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The ASACUSA experiment at CERN has succeeded for the first time in producing a beam of antihydrogen atoms. In a paper published today in Nature Communications, the ASACUSA collaboration reports the unambiguous detection of 80 antihydrogen atoms 2.7 metres downstream of their production, where the perturbing influence of the magnetic fields used initially to produce the antiatoms is small. This result is a significant step towards precise hyperfine spectroscopy of antihydrogen atoms.
An successful antimatter experiment at CERN resulted in a beam of anti-hydrogen that scientists have successfully created and trapped. Antimatter consists of subatomic particles that have the same mass as ordinary matter, but an opposite charge. CERN has previously generated antimatter, but never in a way that allowed careful study. This new anti-hydrogen beam, however, could change everything, including what we know about particle physics, because scientists have been able to successfully trap it.
Most precision tests of the properties of antihydrogen can be done only if the antihydrogen is trapped, meaning held in place for a long time. While antihydrogen atoms are electrically neutral, their spin produces magnetic moments. These magnetic moments will interact with an inhomogeneous magnetic field; some of the antihydrogen atoms will be attracted to a magnetic minimum. Such a minimum can be created by a combination of mirror and multipole fields.
Is this dark matter or just auntie hydrogen and uncle helium coming for a visit?
Maybe this experiment will finally solve at least part of the mystery of antimatter and why it’s so prevalent, yet elusive, in our universe. The experiment will continue into the summer, when CERN hopes to improve their system of trapping the atoms, hoping to gain a sneek peek into what makes the universe tick. This also means we could be one step closer to fueling Star Trek’s warp drive.
The Atomic Spectroscopy And Collisions Using Slow Antiprotons (ASACUSA) experiment focuses on the fundamental differences in the behaviour of matter and antimatter. Instead of directly comparing atoms with their corresponding antiatoms (as do the ATRAP and ALPHA experiments), ASACUSA’s physicists are creating hybrid atoms such as “antiprotonic helium”.
The ASACUSA team uses the Antiproton Decelerator at CERN to send a beam of antiprotons into cold helium gas. Most of the antiprotons quickly annihilate with ordinary matter in the surroundings, but a tiny proportion combines with the helium to form hybrid atoms that contain both matter and antimatter. Using laser beams to excite the atoms, ASACUSA can measure the mass of the antiproton to an unprecedented level of accuracy for comparison with the proton.
The Antiproton Decelerator (AD) provides low-energy antiprotons mainly for studies of antimatter. Previously, “antiparticle factories” at CERN and elsewhere consisted of chains of accelerators, each performing one of the steps needed to provide antiparticles for experiments. Now the AD performs all the tasks alone, from making antiprotons to delivering them to the experiments.
This new anti-hydrogen beam, however, could change everything, including what we know about particle physics, because scientists have been able to successfully trap it.
reply to post by Aleister
Not so great. Got cancelled in the third season.
Nicely done OP with multiple sources!
And from dvice.com:
It's not prevalent, and the fact that matter is so much more abundant than antimatter is one of the unsolved problems in physics.
Maybe this experiment will finally solve at least part of the mystery of antimatter and why it’s so prevalent, yet elusive, in our universe.
and from that link:
Baryon asymmetry: Why is there far more matter than antimatter in the observable universe?
So maybe antimatter is nearly the opposite of matter but not exactly, which could explain the apparent shortage of antimatter. This provides an interesting area of research to solve an as yet unsolved problem.
The Big Bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter. Since this is apparently not the case, some physical laws must have acted differently for matter and antimatter.
At that price even Bill Gates couldn't have bought a gram of antimetter. I would imagine the cost is coming down, though there are still issues with containment so we are still a long way from using it to power starships.
in 1999, NASA gave a figure of $62.5 trillion per gram of antihydrogen. This is because production is difficult (only very few antiprotons are produced in reactions in particle accelerators), and because there is higher demand for other uses of particle accelerators. According to CERN, it has cost a few hundred million Swiss Francs to produce about 1 billionth of a gram (the amount used so far for particle/antiparticle collisions).
Nah the guys who don't come back always wear red shirts:
I don't know about this as it relates to the science of Star Trek, or to the crewman pictured in your post who looks like one of the guys who don't come back from the away-mission,
Is this dark matter or just auntie hydrogen and uncle helium coming for a visit?
We believe that most of the matter in the universe is dark, i.e. cannot be detected from the light which it emits (or fails to emit). This is "stuff" which cannot be seen directly -- so what makes us think that it exists at all? Its presence is inferred indirectly from the motions of astronomical objects, specifically stellar, galactic, and galaxy cluster/supercluster observations.
It is also required in order to enable gravity to amplify the small fluctuations in the Cosmic Microwave Background enough to form the large-scale structures that we see in the universe today. For each of the stellar, galactic, and galaxy cluster/supercluster observations the basic principle is that if we measure velocities in some region, then there has to be enough mass there for gravity to stop all the objects flying apart. When such velocity measurements are done on large scales, it turns out that the amount of inferred mass is much more than can be explained by the luminous stuff. Hence we infer that there is dark matter in the Universe.
Dark matter has important consequences for the evolution of the Universe and the structure within it. According to general relativity, the Universe must conform to one of three possible types: open, flat, or closed. The total amount of mass and energy in the universe determines which of the three possibilities applies to the Universe. In the case of an open Universe, the total mass and energy density (denoted by the greek letter Omega) is less than unity. If the Universe is closed, Omega is greater than unity. For the case where Omega is exactly equal to one the Universe is "flat".
Corresponding to most kinds of particles, there is an associated antiparticle with the same mass and opposite charge (including electric charge). For example, the antiparticle of the electron is the positively charged electron, or positron, which is produced naturally in certain types of radioactive decay.
The laws of nature are very nearly symmetrical with respect to particles and antiparticles. For example, an antiproton and a positron can form an antihydrogen atom, which has almost exactly the same properties as a hydrogen atom. This leads to the question of why the formation of matter after the Big Bang resulted in a universe consisting almost entirely of matter, rather than being a half-and-half mixture of matter and antimatter. The discovery of CP violation ("CP" denotes "Charge Parity") helped to shed light on this problem by showing that this symmetry, originally thought to be perfect, was only approximate.
Particle-antiparticle pairs can annihilate each other, producing photons; since the charges of the particle and antiparticle are opposite, total charge is conserved. For example, the positrons produced in natural radioactive decay quickly annihilate themselves with electrons, producing pairs of gamma rays, a process exploited in positron emission tomography.
Antiparticles are produced naturally in beta decay, and in the interaction of cosmic rays in the Earth's atmosphere.
Wait they can trap it, so they can build a reserve. I wonder how long they can store it for?
This is going to fuel space ships to find life on exoplanets. I want the update on the warp ship!
I see a huge problem. Time. It's going to be a decade before any real research gets done on antimatter even with this discovery. ONE experiment on Earth can create and trap antimatter. We need to mass fund this to duplicate the lab. Every country should be spearheading an experiment to create antimatter. The picture shows a single room of equipment. We should be able to recreate the lab at multiple sites. Are there any places other than CERN that actually have the capabilities to create antimatter?