Antimatter captured for a fifth of a second?

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rasalhauge
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Antimatter captured for a fifth of a second?

Post by rasalhauge » Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:00 pm

I read an article in a Swedish newspaper (not the most reliable source though) that CERN had managed to create 38 antiatoms and even managed to "capture" some of them in an atom trap (although just for a split second). Is this true?

Sounds like a quite amazing feat so I'm surprised that I haven't heard more about it. Any more reliable info on it and how it was done?


rasalhauge
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Re: Antimatter captured for a fifth of a second?

Post by rasalhauge » Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:45 am

Thank you so much photino. It was nice reading it from a more reliable source than the swedish Aftonbladet=)

As you all know I lack the physics knowledge to understand most of what is said here, but even to me this news were fascinating.

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CharmQuark
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Re: Antimatter captured for a fifth of a second?

Post by CharmQuark » Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:56 am

Ah Rasal ;)

I am sure you do just find and dandy :D nice articles though :thumbup: hope you enjoyed as much as i did ;) I am in the same boat as you ;) I don't know much either :D but we learn :thumbup:
Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted with large ones either by Albert Einstein.

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gronos
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Re: Antimatter captured for a fifth of a second?

Post by gronos » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:46 am

I read the article and it does raise an interesting issue of why so much matter and so little antimatter in our local environment. It seems the simplest explanation is that matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts in the early universe and either 1) it mixed uniformly and annihilated each other and we are the low percentage dregs of what is left, or 2) it segregated shortly after the big bang and separated enough to keep from destruction, which would suggest there are antigalaxies out there that will eventually combine with matter. is there any evidence for one over the other?

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tswsl1989
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Re: Antimatter captured for a fifth of a second?

Post by tswsl1989 » Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:08 am

gronos wrote:Is there any evidence for one over the other?
Not as far as I'm aware. The reason for the imbalance is still one of the open questions, I believe.

scorpion
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Re: Antimatter captured for a fifth of a second?

Post by scorpion » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:49 pm

On the lighter side of things this is what the Register has to say :)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/18 ... tter_bomb/

adam_jeff
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Re: Antimatter captured for a fifth of a second?

Post by adam_jeff » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:37 pm

gronos wrote:I read the article and it does raise an interesting issue of why so much matter and so little antimatter in our local environment. It seems the simplest explanation is that matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts in the early universe and either 1) it mixed uniformly and annihilated each other and we are the low percentage dregs of what is left, or 2) it segregated shortly after the big bang and separated enough to keep from destruction, which would suggest there are antigalaxies out there that will eventually combine with matter. is there any evidence for one over the other?

Rich
Well, this is one of the things that these researches might be able to clear up.
If enough atoms can be captured then the characteristic spectra of antihydrogen could be measured.
Most theories predict that it should be identical to that of normal hydrogen but if it's not, that would a) give the theorists something to think about; and b) allow astronomers to tell if distant galaxies were actually antigalaxies.

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Re: Antimatter captured for a fifth of a second?

Post by DCWhitworth » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:08 am

adam_jeff wrote:
gronos wrote:I read the article and it does raise an interesting issue of why so much matter and so little antimatter in our local environment. It seems the simplest explanation is that matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts in the early universe and either 1) it mixed uniformly and annihilated each other and we are the low percentage dregs of what is left, or 2) it segregated shortly after the big bang and separated enough to keep from destruction, which would suggest there are antigalaxies out there that will eventually combine with matter. is there any evidence for one over the other?

Rich
Well, this is one of the things that these researches might be able to clear up.
If enough atoms can be captured then the characteristic spectra of antihydrogen could be measured.
Most theories predict that it should be identical to that of normal hydrogen but if it's not, that would a) give the theorists something to think about; and b) allow astronomers to tell if distant galaxies were actually antigalaxies.
One of the basic tenets of partical physics is that of CP symmetry, it broadly states that the laws of physics are identical for particles and their anti-particles. So if at the big bang equal amounts of matter and anti-matter were created how is it that the universe appears to comprise entirely of matter ? Simple observation would seem to dictate that CP symmetry must be untrue at some level.

Indeed CP violation has been proved to be true (Cronin and Fitch won a Nobel prize in 1980 for showing it) in the decay of neutral Kaons which are actually slightly more likely to decay into matter rather than anti-matter. Some other violations have since also been found.

Although CP violation is proven the issue is the scale. Basically the known violations don't account for the amount of matter around. The theory is that in the conditions around the time of the big bang some other CP violation process was acting and that is one of the things the LHC is looking for.

(Caveat - I'm no expert in physics (or indeed much else), so this might be rubbish but I think this is broadly what's going on)
DC

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