Large Hadron Collider is Revealing Antimatter Secrets

August  24, 2017 – It sounds like science fiction every time a physicist starts talking about antimatter. That’s the stuff that when combined with matter could annihilate all that matters to us. In every atom for every proton, and electron there exists a hidden world of antiprotons and antielectrons. Hydrogen, the simplest of atoms, one proton, one electron, has its equivalent antihydrogen.

 

 

Why is this important?

Antimatter exists around us. It’s not a theoretical construct. We’ve known about its existence for almost a century.

Antimatter is matters companion, virtually identical, but with an opposite charge.

An anti-electron is a positron, a positively charged particle that is the opposite of an electron. First discovered in 1932, positrons get created naturally when cosmic rays strike our upper atmosphere or when a bolt of lightning descends during a thunderstorm.

Today we harvest positrons from radioactive decay in nuclear reactors and use them to help us in radiology. PET scanners provide unique imaging that detects medical issues not easily discovered through other radio imaging technologies. And PET stands for Positron Emission Tomography. It images the photons produced when positrons created from the radioactive decay of a dye injected into a patient collide with the body’s matter producing life-saving diagnostic results.

 

So what are the people at the CERN Large Hadron Collider doing with antimatter?

Since the Big Bang scientists suspect that matter and antimatter were both created in almost equal amounts. But most of what we see is matter. So we don’t know where all the antimatter has gone.

 

 

 

That’s why six different physics teams have developed rival antimatter experiments to unlock antimatter’s secrets and are using the facility at CERN because it has the horsepower to generate large volumes of antiprotons.

Antimatter particles are produced through radioactive decay and captured using decelerators to slow them down from near-light to 1/10th light speed. The antiprotons are trapped by electromagnetic fields that keep the particles in suspension. Beams of electrons act as heat exchangers to cool them down. The beams must never touch the antimatter. Nonetheless, there is considerable attrition.

A typical harvest of antiprotons will yield 30 million from smashing a target containing 12 trillion protons. But by the end of the process, a mere 30 antiprotons remain. The rest have escaped or been annihilated by matter.

 

Why studying antimatter matters

A good reason to study antimatter is to figure out where all of it went after the Big Bang. It appears that right from the start of our Universe, some asymmetric force has led to matter becoming predominant. In experimenting with antimatter we may be able to identify that source of asymmetry.

Another reason to study antimatter is to better understand what happens when it interacts with matter. Does it cause massive explosions as suggested in Dan Brown’s novel, “Angels & Demons?” If so is this something the military is studying so an antimatter-matter weapon can be produced?

More promising might be the use of antimatter to generate energy for the planet. What would an antimatter reactor and power plant look like? Essentially it would be similar to plants constructed for nuclear power generation. But instead of nuclear decay from fuel rods generating the heat to drive turbines, it would be the interaction of matter and antimatter within a containment field that would yield energy for light and heat.

And then there is the dream of faster-than-light-speed warp drive technology. This is the powerplant of Star Trek’s starships, engines that use streams of antimatter and matter within containment fields to provide a kinetic force so powerful it can warp space-time itself.

 

 

What’s the latest antimatter gossip? 

It seems that the newest experimental results coming from the scientists at CERN studying antihydrogen have just been published in the journal Nature. What the physicists have learned from this latest study is that our basic understanding of the Universe is correct; that something physicists call the Standard Model is verified by the behaviour of matter and antimatter; that the basic building blocks of the Universe do interact through four fundamental forces, gravity and elctromagnetism detected on a macro scale, think the interaction of stars, planets, and galaxies, and weak and strong forces detected on a micro scale, think the interaction of particles at a subatomic level.

We can be thankful for the physicists at Cern, who for the moment have dispelled the Dan Brown version of matter and antimatter. We, after all, are not going to be blown up by these two fundamental states colliding.

 

 


Len Rosen lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a researcher and writer who has a fascination with science and technology. He is married with a daughter who works in radio, and a miniature red poodle who is his daily companion on walks of discovery. More...

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  • Nikola Milovic

    I have to react! All previous explanations of some unnatural phenomena show that science does not even understand the structure of the universe, nor does it know how matter arises. What does “anti” mean in science? It does not understand that science properly.
    When matter is formed by AETHER, which fills an infinite universe, “anti” is only a positron, the same as an electron, only has spin of the opposite direction of rotation. All the rest of the “anti” occurs when the speed of moving particles in the magnetic field is changed. What you all see as dark matter and dark energy is AETHER, a substance that fills the infinite universe and forms matter.
    IMPORTANT NOTE AND QUESTION:
    Is there any scientific institution, institute or anyone interested in the truth anywhere. If it exists, why is nobody interested in what I publish, so that it is taken into account. What scientists are afraid of. It is a miracle that science is so deafened that it is not always a matter for BB to rely on. So you who believe in BB, you are the most faithful kind of religion and your “God” BB for whom you do not know anything, and you do not know anything about yourself and your existence, nor do you respect the one who formed you.
    REMEMBER IT IS TIME !!

    • lenrosen4

      Really? For those confused by Nikola’s rant you cna learn about “The Dynamic Steady State Universe, BB and Aether at: http://www.cellularuniverse.org/AA3AetherHistory.htm

      • Nikola Milovic

        Lenrosen4, what you have shown to be seen, really represents a very great value for those who want to teach science the right path of development and the understanding of what science is influenced by all nebulous theories. I was a niche, not even now, able to engage in experiments or some fashion, I also have mathematics, and with that I achieve something. Based on intuitive knowledge, I compare my attitude with the views of scientists and I have the opportunity to explain many phenomena which for science represent an enigma. Aether is a substance that I do not have a detailed description of the behavior, but I know that without AETHER, there is no possibility of any existence of matter and its movement. What I can explain many phenomena, science will not understand, because it thinks it’s about some religious settings, which is not true, We all have to understand and accept the existence of the SEU, the Creator of everything in the MEEU. Without this knowledge, we remain in our progression at the level of the animal-instinct or the maximal intellect, without intuition.

        • lenrosen4

          The belief that space was filled with an unknown substance given the name aether or ether goes back several hundred years. It was seen as a necessary medium for transmission of light because scientists struggled with the notion that light could travel through a vacuum. Even Einstein gave a public lecture on Ether and his Theroy of Relativity at the University of Leiden in 1920. I present a link here for you to read the English translation of Einstein’s lecture: http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Extras/Einstein_ether.html

          • Nikola Milovic

            I saw what Einstein spoke, and others who had in mind the existence of AETHER. But they, like today’s scientists, do not know what is aether and what are its characteristics. If you recommend me to read something, I thank you for the service, but now I am asking you: how can I publish my theory (truth) about AETHER, to explain to everyone what has not been understood and explained by now. Everything that is written in the article, I have the answer and proof, but my proof is much simpler than any evidence from science. Aether is the basis of all material energy existence, and also the basis of all phenomena and movements of matter and of various types of energies. Both nerve and magnetism are phenomena caused by the “relational relationships” of the aether and matter in various aggregate states. NEITHER EJSTEJN DOES NOT DATE THE SCIENCE DOES NOT KNOW HOW MATERIALS ARE, AND SPECIALLY WHAT ARE GRAVITATION AND MAGNETISM.
            IF THE SCIENCE HAS THE INTEREST TO REMEMBER IT, WE MUST REQUEST ANY AGREEMENT AS HERE TO EXPLAIN IT.
            Try to implement it. Thank you in advance at the service, not only to me, but to all humanity!

      • Nikola Milovic

        Lenrosen4, thank you very much on the site. I have tried to study the whole content and, after that, I give my opinion on each article and theory. It will be tough, but you will see the true evidence of many true causes of phenomena, which science is unable to decipher.