CERN Zeroes In on the 'Great Antimatter Mystery'
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January 27, 2012

CERN Zeroes In on the 'Great Antimatter Mystery'

                     20080619197020


The question of whether normal matter's shadowy counterpart anti-matter exerts a kind of "anti-gravity" is soonto be answered, according to researchers at the University of California Riverside, who are getting closer to addressing the question once and for all. The team says it has prepared stable pairs of electrons and their anti-matter particles, positrons. A beam of these pairs can be used to finally solve the anti-gravity puzzle.

Current physics holds that, at the birth of the Universe, matter and anti-matter were created in equal amounts, but when they intersect, they destroy each other in energetic flashes of light.Which begs the question of why did any Universe come into being at all, and why is the one we see overwhelmingly made of normal matter?

One of the attributes that may differentiate anti-matter is its gravitational behavior. Most scientists believe that anti-matter will be attracted to normal matter.

Elsewhere, a team at CERN's Large Hadron Collider theorize that anti-matter may repel - it may "fall up," which has implications for the question of why the Universe didn't disappear into a gigantic  flash of light just as soon as it formed and might also help explain why the Universe is expanding ever more quickly.

They have created electron-positron pairs that are in stable orbits around one another - a positronium in which the pairs are kept from bumping into and destroying each other by carefully dumping energy into them to create what are known as "Rydberg states," where particles can move into different orbits around one another if they reach higher energies. These Rydberg positronium atoms are spun up to high energies, lasting for a comparatively long three billionths of a second.

The CERN LHC team hopes to extend the method, up to a few thousandths of a second, preparing a beam of the artificial atoms and observing  which way they fall.

The Daily Galaxy via CERN and bbc.co.uk/news

Image credit: Leonid Butov/UCSD

Comments

"Why did any Universe come into being at all, and why is the one we see overwhelmingly made of normal matter?" "Why didn't the Universe disappear in a gigantic flash of light just as soon as it formed?" Great questions. Don't you realize how much work the Big Bang was? Why create a universe to have it annihilate itself in a flash of light during the inflationary "period"? The Big Bang was for a purpose. I tell you that the universe is teeming with living Earths and with intelligent life.

I think our idea how the universe "started" with the big bang may be off... We are learning more about physics, and I think when we get to a certain point we will need to change our thinking to: "How do we use our discoveries in physics to explain the universe and how it started?" ,instead of, "How do we use these physics to explain the big bang?".

After all, human's have been very wrong in the past,for thousands of years at a time. Maybe it is time to bring on some alternative ideas in physics.

I've heard it stated repeatedly that at the birth of the Universe, matter and anti-matter were created in equal amounts, but when they intersect, they destroy each other. Which is why the universe came into being at all, and the one we see overwhelmingly made of normal matter because matter won out.

How can physicists assert this so assuredly when we don't know what makes up 76% of the universe? In a layman's view, if anti-matter has a type of anti-gravity then it would seem as though anti-matter may have won hands down. The discovery of the expansion of the universe and its acceleration would seem to put the validity stamp on this one.

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John, physicists aren't asserting anything assuredly, as you put it. They're all scratching their heads, trying to figure out what's going on, and how it all works. The hypotheses in this article are the current ideas that physicists are trying to prove or disprove, whichever the facts and experiments lead them to conclude.
And Bill Nye up there? your misunderstandings of science (& grammar) reveal you to be a fake. Make up your own name, don't steal someone else's.

"They have created electron-positron pairs that are in stable orbits around one another - a positronium in which the pairs are kept from bumping into and destroying each other by carefully dumping energy into them to create what are known as "Rydberg states," where particles can move into different orbits around one another if they reach higher energies. These Rydberg positronium atoms are spun up to high energies, lasting for a comparatively long three billionths of a second."

Terribly sorry old chap, but 'three billionths of a second' does NOT equate stable. Check the wardrobe, you left your brain in your coat.

Besides, people who paid attention to the original prediction of anti-matter will notice it is not anti-gravity but anti-TIME. Anti-matter travels backwards in time..and because the universe travels forward in time, matter is the dominant form of mass and anti-matter can only be created in extreme energetic environments...and remain in existence only until it is annihilated. Ain't full-4th dimensionality a bitch?

To Ronald: Hello, i find this prediction as well formed BUT, i also strongly believe that TIME is our own imaginative and fictive dimension. Thus i assume time does not exist.The anti-matter thus might be reviewed from a different perspective, and yet to be proven as utterly fundamental particle of the universal mechanics.

best regards

Call me stupid, but couldn't matter and antimatter repel each other and clump together in their own regions of space?
Sure you can smash them together and have them destroy each other, but that takes a lot of energy!
Left to themselves, maybe they just stay in their own "hood!"

@AuroraX
I disagree. Try walking through a doorway when 20 other people try it. It wont happen. Everyone piles up. Then separate everyone with a little time and then only the dumb ones cant get through. Now sure man made up time as in noon, hours, seconds and such. But time has to be real to spread out our space. Kind of like as the multiverse expands, our time/space expands also. It really would have to be interconnected or with no time nothing would be able to move. The Multiverse, Bringing Time To You!

I suspect that gravity is an effect of spacetime and its distortions, not electrical configurations. It seems rather likely to me that "anti-matter" will have the same sort of gravity the matter we are used to has.

Incidentally, what is the "speed of gravity?" One team claims to have proved it's the same as the speed of light, but as I read their study, they seem to me to have been measuring the speed of light, not gravity. If gravity is truly a manifestation of warped spacetime, as relativity asserts, it may not be limited to light's velocity, or the velocity of electromagnetic radiation. After all, in proposing "rapid expansion" to patch the Big Bang theory, the theorists supposed space able to move faster than light moves IN space. If gravity owes to spacetime and not electromagnetic effects . . .

Aurora X surely if time doesn't exist then neither would velocity as there'd be no means to meaure it? The speed of light would be absolute as it there would be no time for it to travel across the Universe. Even without an observer to record it the Universe needs time (whatever you call it in whatever form you translate it). Planets orbit their stars. This takes time. Or am I mistaken?

1st nanosecond: "Hey, Frank, this positronium is stable. Excellent!"
2nd nanosecond" "Hey, Frank? I've been here, like, forever watching this positronium. Can I get a break or what?"
3rd nanosecond: "Hey, Frank! When I signed up, you were talking femtoseconds of commitment, and after all these nanoseconds I can only conclude that I was LIE TO! I have wasted my entire life babysitting this stupid positronium. I will go INSANE if you make me sit here any longer."

maybe we are made of anti-matter and the other stuff is really matter, ever think of that.

Is that a picture of a flux capacitor?

John and Allen W comments reflect thinking. I get so disappointed when I look at the newest outcomes and wonder why all the long-winded spiels that in essence say 'soon.' Golly Gee.

I don't see any reason for antimatter to disappear in a blast of comingling. I see more reason for it to clump together just like our planets of atomic structure clump together.

The problem seems to be too much misleading and hinting and not enough direct info. Take our G1.9 visitor? Here we have the closest body to Earth and nobody knows anything. Has it an orbit? Well, if it has an orbit, what is it orbiting? Proxima Centauri? Take these brown dwarfs, everywhere but unseen. Take LT (light terminus) starbits of 10 to 6 sun mass that are supposed to be everywhere.
Does anybody think that it is slightly unusual that LoveJoy dipped into the sun in violation of everything we know about physics and flew off? Does anybody think that G1.9's elliptical orbit demonstrates anti matter? It comes into Sol's system and then immediately orbits out, if its highly elliptical perigree can be called an orbit--isn't it more like watching a magnet being repelled? And for all we know it repeats the performance at the opposite end of its 'orbit' out by Proxima Centauri. That describes what our satellites do when they come in close to a gravity body and gain momentum to fling themselves outward. That seems to be just what G1.9 is doing; gaining momentum at the ends of its highly elliptical orbit. If it's antimatter, it would gain this momentum by being repelled from objects of matter.
Only our G1.9 seems to have gone from being a LT starbit to a neutron. When it was a LT starbit it acted to supress gravity for lack of a better term. The Earth, way over here gadzillions of miles away from the ORT shell, was affected by our LT starbit and EXPANDED. Not once but many times prior to 10,000 y ago. I say that demonstrates stability of antimatter. I say that demonstrates reliability. We know zilch. And we sure do represent one thing; that the Second Lay is inviolate.


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