Physics

Video: Freezing antimatter could allow scientists to study it

 

Does anti-matter fall up? As of 2020, we don’t think so, but we still aren’t sure. It may even turn out to be heavier than ordinary matter. There are many equations and theories, but we simply have not yet observed the reality of this strange substance in the right ways to be able to answer the question. Here is a string of articles about the quest of physics to find out if anti-matter has anti-gravity properties.

 

Antimatter is powerful stuff, but is it a genuine mirror image of matter? The coldest antiprotons ever made take us a step closer to finding out.

via NewSci

 

A Canadian scientist at the forefront of research on antimatter has proposed a novel way to solve one of the field’s most daunting problems — what to keep it in. For experimental physicists, antimatter is an elusive quarry because it will vanish in a flash of light upon contact with anything made of regular matter. But a paper published Sunday points the way to a potential solution, in which lasers will literally freeze atoms of anti-hydrogen in place so they can be studied and compared to regular atoms. The proposal by Makoto Fujiwara, a research scientist at Canada’s particle physics lab TRIUMF and an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary, has not been tested in reality, but computer simulations he devised with an American co-author indicate that a laser-based technique called Doppler cooling could chill anti-hydrogen to just a whisker above absolute zero. …

 

Antimatter is just as it sounds, the opposite of matter, and when a particle meets its antiparticle, they both vanish in a flash of light. The big question is why there is so little antimatter around, and a surplus of regular matter. Theory says both were created in equal parts during the Big Bang, and indeed the lingering flash of their mutual annihilation can still be detected in the universe. But for some reason regular matter eventually won out, and today antimatter is exceedingly rare. Other than in radioactive decay or cosmic ray collisions, it is not naturally produced, and man-made production is still small scale, although it is widely used in medicine for PET (positron emission tomography) scanning. …

 

… with this latest theoretical proof of the laser cooling concept, the effort turns to actually building a machine that can do it. Already, the ALPHA apparatus at CERN in Geneva is capable of trapping a cloud of antihydrogen inside a cucumber-sized cylinder surrounded by superconducting magnets and silicon detectors. The next step is to cool it. …

 

via Freezing antimatter could allow scientists to study it: Makoto Fujiwara | Canada | News | National Post.

 

While the overwhelming consensus among physicists is that antimatter will attract both matter and antimatter at the same rate that matter attracts matter, there is a strong desire to confirm this experimentally, since the hypothesis is still open to falsification.

Via Wikipedia

 

Direct gravitational experiments with non-neutral antimatter, for example, isolated positrons or antiprotons, are exceedingly difficult because the electrical forces overwhelm the gravitational forces. Employing neutral antihydrogen or positronium eliminates this complication.

via Nature

To be useful for antimatter gravity experiments, a source of positronium atoms needs to produce long-lived atoms in large numbers, and with known velocities that can be controlled and are unaffected by disturbances such as electric and magnetic fields. The new AEgIS source ticks all of these boxes, producing some 80 000 positronium atoms per minute that last 1140 nanoseconds each and have a known velocity (between 70 and 120 kilometres per second) that can be controlled with a high precision (10 kilometres per second). The trick? Using a special positron-to-positronium converter to produce the atoms and a single flash of ultraviolet laser light …

via LifeBoat | PhysOrg

I’d love it if antimatter provided some real anti-gravity, it doesn’t appear that it will, but as of January 2020 we are still awaiting an experiment to confirm this.

 

 

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I’m only 9 but how do you make anti-matter

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