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Old 06-06-2011, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Northeast of Brazil
3,996 posts, read 6,815,032 times
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Antimatter Trapped for Amazingly Long 16 Minutes


Published June 05, 2011 | LiveScience


Antimatter, an elusive type of matter that's rare in the universe, has now been trapped for more than 16 minutes — an eternity in particle physics.

In fact, scientists who've been trapping antihydrogen atoms at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva say isolating the exotic particles has become so routine that they expect to soon begin experiments on this rare substance.

Antimatter is like a mirror image of matter. For every matter particle (a hydrogen atom, for example), a matching antimatter particle is thought to exist (in this case, an antihydrogen atom) with the same mass, but the opposite charge.

"We've trapped antihydrogen atoms for as long as 1,000 seconds, which is forever" in the world of high-energy particle physics, said Joel Fajans, a University of California, Berkeley professor of physics who is a faculty scientist at California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a member of the ALPHA (Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus) experiment at CERN.

Trapping antimatter is difficult, because when it comes into contact with matter, the two annihilate each other. So a container for antimatter can't be made of regular matter, but is usually formed with magnetic fields.

In the ALPHA project, the researchers captured antihydrogen by mixing antiprotons with positrons — antielectrons — in a vacuum chamber, where they combine into antihydrogen atoms.
The whole process occurred within a magnetic "bottle" that takes advantage of the magnetic properties of the antiatoms to keep them contained. An actual bottle, made of ordinary matter, would not be able to hold antimatter because when the two types of matter meet they annihilate.

After the researchers had trapped antimatter in the magnetic bottle, they could then detect the trapped antiatoms by turning off the magnetic field and allowing the particles to annihiliate with normal matter, which creates a flash of light.
The team has now managed to capture 112 antiatoms in this new trap for times ranging from one-fifth of a second to 1,000 seconds, or 16 minutes and 40 seconds. (To date, since the beginning of the project, Fajans and his colleagues have trapped 309 antihydrogen atoms in various traps.)

And the researchers plan to improve on that, with the "hope that by 2012 we will have a new trap with laser access to allow spectroscopic experiments on the antiatoms," Fajans said in a statement. Those experiments would give researchers more information on the antimatter's properties.

In that way, it could help to answer a question that has long plagued physicists: Why is there only ordinary matter in our universe? Scientists think antimatter and matter should have been produced in equal amounts during the Big Bang that created the universe 13.6 billion years ago. [The Coolest Little Particles in Nature]

Today, however, there is no evidence of antimatter galaxies or clouds, and antimatter is seen rarely and for only short periods, for example, during some types of radioactive decay before it annihilates in a collision with normal matter.

The researchers detail their work on the antimatter trap in a new paper published online June 5 in the journal Nature Physics.

source:

Antimatter Trapped for Amazingly Long 16 Minutes - FoxNews.com
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Northeast of Brazil
3,996 posts, read 6,815,032 times
Reputation: 2496
Another source:


Jun 06, 2011

Antimatter exists in lab for record time

Shades of Angels & Demons - a laboratory team has created and trapped "antihydrogen" atoms for a record 1,000 seconds, a journal reports, raising hopes for study of the famously elusive physics of antimatter.

Antimatter is a reverse-charged form of normal matter seen in some high-energy physics particle collisions. Antimatter famously annihilates itself when brought into contact with normal matter, making observation of atoms of the stuff quite tricky.

Astrophysicists cannot explain why the amount of matter created in the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago, predominated over the amount of antimatter created, making study of the stuff intriguing to cosmologists. The goal of trapping antihydrogen atoms is to explore their properties to see how they differ from normal hydrogen ones, with the hope of explaining this mystery.

In the Nature Physics report from the Alpha Collaboration team at Europe's CERN lab, antihydrogen atoms, essentially hydrogen atoms made of antimatter, lasted 5,000 times longer in a magnetic trap than past attempts, adding up to about 15 minutes of existence. Some of the 309 antihydrogen atoms observed may have lasted as long as 2,000 seconds, the team reports, before annihilation, a 10,000-fold increase.
"These recent results are significant in showing that some antihydrogen atoms can indeed be trapped long enough to reach the ground atomic state by radiation of photons — just the state needed for precision measurements," says physicist Clifford Surko of the University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, in a commentary accompanying the report. "Longer confinement times also translate to more precise measurements of antiatom properties."
In the broader picture, this paper marks great progress in the quest to compare with precision the properties of antihydrogen with that of its ordinary matter cousin. However, there may well be more twists in the road before this immensely challenging goal is achieved, Surko says.
The advance follows a series of refinements in cryogenic magnetic traps used to contain antimatter created at the lab (famously the stuff used to make bombs in one of Dan Brown's novels, Angels & Demons; the lab once estimated it would take hundreds of thousands of years for it to make the amount of the stuff imagined in the thriller.) Rather than making bombs for airport bookstore novels, "The implications of long-time confinement are very significant for future experiments with antimatter atoms," concludes the study.


Antimatter exists in lab for record time - Science Fair: Science and Space News - USATODAY.com
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Northeast of Brazil
3,996 posts, read 6,815,032 times
Reputation: 2496
All the trekkers (or trekkies) here should remember that the spaceship NX-01 Enterprise used a "Warp drive" as propulsion, and the Warp drive requires the storage of antimatter in a special tank.

Is this the first step towards Enterprise?
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Fortaleza, Northeast of Brazil
3,996 posts, read 6,815,032 times
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In a side note, I would like to say that I'm very proud of the fact that one of the physicists in the ALPHA team of CERN, responsible for this achievement, is the Brazilian physicist Claudio Lenz Cesar.

Claudio Lenz Cesar is not only Brazilian like myself, but he's also from the city of Fortaleza, in the state of Ceará, just like me! He graduated in Physics at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC). Everyone in Fortaleza is proud of him!
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Old 07-05-2011, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,155 posts, read 29,346,742 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalaMan View Post
All the trekkers (or trekkies) here should remember that the spaceship NX-01 Enterprise used a "Warp drive" as propulsion, and the Warp drive requires the storage of antimatter in a special tank.

Is this the first step towards Enterprise?
haha I like when he takes the maiden flight he sure knows how to pick some good tunes for space flight

YouTube - ‪First Warp Flight of Zefram Cochrane‬‏
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:39 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
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Leading to this, but not with an American crew:


YouTube - ‪Final scene of Star Trek: Enterprise‬‏
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,155 posts, read 29,346,742 times
Reputation: 5480
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalaMan View Post
All the trekkers (or trekkies) here should remember that the spaceship NX-01 Enterprise used a "Warp drive" as propulsion, and the Warp drive requires the storage of antimatter in a special tank.

Is this the first step towards Enterprise?
no since they never went past the speed of light but warped space to get past that barrier and I would say the antimater was more like how we use fission reactors on our subs and carriers.

I mean fusion will be first and antimatter will be a long time off. even if harness it in the large amounts needed we still have alot of things to overcome.

the anti-matter was the ships power source and so far we have not come up with any engines that can warp space.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,138 posts, read 22,837,946 times
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[quote=North Beach Person;19891161]Leading to this, but not with an American crew:

quote]

We probably should have paid more attention to the philosophy in Star Trek:

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