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  • richardmitnick 5:20 pm on October 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antimatter, Bs meson, , , , , , Syracuse University   

    From Syracuse University: “Syracuse Physicists Closer to Understanding Balance of Matter, Antimatter” 

    Syracuse University

    Syracuse University

    Physicists in the College of Arts and Sciences have made important discoveries regarding Bs meson particles—something that may explain why the universe contains more matter than antimatter.

    ss
    Sheldon Stone

    Distinguished Professor Sheldon Stone and his colleagues recently announced their findings at a workshop at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Titled Implications of LHCb Measurements and Their Future Prospects, the workshop enabled him and other members of the Large Hadron Collider beauty (LHCb) Collaboration to share recent data results.

    CERN LHCb New
    CERN LHCb

    The LHCb Collaboration is a multinational experiment that seeks to explore what happened after the Big Bang, causing matter to survive and flourish in the Universe. LHCb is an international experiment, based at CERN, involving more than 800 scientists and engineers from all over the world. At CERN, Stone heads up a team of 15 physicists from Syracuse.

    “Many international experiments are interested in the Bs meson because it oscillates between a matter particle and an antimatter particle,” says Stone, who heads up Syracuse’s High-Energy Physics Group. “Understanding its properties may shed light on charge-parity [CP] violation, which refers to the balance of matter and antimatter in the universe and is one of the biggest challenges of particle physics.”

    Scientists believe that, 14 billion years ago, energy coalesced to form equal quantities of matter and antimatter. As the universe cooled and expanded, its composition changed. Antimatter all but disappeared after the Big Bang (approximately 3.8 billion years ago), leaving behind matter to create everything from stars and galaxies to life on Earth.

    “Something must have happened to cause extra CP violation and, thus, form the universe as we know it,” Stone says.

    He thinks part of the answer lies in the Bs meson, which contains an antiquark and a strange quark and is bound together by a strong interaction. (A quark is a hard, point-like object found inside a proton and neutron that forms the nucleus of an atom.)

    Enter CERN, a European research organization that operates the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.

    In Geneva, Stone and his research team—which includes Liming Zhang, a former Syracuse research associate who is now a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China—have studied two landmark experiments that took place at Fermilab, a high-energy physics laboratory near Chicago, in 2009.

    lhc
    The Large Hadron Collider at CERN

    The experiments involved the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) and the DZero (D0), four-story detectors that were part of Fermilab’s now-defunct Tevatron, then one of the world’s highest-energy particle accelerators.

    “Results from D0 and CDF showed that the matter-antimatter oscillations of the Bs meson deviated from the standard model of physics, but the uncertainties of their results were too high to make any solid conclusions,” Stone says.

    He and Zhang had no choice but to devise a technique allowing for more precise measurements of Bs mesons. Their new result shows that the difference in oscillations between the Bs and anti-Bs meson is just as the standard model has predicted.

    Stone says the new measurement dramatically restricts the realms where new physics could be hiding, forcing physicists to expand their searches into other areas. “Everyone knows there is new physics. We just need to perform more sensitive analyses to sniff it out,” he adds.

    See the full article here.

    Syracuse University was officially chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution offering programs in the physical sciences and modern languages. The university is located in the heart of Central New York, is within easy driving distance of Toronto, Boston, Montreal, and New York City. SU offers a rich mix of academic programs, alumni activities, and immersion opportunities in numerous centers in the U.S. and around the globe, including major hubs in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. The total student population at Syracuse University represents all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries.

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  • richardmitnick 2:25 pm on April 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antimatter, , ,   

    From PhysicsWorld.com: “Interferometry tips the scales on antimatter” 

    physicsworld

    Apr 7, 2014

    Tushna Commissariat

    A new technique for measuring how antimatter falls under gravity has been proposed by researchers in the US. The team says that its device – based on cooling atoms of antimatter and making them interfere – could also help to test Einstein’s equivalence principle with antihydrogen – something that could have far-reaching consequences for cosmology. Finding even the smallest of differences between the behaviour of matter and antimatter could shine a light on why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe today, as well as help us to better understand the nature of the dark universe.

    alpha
    Trapping potential: The ALPHA experiment at CERN

    Up or down?

    First detected at CERN in 1995, physicists have long wondered how antimatter is affected by gravity – does it fall up or down? Most theoretical and experimental work suggests that gravity probably acts in exactly the same way on antimatter as it does on matter. The problem is that antimatter is difficult to produce and study, meaning that no direct experimental measurements of its behaviour under gravity have been made to date.

    One big step forward took place last year, when researchers at the ALPHA experiment at CERN measured how long it takes atoms of antihydrogen – made up of a positron surrounding an antiproton – to reach the edges of a magnetic trap after it is switched off. Although ALPHA did not find any evidence of the antihydrogen responding differently to gravity, the team was able to rule out the possibility that antimatter responds much more strongly to gravity than matter.

    CERN ALPHA New
    Alpha Collaboration’s Official image

    Waving matter

    Such experiments are hard to carry out, however – antimatter is difficult to produce on a large scale and it annihilates when it comes into contact with regular matter, making it difficult to trap and hold. The new interferometry technique – proposed by Holger Müller and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, and Auburn University in Alabama – exploits the fact that a beam of antimatter atoms can, like light, be split, sent along two paths and made to interfere, with the amount of interference depending on the phase shift between the two beams. The researchers say the light-pulse atom interferometer, which they plan to install at the ALPHA experiment, could work not only with almost any type of atom or anti-atom, but also with electrons and protons.

    In the proposed interferometer, the matter waves would be split and recombined using pulses of laser light. If an atom interacts with the laser beam, it will receive a “kick” from the momentum of a pair of photons, creating the split, explains Müller. By tuning the laser to the correct pulse energy, this process can be made to happen with a probability of 50%, sending the matter waves along either of the two arms of the interferometer. When the paths join again, the probability of detecting the anti-atom depends on the amplitude of the matter wave, which becomes a function of the phase shift.

    Annihilation danger?

    Müller adds that the phase shift depends on the acceleration due to gravity (g), the momentum of the photons (and so the magnitude of the kick) and the time interval between each laser pulse. Measuring the phase shift is therefore a way of measuring g, because the momentum and the time interval are both known. The biggest advantage of the technique is that the anti-atoms will not be in danger of annihilating because they will never come close to any mechanical objects, being moved with light and magnetic fields only.

    Müller’s idea is to combine two proven technologies: light-pulse atom interferometry and ALPHA’s method of producing antihydrogen using its Penning trap. He points out that the team’s proposed method does not assume availability of a laser resonant with the Lyman-alpha transition in hydrogen, which can be very difficult to build. To make the whole experiment even more efficient, the team has also developed what Müller describes as an “atom recycling method”, which allows the researchers to work with “realistic” atom numbers. “The atom is enclosed inside magnetic fields that prevent it from going away. Thus, an atom that hasn’t been hit by the laser on our first attempt has a chance to get hit later. This way, we can use almost every single atom – a crucial feat at a production rate of one every 15 minutes,” he explains. This would let ALPHA measure the gravitational acceleration of antihydrogen to a precision of 1%.

    Precise and accurate

    The team plans to build a demo set-up at Berkeley, which will work with regular hydrogen, and hopes to secure funding for this soon. Müller and colleagues are now also part of the APLHA collaboration. “The work at CERN will proceed in several steps,” he says. “The first is an up/down measurement telling [us] whether the antimatter will go up or down,” he says. This will be followed by a measurement of per-cent-level accuracy. Müller’s long-term aim is get to a precision of 10–6, which would be vastly superior to ALPHA’s measurement last year, which has an error bar of 102. ALPHA can currently trap and hold atoms at the rate of four each hour, but thanks to recent upgrades at its source of antiprotons – the ELENA ring – CERN could theoretically produce nearly 3000 atoms per month. In addition to ALPHA, the GBAR and AEgIS collaborations are also planning to measure gravity’s effects on antimatter.

    While Müller agrees that the gravitational behaviour of antimatter can be studied from experiments with normal matter, a direct observation is essential, and that is what Müller, the ALPHA collaboration and the other teams at CERN are keen to accomplish in the near future. “No matter how sound one’s theory, there is no substitute in science for a direct observation,” he says.

    See the full article here.

    PhysicsWorld is a publication of the Institute of Physics. The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. We are a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application.

    We engage with policymakers and the general public to develop awareness and understanding of the value of physics and, through IOP Publishing, we are world leaders in professional scientific communications.

    IOP Institute of Physics


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  • richardmitnick 8:21 pm on November 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antimatter, , , , ,   

    From NASA/Chandra: “Bullet Cluster: Searching for Primordial Antimatter” 

    NASA Chandra

    This view of the Bullet Cluster, located about 3.8 billion light years from Earth, combines an image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory with optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Magellan telescope in Chile. This cluster, officially known as 1E 0657-56, was formed after the violent collision of two large clusters of galaxies. It has become an extremely popular object for astrophysical research, including studies of the properties of dark matter and the dynamics of million-degree gas.

    bullet
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/M.Markevitch et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI; Magellan/U.Arizona/D.Clowe et al.
    Release Date October 30, 2008

    In the latest research, the Bullet Cluster has been used to search for the presence of antimatter leftover from the very early Universe. Antimatter is made up of elementary particles that have the same masses as their corresponding matter counterparts – protons, neutrons and electrons – but the opposite charges and magnetic properties.

    The optical image shows the galaxies in the Bullet Cluster and the X-ray image (red) reveals how much hot gas has collided. If some of the gas from either cluster has particles of antimatter, then there will be annihilation between the matter and antimatter and the X-rays will be accompanied by gamma rays.

    The observed amount of X-rays from Chandra and the non-detection of gamma rays from NASA’s Compton Gamma Ray Observatory show that the antimatter fraction in the Bullet Cluster is less than three parts per million. Moreover, simulations of the Bullet Cluster merger show that these results rule out any significant amounts of antimatter over scales of about 65 million light years, an estimate of the original separation of the two colliding clusters.

    See the full article here.

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


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  • richardmitnick 12:35 pm on June 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antimatter, , ,   

    From CERN: “New experiment to gain unparalleled insight into antimatter” 

    CERN New Masthead

    18 June 2013
    Katarina Anthony

    “At last week’s Research Board meeting, the Baryon Antibaryon Symmetry Experiment (BASE) was approved for installation at CERN. The collaboration will be setting up shop in the AD Hall this September with its first CERN-based experimental set-up. Using the novel double-Penning trap set-up developed at the University of Mainz, GSI Darmstadt and the Max Plank Institute for Nuclear Physics (Germany), the BASE team will be able to measure the antiproton magnetic moment with hitherto un’eachable part-per-billion precision.’

    hall
    CERN’s AD Hall: the new home of the BASE double Penning trap set-up (Image: CERN)

    ‘We constructed the first double-Penning trap at our companion facility in Germany, and made the first ever direct observations of single spin flips of a single proton,” says Stefan Ulmer from RIKEN, Japan, the spokesperson of the BASE collaboration. ‘We also recently demonstrated the first application of the double Penning trap technique with a single proton. This success means we are now ready to use the technique to measure the proton magnetic moment with ultra-high precision and to apply the technique to the antiproton.’”

    da
    Layout of the new BASE collaboration set-up to be installed in the AD Hall (Image: BASE)

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 4:57 pm on April 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Antimatter, , , ,   

    From Symmetry: “Matter, antimatter, we all fall down—right?” 

    April 30, 2013
    Ashley WennersHerron

    Scientists perform the first direct investigation into how antimatter interacts with gravity.

    What goes up must come down, the saying goes. But things might work a little differently with antimatter.
    A CERN-based experiment has taken the first step in investigating exactly how antimatter interacts with gravity.

    men
    Photo: CERN

    Atimatter particles should mimic those of matter particles. If it turns out that there is a difference, it will be a sign of dramatically new physics.
    CERN ALPHA NewSo far, no one has been able to test directly how antimatter interacts with gravity—but the ALPHA experiment has begun to try.

    The ALPHA experiment’s main purpose is to trap and study antihydrogen atoms, the antimatter partners of hydrogen atoms. The antihydrogen atoms are held in place inside a tube by magnetic forces. Physicists on ALPHA have trapped more than 500 antiatoms since 2010. They keep them in their trap for up to about 16 minutes. When they turn off their magnets, the antiatoms fall out of the trap. A highly sensitive detector tracks the antiatoms and records where they first come in contact with matter and annihilate.”

    See the full article here.

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.


     
  • richardmitnick 1:00 pm on April 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antimatter, , , ,   

    From CERN at Quantum Diaries: “Grey matter confronted to dark matter” 

    THIS QUANTUM DIARIES POST IS PRESENTED IN ITS ENTIRETY BECAUSE OF ITS IMPORTANCE.

    April 4th, 2013
    Pauline Gagnon

    Pauline Gagnon

    “After 18 years spent building the experiment and nearly two years taking data from the International Space Station, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer or AMS-02 collaboration showed its first results on Wednesday to a packed audience at CERN. But Prof. Sam Ting, one of the 1976 Nobel laureates and spokesperson of the experiment, only revealed part of the positron energy spectrum measured so far by AMS-02.

    Positrons are the antimatter of electrons. Given we live in a world where matter dominates, it is not easy to explain where this excess of positrons comes from. There are currently two popular hypotheses: either the positrons come from pulsars or they originate from the annihilation of dark matter particles into a pair of electron and positron. To tell these two hypotheses apart, one needs to see exactly what happens at the high-energy end of the spectrum. But this is where fewer positrons are found, making it extremely difficult to achieve the needed precision. Yesterday, we learned that AMS-02 might indeed be able to reach the needed accuracy.

    graph
    The fraction of positrons (measured with respect to the sum of electrons and positrons) captured by AMS-02 as a function of their energy is shown in red. The vertical bars indicate the size of the uncertainty. The most important part of this spectrum is the high-energy part (above 100 GeV or 102) where the results of two previous experiments are also shown: Fermi in green and PAMELA in blue. Note that the AMS-02 precision exceeds the one obtained by the other experiments. The spectrum also extends to higher energy. The big question now is to see if the red curve will drop sharply at higher energy or not. More data is needed before the AMS-02 can get a definitive answer.

    Only the first part of the story was revealed yesterday. The data shown clearly demonstrated the power of AMS-02. That was the excellent news delivered at the seminar: AMS-02 will be able to measure the energy spectrum accurately enough to eventually be able to tell where the positrons come from.

    But the second part of the story, the punch line everyone was waiting for, will only be delivered at a later time. The data at very high energy will reveal if the observed excess in positrons comes from dark matter annihilation or from “simple” pulsars. How long will it take before the world gets this crucial answer from AMS-02? Prof. Ting would not tell. No matter how long, the whole scientific community will be waiting with great anticipation until the collaboration is confident their measurement is precise enough. And then we will know.

    If AMS-02 does manage to show that the positron excess has a dark matter origin, the consequences would be equivalent to discovering a whole new continent. As it stands, we observe that 26.8% of the content of the Universe comes in the form of a completely unknown type of matter called dark matter but have never been able to catch any of it. We only detect its presence through its gravitational effects. If AMS-02 can prove dark matter particles can annihilate and produce pairs of electrons and positrons, it would be a complete revolution.”

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  • richardmitnick 8:49 am on March 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antimatter, , , , ,   

    From CERN: “Still making tracks: Eighty Years of the Positron” 

    CERN New Masthead

    March 15, 2013
    Kelly Ann Izlar

    “Eighty years ago today, the journal Physical Review published a paper by physicist Carl Anderson announcing the discovery of the positron.

    pos

    The positron is the antimatter counterpart of the electron. The two particles have identical masses but opposite charges. When an electron and a positron interact, they annihilate in a burst of energy, producing two gamma rays.

    lep
    LEP at CERN

    In the early 1930s, Anderson and his mentor, Robert Millikan, were using a cloud chamber to measure high-energy cosmic rays.

    A cloud chamber’s sealed cavity contains a supersaturated vapour, usually water or alcohol, which condenses around ion trails left behind by fast-moving charged particles, allowing them to be seen as they pass through. Physicists can deduce the charge of a particle from the way it curves when the chamber is subjected to a magnetic field.

    In August of 1932, Anderson photographed the track of a high-energy particle with a mass about the same as an electron’s but with a positive charge. By measuring both the energy the particle lost in crossing a lead plate within the chamber and the length of the track on the other side of the lead, he determined an upper limit for the particle’s mass. He found it to be of the same order of magnitude as the electron’s mass.

    Anderson had observed a new kind of particle, which he named the positron. It was soon to be identified as the first antiparticle, the antielectron.”

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  • richardmitnick 8:58 am on January 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Antimatter, , , , , ,   

    From CERN: “AEGIS completes installation” 

    CERN New Masthead

    CERN

    29 Jan 2013
    Katarina Anthony

    The AEGIS experiment plans to make the first direct measurement of Earth’s gravitational effect on antimatter. By sending a beam of antihydrogen atoms through very thin gratings, the experiment will measure how far the antihydrogen atoms fall during their horizontal flight. Combining this with the time each atom takes to fly and fall, the AEGIS team can determine the strength of the gravitational force between the Earth and the antihydrogen atoms.

    aegis
    The AEGIS experiment in the Antiproton Decelerator Hall at CERN (Image: CERN)

    ‘By the end of 2012, we had finished by putting all the elements of the experiment together,’ says AEGIS spokesperson Michael Doser. ‘Now we have to show that they can all work together and, unfortunately, we will have no antiproton beams for a long period due to the machines’ shutdown.

    But instead of waiting for two years for beams to return to the Antiproton Decelerator Hall, the AEGIS team has come up with an alternative. If they can’t work with antihydrogen, why not try out their experiment with hydrogen?

    ap
    The Antiproton Decelerator

    ‘We want to make sure we understand how to make antihydrogen and our diagnostic will be the formation of hydrogen,’ says Doser. ‘If we succeed in making hydrogen this year, that will be a huge step forward; and if we can make hydrogen beams next year, then we’ll really be in business.’

    The AEGIS team will be carrying out this commissioning during the coming months, opening up their setup next month to make any necessary adjustments, and to install a hydrogen detector and proton source.”

    See the full article here. Please follow the links in this article to learn more.

    Meet CERN in a variety of places:

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    CERN ATLAS New

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  • richardmitnick 10:05 am on January 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antimatter, , ,   

    From Space.com: “Coldest Antimatter Yet Is Goal of New Technique” 

    SpacedotcomHeader
    Space.com

    This is copyright protected, so just a couple of hints to pique your interest.

    07 January 2013
    Clara Moskowitz

    “Scientists have devised a new method of cooling down antimatter to make it easier to experiment on than ever before. The new technique could help researchers probe the mysteries of antimatter, including why it’s so rare compared with matter in the universe.

    The new technique is focused on antihydrogen atoms, which contain one positron and one antiproton (regular hydrogen contains one electron and one proton).

    antimatter
    From StartsWithABang at ScienceBlogs

    ‘The ultimate goal of antihydrogen experiments is to compare its properties to those of hydrogen,’ physicist Francis Robicheaux of Auburn University in Alabama said in a statement. ‘Colder antihydrogen will be an important step for achieving this.’

    Robicheaux is the co-author of a paper describing the new cooling method published today (Jan. 6) in the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics.”

    See the full article here.

    SPACE.com, launched in 1999, is the world’s No. 1 source for news of astronomy, skywatching, space exploration, commercial spaceflight and related technologies. Our team of experienced reporters, editors and video producers explore the latest discoveries, missions, trends and futuristic ideas, interviewing expert sources and offering up deep and broad analysis of the findings and issues that are fundamental to or understanding of the universe and our place in it. SPACE.com articles are regularly featured on the web sites of our media partners: MSNBC.com, Yahoo!, the Christian Science Monitor and others.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:36 am on September 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antimatter, , ,   

    From Fermilab Today: “Physics in a Nutshell – What’s the deal with antimatter?” 


    Fermilab is an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    Friday, Sept. 7, 2012
    Don Lincoln

    In 1928, Paul Dirac predicted the existence of antimatter when he successfully merged Einstein’s theory of special relativity with quantum mechanics. His equations had two solutions. One explained ordinary matter while the other solution was the negative of the first. After people proposed a few ideas as to what the second solution meant, the situation became greatly clarified in 1932 with Carl Anderson’s discovery of antimatter high in the Colorado Rockies.”

    image
    Antimatter and matter are antagonistic substances that can annihilate into energy. Conversely, energy can make matter and antimatter in equal quantities. The fact that our universe is made entirely of matter is not understood. No image credit.

    [Antimatter is] actually not much different from ordinary matter. There are antiquarks, antileptons, antiprotons, antineutrons and antielectrons. If we had a bunch of these antiparticles, we could make anti-atoms and indeed an entire anti-universe. To the best of our knowledge, this universe would have identical chemistry as our own. We even have some supporting evidence for this, as anti-hydrogen and anti-helium have been created.”

    Don has written a great exposition of a huge question. See the full article here.

    Watch a short video on the subject.

    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics.


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