back to article Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer set to sniff out strangelets

The crews of space shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station have completed the installation of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS, or AMS-02) – the $2bn piece of kit designed to "advance knowledge of the universe and lead to the understanding of the universe's origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter and …

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Headmaster

Yes, you behind the bikesheds! Stand still laddy!

"Strangelets – a "a totally new form of matter" comprising three quarks (u, d and s), as opposed to our modest earthly matter, which has only two quarks (u and d)."

NO!

Strangelets have a "strange" quark, so hadrons (3-quark units) like [up, down, strange] or mesons (2-quark units) like [up, strange] belong to that set.

Bog standard low-energy matter as we encounter everyday uses up and down exclusively so hadrons like the neutron [up, down, down] or mesons like [up, down] belong to that set.

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xyz

@Destroy All Monsters

Wot he said...If we only had 2 quarks it would make my life a sh*te site easier.

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WTF?

Magnets - how do they work?

Specifically permanent magnets. They will pull things towards them. When they do, they've done work.

Where does the energy for the work come from?

Why doesn't/does the strength of the remaining magnetic field go down?

Do they wear out?

I'm sure this is GCSE physics but I'm buggered if I can remember it.

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Boffin

Good point....

In principle, a magnetic field does not do work - it acts on moving charges only -- orthogonally to the vector of movement, thus FORCE dotproduct VELOCITY is zero. Ok, that doesn't help here.

Now, if your wrench is pulled towards the permanent magnet because the electrons have some correlation in their orbital movements [in the classical approach], then clearly work is being done. It must come from the potential energy inherent in the start configuration. Once the wrench is on the magnet, the total field magnetic should be reduced, as the wrench will start to behave like a magnet with inverse polarity.... that should be about it...

Anyway ... something for physicsexchange, I reckon.

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