PDA

View Full Version : Antimatter trapped



TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 08:47
A few dozens of antimatter atoms* have been trapped for a record 1/5 second, paving the way for experiments on antimatter behaviour and properties to be carried out.
UC Berkeley physicists trap antimatter atoms (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/17/MN7K1GDIMN.DTL)

Despite the talk of Star Trek physics being possible, and that antimatter is the most energy dense (energy/mass) material theoretically possible, 100 times than that from nuclear fusion, that's still flip all enough to go zooming around the stars. Ever. Doomed.



* It's reported as atoms, but may just be antiparticles, positron, antiquark, etc.

VectraMan
18th November 2010, 09:03
Why is antimatter more energy dense than matter? Surely it's just the same thing, but opposite?

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 09:06
Why is antimatter more energy dense than matter? Surely it's just the same thing, but opposite?

Yes, the same E=MC^2 which is as energy dense (per unit mass) as you can get, potentially converting matter to pure energy. You'd need equal masses of matter and antimatter to do that.

d000hg
18th November 2010, 09:11
Why is antimatter more energy dense than matter? Surely it's just the same thing, but opposite?Because you struggle to convert 1g of uranium fully to energy, but .5g matter + .5g antimatter automatically annihilates. Technically, you're right, it's more a question of practicality.

VectraMan
18th November 2010, 09:18
Because you struggle to convert 1g of uranium fully to energy, but .5g matter + .5g antimatter automatically annihilates. Technically, you're right, it's more a question of practicality.

I see. So really matter is just as useful, you just need to find a supply of antimatter to release its potential.

VectraMan
18th November 2010, 09:20
Total conversion of matter into energy.

That's the real fix for the energy crisis.

Until your planet disappears.

On the Simon Mayo show last night on their "homework sucks" feature the question was whether the earth was getting heavier of lighter. And the expert answer was that although the Earth regularly loses atmosphere, that's outweighed by the space dust and metorites it attracts.

So if we were clever we could convert that extra into energy with no net loss of planet.

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 09:26
On the Simon Mayo show last night on their "homework sucks" feature the question was whether the earth was getting heavier of lighter. And the expert answer was that although the Earth regularly loses atmosphere, that's outweighed by the space dust and metorites it attracts.

So if we were clever we could convert that extra into energy with no net loss of planet.

The Earth also gains mass from the energy it receives from the Sun (E=MC^2 again, but in reverse, energy to mass), though whether there is a net gain (from radiated losses) I don't know.

VectraMan
18th November 2010, 09:30
The Earth also gains mass from the energy it receives from the Sun (E=MC^2 again, but in reverse, energy to mass), though whether there is a net gain (from radiated losses) I don't know.

There can't be a net gain otherwise the Earth would be getting warmer....

NotAllThere
18th November 2010, 10:01
...

* It's reported as atoms, but may just be antiparticles, positron, antiquark, etc.
No, it's reported as atoms of anti-hydrogen. So positron bound to antiproton. The report says they'll soon be making considerably more than a few atoms....

(...at that point there was a very loud bang, and California fell into the sea ).

Alf W
18th November 2010, 10:02
Why do scientists want to f*** about with all this anti-matter and black hole stuff? Surely this is the adult equivalent of the game that we used to play as kids chucking bigger and bigger stones at a window until you found the one big enough to cave it in (at which point you realise the game was never that good an idea in the first place).

d000hg
18th November 2010, 10:04
I see. So really matter is just as useful, you just need to find a supply of antimatter to release its potential.Actually on further thought, it's impossible to release ALL or even most energy stored in regular matter. Fusion/Fission changes one element into another, and releases energy in the process. The net number of 'things' is still conserved e.g number of protons/neutrons (more complex in reality but the point is valid). However in matter/anti-matter, the actual sub-atomic particles are destroyed IIRC, e.g a proton and anti-proton collide and 'disappear' (again a simplification).

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 10:06
No, it's reported as atoms of anti-hydrogen. So positron bound to antiproton. The report says they'll soon be making considerably more than a few atoms....

(...at that point there was a very loud bang, and California fell into the sea ).

Which interestingly is the way the universe started, allegedly, with heavier elements taking (presumably) billions of years to arrive on the scene, needing stars to go supernova for their manufacture. It will be interesting to see if they can make heavier anti-elements, or even molecules.

NotAllThere
18th November 2010, 13:02
Why do scientists want to f*** about with all this anti-matter and black hole stuff? Because it is the adult equivalent of the game that we used to play as kids chucking bigger and bigger stones at a window until you found the one big enough to cave it in (at which point you realise the game was never that good an idea in the first place):ohwell


Actually on further thought, it's impossible to release ALL or even most energy stored in regular matter. Fusion/Fission changes one element into another, and releases energy in the process. The net number of 'things' is still conserved e.g number of protons/neutrons (more complex in reality but the point is valid). However in matter/anti-matter, the actual sub-atomic particles are destroyed IIRC, e.g a proton and anti-proton collide and 'disappear' (again a simplification).

No. In fission and fusion a small amount of matter is converted to energy. When you do the sums, you find that there's more energy after the reaction than before, with a corresponding loss of mass. In the Hiroshima explosion, about 700g of matter was converted to energy. In the 50MT Czar bomb, 2.3kg of matter was converted.

Mich the Tester
18th November 2010, 13:08
A few dozens of antimatter atoms* have been trapped for a record 1/5 second, paving the way for experiments on antimatter behaviour and properties to be carried out.
UC Berkeley physicists trap antimatter atoms (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/17/MN7K1GDIMN.DTL)

Despite the talk of Star Trek physics being possible, and that antimatter is the most energy dense (energy/mass) material theoretically possible, 100 times than that from nuclear fusion, that's still flip all enough to go zooming around the stars. Ever. Doomed.



* It's reported as atoms, but may just be antiparticles, positron, antiquark, etc.

:yay:

And kudos to TW for posting something more interesting than the economic drivel we see every day.

d000hg
18th November 2010, 13:16
No. In fission and fusion a small amount of matter is converted to energy. When you do the sums, you find that there's more energy after the reaction than before, with a corresponding loss of mass. In the Hiroshima explosion, about 700g of matter was converted to energy. In the 50MT Czar bomb, 2.3kg of matter was converted.Now go back and read what I said. Of course mass is converted to energy, that's the whole point of fission/fusion. But this energy comes from rearranging nucleons into lower-energy nuclei, releasing the extra binding energy as photons or as kinetic energy on escaping particles. As a result mass is converted to energy. But you don't lose anywhere near all the mass of material involved, and you don't end up losing a whole pile of nucleons... neutrons can shed electrons to form protons, etc.

In a M/AM event, you actually annihilate particles when they meet their anti-particle and cancel out, leaving energy behind.

kandr
18th November 2010, 13:17
Is any of this going increase my rate? Thought not.....NEXT!

d000hg
18th November 2010, 13:19
:yay:

And kudos to TW for posting something that DP, Sas et al don't even know how to comment on with stupid trolling, other than by using the rep system
FTFY

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 13:22
Now go back and read what I said. Of course mass is converted to energy, that's the whole point of fission/fusion. But this energy comes from rearranging nucleons into lower-energy nuclei, releasing the extra binding energy as photons or as kinetic energy on escaping particles. As a result mass is converted to energy. But you don't lose anywhere near all the mass of material involved, and you don't end up losing a whole pile of nucleons... neutrons can shed electrons to form protons, etc.

In a M/AM event, you actually annihilate particles when they meet their anti-particle and cancel out, leaving energy behind.

Things get interesting when you start thinking about this being done inside a sealed box that could (impossibly) contain the radiation. If matter and antimatter were completely annihilated inside a box, it's mass would remain unchanged and for an instant the box would presumably be full of pure energy instead of matter. But then what? Does matter reform? What is the equilibrium position? Assume a small box to save waiting around.

gingerjedi
18th November 2010, 13:23
Can it be taxed?

kandr
18th November 2010, 13:23
:yay:

And kudos to TW for posting something that some of the posters here will try and pretend they understand when they haven't even taken a Physics course and only read a Wikipedia article, so are like monkeys throwing shit around.

FTFY

d000hg
18th November 2010, 13:27
Things get interesting when you start thinking about this being done inside a sealed box that could (impossibly) contain the radiation. If matter and antimatter were completely annihilated inside a box, it's mass would remain unchanged and for an instant the box would presumably be full of pure energy instead of matter. But then what? Does matter reform? What is the equilibrium position? Assume a small box to save waiting around.Is it valid to posit "pure energy"? Something has to exist to contain the energy, you mean massless entities like photons?

Also, such an "impossible box" could be the event-horizon on a black-hole, no? Or is that cheating?

Mich the Tester
18th November 2010, 13:27
Why do scientists want to f*** about with all this anti-matter and black hole stuff?

Because they don't know what they're going to find, what use it will be and what new insights it will offer to improve the lot of mankind. The quest for knowledge in fundamental research is what ultimately provides knowledge for applied scientists; stop the fundamental research and before long, there'll be nothing to apply. That's the point of science; as Dara O' Briain says, 'if scientists knew everything, they'd stop'.

I could make a similar argument for art, in terms of researching innovations in aesthetics or new approaches to expressing emotion; the bad ideas are eventually filtered out and the good ones go on to inspire design and architecture, which undoubtedly has an influence on everyone's life.

d000hg
18th November 2010, 13:28
FTFYWho are you referring to kandr? I've a degree in physics. Not that anti-matter and exotic stuff features too heavily, there's so much to learn about more established areas first.

NotAllThere
18th November 2010, 13:28
Things get interesting when you start thinking about this being done inside a sealed box that could (impossibly) contain the radiation. If matter and antimatter were completely annihilated inside a box, it's mass would remain unchanged and for an instant the box would presumably be full of pure energy instead of matter. But then what? Does matter reform? What is the equilibrium position? Assume a small box to save waiting around.

IIRC, the equilibrium position is that a black hole forms.

Edit:
...
Also, such an "impossible box" could be the event-horizon on a black-hole, no? Or is that cheating?

Ah.

kandr
18th November 2010, 13:30
Who are you referring to kandr? I've a degree in physics. Not that anti-matter and exotic stuff features too heavily, there's so much to learn about more established areas first.

Not you. The others.

NotAllThere
18th November 2010, 13:30
Not you. The others.

Those with a degree in f.ckwittery.

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 13:38
Is it valid to posit "pure energy"? Something has to exist to contain the energy, you mean massless entities like photons?

Also, such an "impossible box" could be the event-horizon on a black-hole, no? Or is that cheating?

Yes, just radiation.

Well I suppose one could employ a black hole but that is complicating matters, and we know they are leaky (thanks Hawking).

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 13:47
The cat would die.

That could be it!

CheeseSlice
18th November 2010, 14:20
I've a degree in physics.

+1

Feeling jealous that I'm in the IT sector :bang: rather than in Geneva creating black holes and mini big-bangs. On the plus side IT projects are relatively short and you get to see the fruits of your labour sooner and more frequently than CERN et al do. Still jealous though.

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 15:36
But, of course, it would be both dead and undead until you opened the box.

Or both particle and wave.

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 15:38
I suppose that if it's undead, then it develops fangs & a thirst for blood.

Okay, that's perhaps taking the analogy a bit too far.

EternalOptimist
18th November 2010, 15:40
I have a laymans question for you physicists. Which is the most likely, getting household energy from anti matter, or getting it from fusion.

I emember reading a lot about houshold fusion powerplants by the year 2k, in the OMNI in the late 80's.
it all seemed very exiting at the time


:rolleyes:

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 15:43
I have a laymans question for you physicists. Which is the most likely, getting household energy from anti matter, or getting it from fusion.

I emember reading a lot about houshold fusion powerplants by the year 2k, in the OMNI in the late 80's.
it all seemed very exiting at the time


:rolleyes:

Antimatter is for energy storage rather than as an energy source. Fusion already works well for blowing cities up, but as a power source is always 50 years away, although they often deny it and say it is just around the corner, more funding please.

Troll
18th November 2010, 15:51
+1

Feeling jealous that I'm in the IT sector :bang: rather than in Geneva creating black holes and mini big-bangs. On the plus side IT projects are relatively short and you get to see the fruits of your labour sooner and more frequently than CERN et al do. Still jealous though.Imagine being a NASA Project Manager - all the excitement of getting the thing to the launchpad and into space.... then <fingers drubbing> wait months (years) (decades for Voyager 1- 17,366,987,132 KM at the mo) until it gets close to the destination

d000hg
18th November 2010, 16:19
We know fusion works... the sun is quite good at it. I think we can now sustain fusion (not sure) but it takes more energy to keep running than it produces.

So: I'd say Fusion, because getting hold of AM is tricky.

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 16:29
We know fusion works... the sun is quite good at it. I think we can now sustain fusion (not sure) but it takes more energy to keep running than it produces.

So: I'd say Fusion, because getting hold of AM is tricky.

Tricky is a bit of an understatement given that AFAIK there is no natural source of antimatter in the universe, and we don't really know why, although theories pop up regularly involving asymmetries. And on earth it is probably the most expensive, scarce substance created artificially second only to inkjet printer ink.

kandr
18th November 2010, 16:33
Tricky is a bit of an understatement given that AFAIK there is no natural source of antimatter in the universe, and we don't really know why, although theories pop up regularly involving asymmetries. And on earth it is probably the most expensive, scarce substance created artificially second only to inkjet printer ink.

:tumble:

TimberWolf
18th November 2010, 16:35
:tumble:

Are you bored with antimatter now?

EternalOptimist
18th November 2010, 17:11
Are you bored with antimatter now?

well I'm not.
but the last I heard, printer cartridges cost a bomb





:rolleyes:

centurian
18th November 2010, 18:33
Which interestingly is the way the universe started, allegedly, with heavier elements taking (presumably) billions of years to arrive on the scene, needing stars to go supernova for their manufacture. It will be interesting to see if they can make heavier anti-elements, or even molecules.

Yep. Everything heavier than Iron was cooked up in a supernova billions of years ago.

The lighter elements might have been created in a red giant (i.e. a star that didn't go fully nova).

Either way, all the atoms in our body heavier than helium were created in a star exploding. So we are all made of stardust.

d000hg
18th November 2010, 18:46
There's a reason Iron is the "magic stopping point" but I forget why. Something to do with energy levels I suppose... you can get to Iron with each 'reaction' generating energy but beyond that you have to put energy in to create heavier nuclei?

xoggoth
18th November 2010, 18:55
Bastards trapping nice little anti matter things. Someone should call the RSPCSAP.

Iron is an effective charm against witches and evil spirits that's why. Dark matter and antimatter and stuff are all evil.

OwlHoot
18th November 2010, 19:40
Either way, all the atoms in our body heavier than helium were created in a star exploding. So we are all made of stardust.

About half of all the lithium around today was created within the first few minutes after the Big Bang (before any stars had formed).

OwlHoot
18th November 2010, 19:41
There's a reason Iron is the "magic stopping point" but I forget why. Something to do with energy levels I suppose... you can get to Iron with each 'reaction' generating energy but beyond that you have to put energy in to create heavier nuclei?

nuclear binding energy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_binding_energy)

Doggy Styles
19th November 2010, 13:04
What colour is anti-matter?

EternalOptimist
19th November 2010, 13:08
What colour is anti-matter?

nobody knows. because

because...er

just because.

d000hg
19th November 2010, 13:35
What colour is anti-matter?What colour is regular matter?

Doggy Styles
19th November 2010, 13:45
What colour is regular matter?Well, I always though that protons were red, electrons were blue and neutrons were yellow. Or was it grey?

EternalOptimist
19th November 2010, 14:22
Well, I always though that protons were red, electrons were blue and neutrons were yellow. Or was it grey?

no, electrons are orange, I'm positive



:rolleyes:

TimberWolf
19th November 2010, 14:28
What colour is anti-matter?

Does it matter? Or should I say, does it antimatter? Anyway enough of the brilliant jokes:

It's the first thing they are going to look at according to this (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/science/antimatter-captured-in-major-scientific-breakthrough/article1803302/?cmpid=rss1) article. The big surprise will come if it's different to ordinary matter, together with much science being tipped into the bin.

d000hg
19th November 2010, 15:37
Colour when talking about individual atoms is a bit misleading though. I presume they are checking the (gaps between) energy levels of positrons around a -ve charge nucleus are equal.

RichardCranium
3rd December 2010, 20:09
They haven't even found di-lithium yet.

It'll take a while to get to anti-uranium. :eyes.And we'll need to get beyond the Anti-Island of Stability to get to building a matter/anti-matter di-lithium drive.

Arse. :mad

When I was littler and read sci-fi, I wanted to go to Alpha Centauri on one of the first colony ships.

Yet we still don't have flying cars, jaunt belts or food pills. :tantrum:

lightng
3rd December 2010, 23:25
When I was littler and read sci-fi, I wanted to go to Alpha Centauri on one of the first colony ships.


FTFM

When I was littler and looked at pictures in comic books, I wanted to fly to Alpha Centauri under my own power - after spending several years basking in the earthlings yellow sun that is.

FTFM (version II)

When I was littler and looked at pictures in my nan's Littlewoods catalogue (pages 1162 - 1178), I wanted to ... unfortunately at this point my mum would always burst into the room and order me to wear my boxing gloves to bed (yet again).

TimberWolf
5th June 2011, 21:59
Bottled for a mammoth 15 minutes now, paving the way for experiments relating to such mysteries as to where all the missing antimatter has gone, i.e. half the matter not in the universe.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1394583/Scientists-bottle-mysterious-substance-antimatter-used-weapon-mass-destruction-Dan-Brown-novels.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Nice bottle:

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/06/05/article-1394583-0C6AACD500000578-331_468x446.jpg

Cliphead
5th June 2011, 22:13
Some uncertainty about Heisenberg? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13626587)

scooterscot
5th June 2011, 22:21
Some uncertainty about Heisenberg? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13626587)

More info here:

Watching Photons Interfere: "Observing the Average Trajectories of Single Photons in a Two-Slit Interferometer" : Uncertain Principles (http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2011/06/watching_photons_interfere_obs.php)

TimberWolf
5th June 2011, 22:21
BBC News - Antimatter caught streaming from thunderstorms on Earth (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12158718)