From “Lightning Bolts Are Churning Out Antimatter All Over Planet Earth”

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November 27, 2017
Rafi Letzter

Credit: Vasin Lee/Shutterstock

Particles split in the hot belly of a lightning bolt. Radioactive particles decay in the afterglow. Gamma rays rain down to Earth.

Teruaki Enoto, a physicist at Kyoto University in Japan, proved for the first time, in a paper published Nov. 23 [Nature], that lightning bolts work as natural particle accelerators. Enoto and his co-authors’ results confirm for the first time speculation dating back to 1925 [Proceedings of the Physical Society of London] about this phenomenon. Back then, scientists suggested that energized, radioactive particles might zip through the booms and flashes of a thunderstorm. Those particles emit energy at precise wavelengths, which Enoto and colleagues are the first to detect.

See the full article here .

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