The new electron property may help explain the matter-antimatter imbalance. The theory is that electrons have what's called an electric dipole moment, which is similar to the separation between the positive and negative poles of a magnet.
In the case of an electron, which carries only a negative charge, the electric dipole represents an unequal distribution of the charge.
"One can imagine the dipole moment as a slight spatial deformation of this negative charge," Ležaić said. Such a deformation would violate the symmetry between matter and antimatter, making it possible that particles and antiparticles decay—spontaneously turn into other kinds of particles—at different rates.