary particles that could be capable of a real disappearing act, just like the Sicilian physicist.

According to researches, which are continuously increasing due to the extension of funds to study neutrinos, it would seem that these particles would undergo an extremely rare type of nuclear decay that normally produces two neutrinos, but occasionally may not produce any.

Such elementary particles are called ‘Majorana neutrinos’ and could be the key to understanding why the Universe seems to contain very little antimatter. Moreover, it would be a demonstration of the fact that, unlike all other known matter particles, such as electrons or quarks, neutrinos do not get their mass from the Higgs boson.

Michelle Dolinski, an experimental physicist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said that with increased research funding and the development of more advanced detectors, there will be a good chance of demonstrating the disappearance of neutrinos.

In the meantime, experiments of an order of magnitude more sensitive than previous ones have been initiated in several states, including Italy.

Discovering that neutrinos are simultaneously matter and antimatter could help answer a number of important questions in fundamental physics.

Read more in Davide Castelvecchi’s full article in Nature by clicking here!