back to article CERN boffins fire ANTI-HYDROGEN BEAM

CERN scientists in the ASACUSA experiment have successfully fired a beam of antimatter and “unambiguously” tested it over a 2.7 metre distance. Why is this important? Because it's a lot easier to characterise stuff if you have lots of atoms of it, than if you have to crank them out one at a time. The aim is to use …

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  1. Jon Green
    Coat

    I guess this means...

    ...that CERN's also invented the anti-prism.

    (Mine's the asymmetric one with the charge violation note pinned to the lapel, ta.)

  2. SBU
    Mushroom

    What's with that?

    "The presence of the magnetic field, however, is inimical to spectroscopy"

    My question is why?

    1. Ian Bush
      Boffin

      Re: What's with that?

      Not my area, but my guess is that it is becuase the spectrum gets messed up in strong magnetic fields. See e.g.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeeman_effect

      Note that refers to first order perturbation terms - I suspect (but don't know) that the fields use at CERN are strong enough to make that a very poor approximation, and that many more terms are needed.

      1. Rick Giles
        Coat

        Re: What's with that?

        "Note that refers to first order perturbation..."

        <Butthead>

        You said "perturbation"...

        </Butthead>

        I'll get my coat...

    2. Lallabalalla

      Re: What's with that?

      Spectroscopy depends on the jumping of electrons from outer to inner orbits (releasing energy ie light packets in different wavelengths), and magnetism affects this behaviour.

      FYI The fact that light can be released in a non-continuous packet (or quanta) AND have a continuous wavelength is the stuff of quantum theory.

  3. coldfuion

    Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

    "It takes a lot of kit to make an antimatter atom"

    -No it does not.

    It takes a transformer that puts out extremely high voltage, low amperage electricity (say 25k Volts, little to no amperage). You connect a tiny battery to the transformer and create a radioactive LED. The voltage is pumped from the transformer to the LED. The LED needs to be made from a radioactive element known to give off gamma radiation. Your goal is High Energy Gamma Radiation. To obtain gamma at a higher energy you increase the voltage which increases the kinetic energy that bombards the radioactive metal. The higher the kinetic energy, the higher the gamma energy that is emitted from the LED.

    Know you know how to create what you need, use your brains to fill in the blanks or run a few tests of the gamma energy emitted until you get an element / voltage combination that works to create a "Gamma Bubble".

    You will know what the Gamma Bubble is when you achieve it. The high energy gamma irradiates the surrounding air, bends light in a form of a bubble. Really cool effect.

    Now you need to work on what is important: the creation of antimatter with the radioactive LED. As you toy with the element / voltage combination you will find out that if you irradiate an object it will change the amount of photon energy inside the atom itself. This leads to the creation of antimatter. STABLE Antimatter.

    When I say stable, I mean antimatter that once you create it -It lives on forever.

    "The “antimatter mystery” is this: why isn't there any around? "

    -There is. LARGE amounts of it. There is about as much if not more stable antimatter on the planet earth as regular matter.

    " Our current models of matter suggest that the Big Bang produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter, which should have annihilated each other and left us without a universe"

    -Your current models are a LIE.

    They lie to the public about physics because they use stable antimatter on a regular basis.

    For example.

    A regular atom has antimatter inside it.

    Really.

    A proton is not just a mix of quark constituents but rather a careful balance of the 2 particles you have come to know as "Electron" and "Antielectron/Positron".

    This means that there is a balance which there are more "Antielectron/Positron" particles than there are "Electron" particles which gives the "Proton" particle a positive charge.

    The Neutron particle has a similar balance but the outcome is a slightly negative charge.

    Have you not ever asked yourself why a Neutron is attracted to a Proton?

    There MUST be a charge for attraction, it is the law of nature.

    "since primordial antimatter has never been observed"

    -That is because it is INVISIBLE.

    When you do your experiments with the LED, you will find you can make objects invisible.

    I am not saying you should break the law, I am saying there is more than likely a reader with clearance for handling small amounts of radioactive material. That is who this text is geared towards.

    It is very simple. The reason why the antimatter is not stable is because of how much energy the particles contain. Too much energy and the particle is unstable. Your goal is to make stable, low energy antimatter.

    Energy = Photons inside a particle.

    This topic is discussed in detail on the website amanfrommars.blogspot.com in posting by me.

    The last posting was about Antigravity work using this technology.

    Do me a favor. Before you comment on my comment with anything negative -do the homework and try the experiment. Then you can flame me. When it works.

    1. Denarius
      Facepalm

      Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

      Dear Sir, what are you smoking ? Give it up, bad for lungs you know. As for particles and energy, yeah, we know. Gamma rays and electrons/positrons or if big enough energy protons and antiprotons pairs. See starship antimatter drives for best antimatter drives. As for energy in particles, whisky tango foxtrot ? Holds true for matter and antimatter. Now, back to the question, is there a behavioural difference ? Given that the quarks in protons and anti-protons are different, why not ?

      1. frank ly

        Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

        That was amazing. Can you write more 'articles' like that please?

      2. coldfuion

        Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

        " Given that the quarks in protons and anti-protons are different, why not ?"

        -Would difference be a net charge?

        Just a guess.

        What determines charge?

        Photons.

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

      coldfuion, I don't care what you smoke*. Upvote for creativity!

      *between the two of us, where do you get this stuff?

    3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

      try the experiment.

      OK. Connect battery (DC) to transformer. Result, nothing. Transformers don't work on DC. Fail at step 1.

      Total bollux.

      1. Roger Greenwood

        Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

        "Transformers don't work on DC"

        Er... actually they do, but not continuously. Can still create pulses.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

          Can still create pulses.

          True enough, but that still won't work for the "application" (I use the word loosely) described here!

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Oh, yes!

            We got another one of those!

            I for one would like to see a debate between Coldfuion and Luis Sancho, moderated by Faux Science Slayer and with live expert commentary by Andrea Rossi...

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

        try the experiment.

        OK. Connect battery (DC) to transformer

        Touch the terminals for the high-voltage windings with your fingers (those of ONE HAND unless you're feeling suicidal), then touch the battery to the primary windings.

        You'll be, ahem, enlightened.

        If you're mathematically inclined , do a Fourier transform on the step voltage pulse you're feeding the transformer, and use the resulting series of sine waves as input to the calculation for the transformer.

      3. Uffish

        Re: DC

        Tut tut. Look up transient response - alternatively, hold on to the output terminals of the transformer whilst I connect the battery. When you recover I will hold the output terminals, but not when you disconnect the battery.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

      Anyone linking to amanfrommars is not smoking anything, directly injecting maybe, but smoking no.

    5. hammarbtyp Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

      Just when you thought your day was going to be dull this ends up on your desktop.

      The author maybe madder than a sack full of squirrels but you have to admire their desire to hold onto their world view

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

        True, but you MUST reverse the polarity of the neutron flux!! Otherwise the described method is dangerous, and could lead to the end of the universe (again, sigh)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

      Lol

      What are you smoking

    7. Valeyard

      Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

      who was that guy who shot up loads of people then they found he spent all his life posting paranoid walls of text on forums and everyone thought he was a bit weird but harmless?

      Hi manfrommars1 ;)

    8. Old Handle

      Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

      The gamma bubble thing does sound cool though. You should sell kits. I don't think the average person knows where to get a radioactive LED.

    9. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

      "Have you not ever asked yourself why a Neutron is attracted to a Proton? There MUST be a charge for attraction, it is the law of nature."

      Electromagnetism isn't the only thing that causes two objects to be attracted to each other. The last time I checked there four fundamental forces, and one of them (the strong nuclear force) is responsible for binding nucleons to each other.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Antimatter information that is newsworthy:

        "There MUST be a charge for attraction, it is the law of nature."

        The charge for attraction is that of Unlawful Entanglement and carries the maximum penalty of quark confinement within a barn or beta-decay or both.

  4. Denarius
    Thumb Up

    hats off to CERN

    seriously good research. Actual handling of antimatter atoms is a serious bit of engineering. AFAIK, magnetic fields can alter electromagnetic energy polarisation which is disruptive if one is looking for extremely small changes.

    1. MarkSitkowski

      Re: hats off to CERN

      You don't need a magnetic field to contain antimatter.

      I happen to know, that a matter-antimatter reaction can be contained in a dilithium crystal, and can produce enough energy to accelerate a starship to Warp Factor 8 (even though the ship's engineer said 'The engines won't take, it, Captain')

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting

    I've been working on the premise that antigravity = antimatter.

    Nice to know that CERN might be about to prove my hypothesis, circa 2011.

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
      Coat

      Re antigravity

      You need prove? How do you think all the aliens came here? Presumably, they made of antimatter too, that's why we can't observe them anymore - they all went pop.

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Interesting

      Curiously, I've been working on the theory that antigravity = antipasto. Unfortunately all my attempts to build a bacon-powered starship have been foiled by people 'from the internet' turning up and eating the engines.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting

        antigravity = antipasto

        Could be worse. If antipasto = antimatter think of the indigestion.

      2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        "I've been working on the theory that antigravity = antipasto"

        Francis Boyle

        And I thought that despite eating loads of antipasti you still kept suffering more and more under gravity.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Go

      Re: Interesting

      I worked on the premise that Anti-matter = Anti-Ageing

      Nice to know that CERN might be about to rediscover my hypothesis, circa 1427 BC.

    4. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Interesting

      "antigravity = antimatter"

      All of the current models of physics predict that antimatter will fall "down" under gravity just like matter, but it has never been tested and that is another aspect of getting low speed antimatter atoms - to verify which way they move under gravity.

      It may seem like a done deal, but something as fundamental as that assumption, along with the original "where is all of it?" question about antimatter means it is still an important question to answer.

      1. John G Imrie

        Re: Interesting

        If Anti-matter does fall 'up' it would explain why we can't see any of it. is as far from us as it can get.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Interesting

        The prevailing theory is that antimatter still has positive mass and therefore would react normally to gravity, thus preserving conservation laws.

        In contrast to negative matter, which would have negative mass, react in the opposite way, and should never exist in our universe.

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Re negative matter

          Charles 9,

          I completely agree that negative matter should never exist in our universe. Problem is, it's all too common. As a matter of (negative?) fact, right now part of it is sitting & talking in the office next door.

  6. willi0000000
    Mushroom

    the Vatican is not pleased.

    [Carlo Ventresca last seen growing a mustache to twirl]

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Course they are not pleased, they have discovered that millions of pounds of stockpiled cash may not belong to them after all....yes I know unrelated to the article, but that the norm here isn't it?

      1. chr0m4t1c

        Nah, the norm is to somehow imply that Apple are involved in some evil way.

        Still, it'll be interesting to see CERN turn the LHC into the first warp coil and blast itself and a good chunk of Switzerland into space.

        If they time it right we might have the first people on Mars much sooner than currently anticipated.

        </STARTREK>

        1. Elmer Phud

          "Nah, the norm is to somehow imply that Apple are involved in some evil way."

          That's rubbish-- it's all because of W8.1

  7. hplasm Silver badge
    Pint

    Anti matter...

    Stuff that doesn't matter?

    Celebs are made of antimatter!

    Seriously though, Death Rays!

    Bzzt!

    (Sorry, I read That Post, above. I think it's catching...)

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: Anti matter...

      I think it ma be...

      I keep asking El Reg for a "I believe you to be completely Insane" vote button.. but it has not yet happened.

      ..I'd be willing to settle for it as an Icon, if I must.

  8. Crisp Silver badge
    Coat

    I for one welcome our new death ray wielding overlords.

    See Title.

  9. coldfuion

    About amanfrommars...

    RE:"Anyone linking to amanfrommars is not smoking anything, directly injecting maybe, but smoking no"

    Just because I post to a website does not give me any credibility.

    Let it be known I have no official affiliation with amanfrommars.

    I was a contractor for IBM, someone showed me theregister.co.uk, I found amanfrommars's crypto postings, I started posting to amanfrommars out of interest.

    I hope this clears things up a bit.

    1. Vic

      Re: About amanfrommars...

      > Just because I post to a website does not give me any credibility.

      You will probably never understand just how right you are, there...

      Vic.

  10. Tom 7 Silver badge

    "then if you have to crank them out one at a time"

    What? What if you crank them out one at a time?

  11. All names Taken
    Happy

    But shoorli asymmetry cannot be disproved until a stream of matter travels through a field of antimatter?

  12. Lallabalalla

    “The spectra of hydrogen and antihydrogen are predicted to be identical"

    Really? The spectra of anything depends on quantum theory. They could equally be utterly different. Or similar enough but instead of emitting light could be emitting anti-light ie this dark energy they are always banging on about.

    It could even be that an electron jumping to an outer orbit gains dark energy from an anti-electron jumping to an inner orbit and somehow converts it to light energy when it jumps inward again.

    It's also possible that dark energy and light energy are the same apart from our perception of it since nothing has any properties at all until it is measured in some way.

    Usually I prefer to say hang the sense of it. I never got an award for Norway but I'd rather be happy than right any time.

    1. Lallabalalla

      Re: “The spectra of hydrogen and antihydrogen are predicted to be identical"

      Haha two thumbs down? Who do you think you are, Einstein and Schroedinger?

      1. Lallabalalla

        Re: “The spectra of hydrogen and antihydrogen are predicted to be identical"

        And another! Sorry did I Bohr you? Haha stopit you ar slaying us etc

    2. southen bastard

      Re: “The spectra of hydrogen and antihydrogen are predicted to be identical"

      An up vote for the referance from hitch hikers guide to the galexy

  13. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

    serious question - not to be confused with earlier comments/screeds

    I have a legit question to which I have never gotten a satisfactory answer:

    How can we be certain that some distant galaxies are not, themselves, composed entirely of antimatter? I mean, how can you tell by looking at something zillions of light years away? The point of the experiment in the article is to determine if hydrogen and antihydrogen truly are "equal opposites," is it not? This means we currently do not know the answer to that question. Therefore, we may not be able to know for certain that at least some distant galaxies are composed of antimatter.

    Except for the rather important question of "why didn't all this matter/antimatter just annihilate each other shortly after the Big Bang when it was all so close together," this might otherwise answer the "antimatter mystery," i.e. where did it all go.

    Perhaps some galaxies or galaxy clusters are antimatter and the balance between that and "regular" matter is much closer to parity. It's just a theory and I certainly lay no claim to the scientific credentials required to say one way or the other. Merely an inquiring mind interested in expansion.

    1. JLH

      Re: serious question - not to be confused with earlier comments/screeds

      "Except for the rather important question of "why didn't all this matter/antimatter just annihilate each other shortly after the Big Bang when it was all so close together,"

      The reason is called CP violation - and is one of the reasons why high energy physicists study b quark decays so closely. (I studied high energy physics and was a member of a CERN experiment).

      http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/article/october-2005/explain-it-in-60-seconds

      All particle interactions are invariant under the operation CPT (charge conjugation, parity and time reversal). So all reactions should run at the same rate, forwards or backwards.

      However some reactions, such as b decay, exhibit an asymmetry under CP reversal. Which means they must have a different reaction rate (T).

      CP is the operation to turn a particle into its antiparticle, so CP violation means that some particles and antiparicles ahve different decay rates.

      I hope to goodness I have remembered the above correctly, and I stand to be corrected when a card carrying physicist comes along.

      1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

        Re: serious question - not to be confused with earlier comments/screeds

        @JLH. OK, thank you. I think I understood that. However, the larger question remains. Isn't it possible that there are entire galaxies or even galaxy clusters that are composed of antimatter and we presently lack the ability to tell the difference?

        1. coldfuion

          Re: serious question - not to be confused with earlier comments/screeds

          The reality is to make antimatter which is invisible (low energy antimatter) you need to use a low energy gamma energy. The earth as you know it is comprised of antimatter. there is antimatter in your home. To make it visible you use the radiation I mentioned.

          1. Vic

            Re: serious question - not to be confused with earlier comments/screeds

            > The earth as you know it is comprised of antimatter.

            You are so full of shit...

            Keep it up,. We enjoy a good boxafrogs around here :-)

            Vic.

          2. Evil Auditor Silver badge
            Stop

            @coldfuion

            Are you to science what Eadon is to operating systems?

          3. Roj Blake Silver badge

            Re: serious question - not to be confused with earlier comments/screeds

            "you need to use a low energy gamma energy."

            A gamma photon is by definition a high energy photon.

            1. coldfuion

              Re: serious question - not to be confused with earlier comments/screeds

              Quote from Wikipedia:

              "Gamma decay commonly produces energies of a few hundred keV, and almost always less than 10 MeV. In astronomy, gamma rays are defined by their energy"

              In this case "few hundred keV" would = Low Energy Gamma and "10 MeV" would = High Energy Gamma

              That would explain that.

        2. Simon Blakely
          Mushroom

          Re: serious question - not to be confused with earlier comments/screeds

          Space isn't empty - not even intergalactic voids. So if there are antimatter galaxies/galactic clusters, there has to be an interface between volumes that are primarily matter and primarily antimatter. And galaxies do collide, so some of those events should be matter/antimatter collisions. At these interfaces/collisions, matter and antimatter will annihilate, emitting gamma radiation at distinctive energy levels. People have been looking for this gamma radiation, but it has not been observed. So astronomers conclude that such annihilations do not occur, and that galactic masses of antimatter probably do not exist within our observable universe.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: serious question - not to be confused with earlier comments/screeds

            Even if all the matter and all the antimatter were sent in opposite directions so that they'd never meet? What research is there against that idea?

  14. mhenriday
    Thumb Up

    Very important work,

    Richard - kudos to the ASACUSA experimenters and many thanks to you for posting !...

    Henri

  15. poohbear

    Shaved

    I thought Occam said antimatter does not exist?

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