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Signatures of the ArtistThe Vital Imperfections That Make Our Universe Habitable$
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Steven E. Vigdor

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198814825

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198814825.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 September 2021

Water, Water, Here and There

Water, Water, Here and There

(p.85) 4 Water, Water, Here and There
Signatures of the Artist

Steven E. Vigdor

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 deals with the stability of the proton, hence of hydrogen, and how to reconcile that stability with the baryon number nonconservation (or baryon conservation) needed to establish a matter–antimatter imbalance in the infant universe. Sakharov’s three conditions for establishing a matter–antimatter imbalance are presented. Grand unified theories and experimental searches for proton decay are described. The concept of spontaneous symmetry breaking is introduced in describing the electroweak phase transition in the infant universe. That transition is treated as the potential site for introducing the imbalance between quarks and antiquarks, via either baryogenesis or leptogenesis models. The up–down quark mass difference is presented as essential for providing the stability of hydrogen and of the deuteron, which serves as a crucial stepping stone in stellar hydrogen-burning reactions that generate the energy and elements needed for life. Constraints on quark masses from lattice QCD calculations and violations of chiral symmetry are discussed.

Keywords:   baryon conservation, proton decay, grand unified theory, spontaneous symmetry breaking, electroweak phase transition, baryogenesis, leptogenesis, up–down quark mass difference, lattice QCD, hydrogen burning

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