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  • richardmitnick 3:50 pm on August 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CERN AEGIS, ,   

    From Symmetry: "Antimatter experiment seeks help from the crowd" 

    After a successful trial run, a CERN antimatter experiment plans to use crowdsourcing to analyze its data.

    August 16, 2013
    Ashley WennersHerron and Kathryn Jepsen

    “Scientists investigating the effect of gravity on animatter recently conducted a different kind of experiment: They asked members of the public to help them analyze their data. Anyone with access to a computer and the Internet was welcome to take part in the trial run, which went off without a hitch. The scientists plan to do it again in the coming months.

    The AEgIS experiment at CERN examines beams of antimatter particles, recording the points at which they begin to deviate from their normal trajectories and the points at which they come into contact with matter and annihilate. Seeing how quickly—and in what direction—the particles fall will offer insight into just how the antimatter feels gravity’s pull.


    The experiment requires the scientists to match up pairs of dots to trace each particle’s path. They have a lot of dots to connect. ‘We have so much data that automation or many volunteers are the only options at this point,’ says CERN physicist Michael Doser, who leads the experiment. The scientists could try to create a program to do this job, Doser says, but people are just better than machines at this kind of pattern recognition. ‘So we brought the data to the people.’

    The scientists decided to release a small fraction of the data to the public as a test.

    The crowdsourcing software renders the particle tracks as a 3D image. Courtesy of: CERN

    Last month, a small group of students at CERN’s Summer Student Webfest designed a crowdsourcing program for AEgIS. Last week, the experiment put out the call for help. In the first hour, several hundred volunteers completed the task. ‘I expect a publication or two sometime in early 2014 on this analysis which directly benefits from help from the public,’ Doser says.

    Anyone interested in taking part in the next experiment in armchair physics can watch for the call on the AEgIS website. ”

    See the full article here.

    Symmetry is a joint Fermilab/SLAC publication.

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  • richardmitnick 11:38 am on February 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CERN AEGIS, , ,   

    From CERN: “Fat antiatoms, laser beams and matter-antimatter asymmetry” 

    CERN New Masthead


    Stephanie Hills
    12 Feb 2013

    Imagine being able to ‘inflate’ an atom with a laser, then slow it down, catch it or bend it around corners. At the AEGIS experiment at the Antiproton Decelerator, Stephen Hogan of University College London and an international team of collaborators are trying to do just that.

    Antiproton Decelerator

    AEGIS is designed to test whether antimatter complies with the weak equivalence principle (WEP), a mathematical concept that states that the acceleration experienced by a particle in a gravitational field is independent of its mass and composition. The principle has been tested with very high precision for matter, but never for antimatter. If results from AEGIS show that the gravitational acceleration of antimatter in the Earth’s gravitational field is different to that of matter, this could provide clues to why our universe is now dominated by matter, even though matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts during the big bang.

    The AEGIS experiment in the antimatter hall at CERN aims to make the first direct measurement of Earth’s gravitational effect on antimatter (Image: CERN)

    ‘We know that in our observable universe there is an asymmetry between matter and antimatter, but there is no consensus among the theorists as to why this is,’ says Hogan. ‘If gravity is different for antimatter, this might give us a clue. The results of our experiment will help guide us toward an appropriate theory.’”

    See the full article here.

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