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CERN Antimatter Experiment Produces First Beam of Antihydrogen 136

An anonymous reader writes "Matter and antimatter annihilate immediately when they meet, so aside from creating antihydrogen, one of the key challenges for physicists is to keep antiatoms away from ordinary matter. To do so, experiments take advantage of antihydrogen's magnetic properties (which are similar to hydrogen's) and use very strong non-uniform magnetic fields to trap antiatoms long enough to study them. However, the strong magnetic field gradients degrade the spectroscopic properties of the (anti)atoms. To allow for clean high-resolution spectroscopy, the ASACUSA collaboration developed an innovative set-up to transfer antihydrogen atoms to a region where they can be studied in flight, far from the strong magnetic field (scientific paper)."
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CERN Antimatter Experiment Produces First Beam of Antihydrogen

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  • Re:First! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @04:41PM (#46029159) Journal
    'Weapons that don't work if there is matter between you and the target' are probably kind of a niche at present...
  • by DMUTPeregrine ( 612791 ) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @05:32PM (#46029639) Journal
    Note that it can settle in the lungs, if you inhale too much and can't exhale it you can suffocate. You won't feel it either because the CO2 will rise and exit the lungs. If you experiment with breathing it in, stand on your head after a few seconds and breathe out/in deeply.
  • Re:First! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OneAhead ( 1495535 ) on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @07:07PM (#46030421)
    Parent and GP's suggestions might work in SF, but in real physics, a powerful laser blast will just break the ordinary matter into smaller pieces, which will still be sitting in the way. As for the positrons, they won't quite annihilate the ordinary matter; some of them would annihilate with electrons, but most of them would convert neutrons into protons, if I remember the nuclear chemistry chapters of my bachelor's courses correctly. The resulting unstable cores would either decay or fission, but the products would still be ordinary matter, and no matter (pun not intended) how long you keep repeating this, there would still be a lot of ordinary matter left that cannot be converted to energy any further by bombarding with positrons. </humorless pedantic nitpic>
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 21, 2014 @07:21PM (#46030533)

    Me neither. Things are often helped if people even just read the abstract they're talking about.

    "Assuming that a particle and its antiparticle have the gravitational charge of the opposite sign, the physical vacuum may be considered as a fluid of virtual gravitational dipoles. Following this hypothesis, we present the first indications that dark matter may not exist and that the phenomena for which it was invoked might be explained by the gravitational polarization of the quantum vacuum by the known baryonic matter."

    Gravitational charge of the opposite sign is not the same as negative mass, no more than an electron or a proton make antiprotons because they've got opposite charge.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein