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Design Starting For Matter-Antimatter Collider

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the dump-the-warp-core dept.

Sci-Fi 191

couch_warrior writes "The Register is carrying a story on the early design efforts for the next generation of high-energy particle accelerators. They will be linear, and will collide matter and antimatter in the form of electrons and positrons. The obvious question will be: once we have a matter-antimatter reactor, how long till we have warp drive, and will the Vulcans show up for a sneak-peak?"

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191 comments

antimatter (2, Insightful)

byteframe (924916) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677973)

Antimatter is like matter, but with an opposite electrical charge.

Re:antimatter (5, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678835)

Antimatter is like matter, but with an opposite electrical charge.

Kind of like your karma points for that comment ;)

Re:antimatter (2, Interesting)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679369)

I thought it had something to do with time... Like, positrons were electrons going the other way in time, which is why they annihilate when they collide and produce a photon. Really the electron is hitting a photon and turning around in time. Likewise with pair production. Anyone know if this is right? I honestly think that quantum physics book was chock full of lies...

Re:antimatter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29679667)

That is a theory on antimatter, yes. The mathematics of that system produce certain observed values quite cleanly. As with everything in this field, it's probably not a very firm theory until we experiment more.

obvious question (4, Funny)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677977)

The obvious question will be: once we have a matter-antimatter reactor, how long till we have warp drive, and will the Vulcans show up for a sneak-peak?"

Maybe in a Star Trek convention...

Are you out of your vulcan mind ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678805)

Annihilation is the only outcome possible !! The Universe will cease to be. Just like it used to !! But if had before ceased to exist, then it must have existed always, or it could not have ceased to exist !! Puny humans !!

Re:obvious question (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678861)

Maybe in a Star Trek convention...

Hey, don't knock it. If the lowly budget of a star trek convention can afford to have anti-matter reactors lying around, then we all can!

Wrong Question (5, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677985)

The obvious question will be: once we have a matter-antimatter reactor, how long till we have warp drive, and will the Vulcans show up for a sneak-peak?"

Actually, I think the next question would be: "Now how can get some antimatter?"

It's my understanding that we can only manufacture ridiculously minute quantities of the stuff, and that may take more energy to make than we'll get out of it anyways.

Re:Wrong Question (3, Insightful)

StrategicIrony (1183007) | more than 4 years ago | (#29677995)

antimatter is like molecular hydrogen as a fuel for fuel cells. It's more of a storage device of energy than it is a a way to "produce" energy.

At this point it's terribly inefficient, but theoretically, it could be a viable means of taking an enormous amount of energy and storing it in a small place. :-)

Re:Wrong Question (2, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678005)

At least you don't need to keep electromagnets powered up to store hydrogen...

Re:Wrong Question (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678379)

hydrogen:antimatter::refrigerator:electromagnet

Re:Wrong Question (1)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678519)

But if the fridge shuts down then - barring some hideously stupid design choices - you would probably have enough time to eject it before it went pop...

Re:Wrong Question (4, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678883)

theoretically, it could be a viable means of taking an enormous amount of energy and storing it in a small place.

The same effect can be achieved with a swift kick to the nuts.

Re:Wrong Question (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678937)

It's not obvious that the total energy density when you factor in the containment etc. will actually be all that great. Certainly you'd have to have a project which needed some absolutely mind-blowing energy density requirements to justify the cost.

Re:Wrong Question (4, Informative)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678021)

Actually, I think the next question would be: "Now how can get some antimatter?"

It's my understanding that we can only manufacture ridiculously minute quantities of the stuff, and that may take more energy to make than we'll get out of it anyways.

It WILL take more energy than we can get out of it. They have to make the positrons first before destroying them.

The point of this is to see how the particles behave to validate or disprove current theories. This isn't being done to make an unlimited source of energy.

Re:Wrong Question (4, Informative)

Archaemic (1546639) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678027)

If you call hundreds of billions [cosmosmagazine.com] ridiculously minute, then maybe.

Re:Wrong Question (5, Insightful)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678123)

Yeah, I do call that minute. Positrons (the cheap stuff) costs ~$25 Billion per gram [wikipedia.org]. "Hundreds of billions" of positrons is a few orders of magnitude less than that (to put it mildly).

Re:Wrong Question (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678199)

Ask for a bulk discount.

Re:Wrong Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678493)

A positron weighs 9 x 10^-28 g
So, 100 billion of them weigh 9 x10^-17 g
Which would make them worth 0.000225 cents

Now suppose you collide them with an equal number of electrons and annihilate them all.
According to e=mc2, you would get an explosion equal to... 3.9 micrograms of TNT!

Re:Wrong Question (1)

BenihanaX (1405543) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678127)

Hundreds of billions (1*10^11) IS ridiculously minute, as there are 6*10^23 atoms in just a gram of Hydrogen. To give you some idea of how great a difference that is, Pluto is on average about 6*10^12 meters (not km) from the Sun. Fortunately we don't need that much for the sorts of experiments they'll be doing.

Re:Wrong Question (1)

Archaemic (1546639) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678185)

This is my point. Ridiculously minute is a relative thing here. Sure, 100 billion is a big number. Sure, Avogadro's number is a LOT bigger. However, I don't imagine they'd be needing quite that many particles for what they're doing. But really, I don't know. I'm not a physicist, I'm just speculating. 100 billion seems like a lot of particles to be smashing together in a linear accelerator, though.

Re:Wrong Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678339)

In the LHC, one bunch of protons contains 10^11 protons. That's 100 trillion, and there are 2208 bunches in the beam at any given time. [numbers off wikipedia]

100 Billion is ridiculously minute, at least for now.

Re:Wrong Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678135)

FDTYGUTGYUOHIO

Re:Wrong Question (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678155)

Oh yeah, I love that news wire article.. it was repeated dozens of times in different magazines and news papers. Unfortunately, no-one has bothered to actually track down a reference to a scholarly publication for it. In fact, there is none, the technique was presented at a conference and no-one has reproduced it.. there's no papers quantifying exactly how much antimatter was made and at what temperatures.

Re:Wrong Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678163)

You know that Avogadro's number is 6.02*10^23, right?

"Hundreds of billions" is on the scale of 100,000,000,000 or 10^11. If you had hundreds of billions of hundreds of billions, you would get up to 10^22, or one order of magnitude less than Avogadro's number. If you take 12g of carbon, it is a very small pile of ash. This pile contains approximately Avogadro's number of carbon atoms. In a small pile you can easily hold in your hand.

So yes, we can create only ridiculously minute amounts of antimatter on a human scale.

Re:Wrong Question (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678291)

Hundreds of billions still ain't a lot when you're talking about nucleons for use as a fuel. When you annihilate it you should get about ten joules, or enough to raise the temperature of a tiny drop of water by a couple of degrees.

Re:Wrong Question (1)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678377)

But that doesn't change the fact that if we have to MAKE the antimatter then it is physically impossible to get more energy out of it then we put in to it. Fusion works because there is hydrogen laying around everywhere. Fission works because there's easy to get uranium. Even fossil fuels work because they're already there for us to dig up. Unless we find some way to gather up natural antimatter this won't be useful way to produce energy.

Re:Wrong Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678657)

Yes you need to spend energy to create positrons, but you don't need to spend E=mc to 'produce' electrons, but you do get E=mc out of the electron's disintegration. Half the mass already existed, half of it was created with energy input, all of it is burned, assuming equal mass and ignoring practical inefficiencies E(out) = 2xE(in).

Re:Wrong Question (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678953)

Half the mass already existed, half of it was created with energy input, all of it is burned, assuming equal mass and ignoring practical inefficiencies E(out) = 2xE(in).
This assumes that there is a way to make antimatter without producing a corresponding ammount of matter at the same time. I was under the impression that all known ways of making antimatter produced pairs of corresponding matter and antimatter particles.

Re:Wrong Question (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679105)

1 ml of air (or any other gas) at ambient conditions contains about 2.69e18 (in other words almost 3 quintillion) molecules. A hundred billions is 1e14, or 26900 times less.

Also take note that antimatter was produced in the form of positrons. A positron is more than 50000 times lighter than a molecule of nitrogen. So the reported experiment produced 1/1382498600 of the mass of a milliliter of air. And a milliliter of air weighs about 1.3 mg.

(Of course air also contains other gases than nitrogen but I'm simplifying.)

Re:Wrong Question (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678037)

Actually, I've always wondered about the dilithium crystals. That's what the scientists should be working on finding!

Now how do we find the crystals in a different star system without having the warp drive to get to that different star system... hmmmmmm

Re:Wrong Question (1)

StrategicIrony (1183007) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678201)

Dilithium is just two lithium molecules which would be a squishy soft metal that is reactive with water.

Not much of a "magic antimatter control device" happening there.

Re:Wrong Question (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678575)

Dilithium is actually a gas. I believe if we compressed it enough into a solid it is possible it could form a crystalline structure. But this clearly wouldn't be stable and you couldn't pass it around in bars.

Re:Wrong Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678047)

The Tevatron at Fermilab is a proton-antiproton collider. Particle accelerators that collide matter and antimatter are nothing new. The antimatter doesn't have to be stored for this. It is created at the source and injected into the collider ring.

PET scans are positron emission tomography. It uses radioisotopes that decay via positron emission to image the body. Antimatter can be produced, it's just really hard to store without it crashing into matter and decaying.

Re:Wrong Question (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678091)

"may" ?

Perpetum mobile isn't invensted, and won't be anytime soon. First creating, then using antimatter is always going to give you back less than what you started with.

Current production-methods aren't just giving "less" they're giving MANY orders of magnitude less. It's a question of using hundreds of megajoules, and get a few joules back. CERN can produce 10^7 atoms of anti-hydrogen a second, for example, this sounds like a lot, but at that rate it'd take them 2 billion years to produce a single gram.

Offcourse, the longest anyone has managed to store anti-hydrogen is aproximately 20 seconds anyway.

Re:Wrong Question (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678171)

First creating, then using antimatter is always going to give you back less than what you started with.

Car analogy: We don't spend as much energy refining oil as we can get from the gasoline we make from it.

Assuming we don't find a similarly cheap way to acquire antimatter, I don't see this ever being useful for much except maybe freeing space stations/colonies from dependency on solar panels, and other long-term high-power battery purposes (and nuclear could fill that role more safely).

Re:Wrong Question (1)

StrategicIrony (1183007) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678209)

Anything that produces more energy than it expends is a non-renewable resource. The energy came from somewhere. Ultimately, it was from the sun.

So... the only real "renewable" energy in a civilization-scale, is fusion (likely only solar fusion), which limits us.

Any other technology we come up with are merely creative means of "storing" energy, or releasing stored energy (as is the case with fossil fuels).

Re:Wrong Question (1)

ctetc007 (875050) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678485)

It's my understanding that we can only manufacture ridiculously minute quantities of the stuff, and that may take more energy to make than we'll get out of it anyways.

Given that entropy is always staying the same or increasing, yes it most probably will take more energy to create that antimatter than what we get out of it.

Re:Wrong Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678577)

You obviously never heard of PET scans of the brain.

Re:Wrong Question (1)

carvalhao (774969) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678857)

"and that may take more energy to make than we'll get out of it anyways."

Fortunately the law of energy conservation still applies in Slashdot

Re:Wrong Question (4, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678873)

Now how can get some antimatter?

Easy. We can has anticheezeburger. Can removes cheezeburger, put in matter.

Matter / anti matter reactor is not enough (3, Insightful)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678007)

Unfortunately, a matter/anti matter reactor is not enough to create an Alcubierre drive.. We still need some Exotic Matter.. And a lot of it..

So .. go back to sleep.. nothing to see here..

--Ivan

Re:Matter / anti matter reactor is not enough (2, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678013)

I'm waiting for ZPMs

Re:Matter / anti matter reactor is not enough (3, Interesting)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678045)

ZPMs (Zero Point Modules) still won't cut it..

a ZPM (the SG-1/SGA fictuous device) that's suppose to drain energy from empty space is still a device that (supposedly) gets you free regular energy.. no Exotic matter here.. sorry

--Ivan

Re:Matter / anti matter reactor is not enough (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678167)

What you are looking for is matter with negative mass.

Sadly, this is impossible: Graviton (mediates inertia) and Higgs (mediates mass) particles are their own antiparticles, similar to Photon (mediates electromagnetism). (At least as postulated by current physics)

You therefor cannot have negative mass any more than you can have "Anti-light."

What you MIGHT be able to do is create a condition where Higgs or Graviton particles/waves are naturally disrupted, or self-interfering in such a fashion as to give an object unusual properties. (Like entangling a beam of photons with itself so that it causes beam scattering like in traditional holographic imaging, only with gravitational energy, to produce a "gravity hologram".) But to do that you would need to know MUCH more about the particles/waves in question, which we don't.

Re:Matter / anti matter reactor is not enough (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678435)

This isn't a reactor, it's a research collider. As you point out, antimatter engines are way off and warp drive itself is, in practical terms, still a load of bollocks. It's not even clear that an Alcubierre drive could operate at FTL: certainly naturally-existing warpings of space and time (gravity) have never been seen to break relativity.

Re:Matter / anti matter reactor is not enough (1)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679377)

Unfortunately, a matter/anti matter reactor is not enough to create an Alcubierre drive

Hell the reaction that they are carrying out yields in the best of times about 500 KeV * 2 (two, due to laws about linear momentum and energy) per reaction. Say we have about million reactions (a million electrons annihilating a million positrons) That only yields somewhere around 7 to 8 x 10^-8 joules * 2 of energy. Hell, I can't even remember what the resulting particle would be in this case so I'm going to just guess it is a photon, really high energy photon so I'm guessing a gamma ray.

Point being the reaction falls incredibly shy of even powering a light bulb at a million reactions. One hour of a 60 watt bulb = 60 * 36000 = 216000 joules. In fact that is like (2 or 3 * 10^18) / 2 reactions needed just to power one light bulb for one hour.

I think we've got a way to go before we even use this method for any kind of drive. Also, I'm not even sure that my numbers or my physics are correct. I'm thinking that they are but I'm still waking up, anyone care to chime in?

Duh! (5, Informative)

andre.david (1373517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678029)

There's a matter-antimatter collider in production since the 1990's. It's called the Tevatron, it collides protons with antiprotons and it is in Illinois.

Re:Duh! (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678053)

There's a matter-antimatter collider in production since the 1990's. It's called the Tevatron, it collides protons with antiprotons and it is in Illinois.

And this one is bigger and more powerful. Lets just hope it doesn't come with a 'Designed for windows 7' sticker on the side though.

Re:Duh! (1)

andre.david (1373517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678183)

There's a matter-antimatter collider in production since the 1990's. It's called the Tevatron, it collides protons with antiprotons and it is in Illinois.

And this one is bigger and more powerful. Lets just hope it doesn't come with a 'Designed for windows 7' sticker on the side though.

Actually, not really. Neither future linear colliders are expected to have collisions with more than a factor of 2 to 3 more energy than the Tevatron.

Re:Duh! (1)

qc_dk (734452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678245)

There's a matter-antimatter collider in production since the 1990's. It's called the Tevatron, it collides protons with antiprotons and it is in Illinois.

And this one is bigger and more powerful. Lets just hope it doesn't come with a 'Designed for windows 7' sticker on the side though.

Actually, not really. Neither future linear colliders are expected to have collisions with more than a factor of 2 to 3 more energy than the Tevatron.

How is that not more powerful?

Re:Duh! (1)

qc_dk (734452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678257)

There's a matter-antimatter collider in production since the 1990's. It's called the Tevatron, it collides protons with antiprotons and it is in Illinois.

And this one is bigger and more powerful. Lets just hope it doesn't come with a 'Designed for windows 7' sticker on the side though.

Actually, not really. Neither future linear colliders are expected to have collisions with more than a factor of 2 to 3 more energy than the Tevatron.

How is this not more powerful?

Re:Duh! (1)

andre.david (1373517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678341)

Hmm... Power equals energy per unit time. Hence more energy only equates to more power if the time is the same or shorter ;)

To put things in perspective the LEP to Tevatron energy jump was a factor 9.8 and from the Tevatron to the LHC a factor 3.6, for a total factor 35 from LEP to LHC.

So, all in all, future linear colliders are not even going to exceed the LHC top energy and will only be a couple of times more energetic than the Tevatron.

Re:Duh! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679179)

I heard that relatively small colliders were likely going to pass the LHC's top energy using a waveform collapsing technique. Or did that turn out to be bogus?

Re:Duh! (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679315)

I heard that relatively small colliders were likely going to pass the LHC's top energy using a waveform collapsing technique. Or did that turn out to be bogus?

As I understand it (IANAPP) it's not bogus, but it's very difficult to do. It's also much more difficult to use that technique (plasma wakefield acceleration, according to wikipedia) to accelerate antimatter since creating an anti-matter plasma is stupidly difficult anyway, so it's better suited for accelerators that use a stationary target.

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678065)

Or LEP at CERN, or PEP at SLAC. Controlled matter-anti-matter collision is old news.

Re:Duh! (4, Informative)

Gromius (677157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678215)

And just to add to this. All particle colliders are mater-antimatter colliders, it just doesnt work otherwise (charge conservation) Thats right, every single particle collider where you are annihilating the particle is matter-antimatter.

Now before somebody says, but the LHC is proton-proton, you suck, the LHC is actually a quark-anti quark or gluon-gluon collider. Protons are not just 3 quarks, due to the strong interaction there is also a sea of gluons and quark-anti quark pairs which carry the momentum of the proton. At the energies of the LHC, this sea becomes important.

The article is terrible and horribly confused. Reads like something from the Sun (a gutter British newspaper for non Brits).

Re:Duh! (1)

andre.david (1373517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678351)

ssshhhh...

If you start telling people there is a sea of antimatter inside all matter, they'll panic and annihilate!

Re:Duh! (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678853)

I imagine you could conceivably have an e- e- collider too, but given that a) the need for a higher order electromagnetic process would suppress the production cross sections considerably and b) positrons are easy to get hold of compared to antiprotons, then there isn't much point.

These fancy new e+ e- colliders are all very well anyway, but I love the idea of a muon collider - gets round the pesky synchrotron radiation losses associated with circular electron colliders like LEP. Downside - muons only live for about 2 microseconds in their rest frame. Oh well. With time dilation though, that should be enough to do a fair few laps of the collider.

Re:Duh! (1)

Helge Hafting (14882) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679145)

Accelerating anything charged will get you that synchronous radiation. Electrons, muons or protons. Now, there are neutral muons that don't have this problem, but how would you accelerate those? They don't respond to the electromagnetic forces used to accelerate charged particles . . .

Re:Duh! (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679195)

Yes, but muons are ~200x heavier than electrons, so the total energy at a given relativistic gamma is 200x larger. Since synchrotron radiation is directly dependent on gamma, not energy or mass, the energy achievable is much larger.

This is why LEP was limited by synchrotron radiation at ~ 200 GeV but the LHC can do 14000 GeV and has small synchrotron radiation losses even at that energy - protons are about 1800 times heavier than electrons.

Re:Duh! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679125)

Nice explaination, but don't tell your readers they "suck" for not understanding quantum chromodynamics, smartass.

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29679663)

Nice explaination, but don't tell your readers they "suck" for not understanding quantum chromodynamics, smartass.

He wasn't telling his readers that. He was telling those who would claim otherwise about colliders.

So he was pretty much saying "If you start talking about stuff you don't understand as if you knew something about it, you suck"

Re:Duh! (2, Interesting)

invisiblerhino (1224028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678301)

You're absolutely right. To jump on the bandwagon, there's been one since at least the seventies, when CERN modified the Super Proton Synchrotron to be a Super Proton-Antiproton Synchrotron. In the meantime, HERA at DESY collided protons and positrons for years... I don't know the history, so not sure when the first one was. In any case, this is definitely not news. The most interesting things about the forthcoming colliders is not whether they use antimatter: to quote Gerard 't Hooft's replies to physics cranks: "Antimatter is routine, and time travel is impossible." The most interesting thing is what they will discover. Additionally, the article totally misses the point. For some reason, they've latched on to a fairly technical accelerator physics topic. CLIC is not proposed to be built any time in the near future (look out for the International Linear Collider first), and wakefields are a purely electromagnetic effect, nothing to do with space and time warping. They are interesting in themselves, and as a possible future accelerator design (google wakefield accelerator).

Re:Duh! (1)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678523)

Yes, and much short-lived antimatter (and anti-neutrinos) is created all the time in natural processes. Antimatter is not really a big deal for physicists - even if it gets the Trekkies hot at the mere mention of it. Doing matter-antimatter collisions directly is useful though, as you don't have to wade through the other types of events to get the ones of interest.

Re:Duh! (1)

andre.david (1373517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678547)

Doing matter-antimatter collisions directly is useful though, as you don't have to wade through the other types of events to get the ones of interest.

Though that is true, some of these collisions, like electron-positron are limited as to their outcomes, since there are restrictions on the possible quantum combinations that can be produced from such collisions.

This is why hadronic machines are discovery machines (more possibilities but more mess) and leptonic machines precision machines (fewer possibilities fewer useless stuff).

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678879)

Actually, yes you do; the only difference is that the LHC is dominated by gluon-gluon processes and Tevatron is dominated by quark-antiquark processes. You still deal with a ton of the same backgrounds in both cases, ie anything that can be created by the strong force.

Lepton collisions (electrons and positrons) allow you to cut down on background events so that it's easier to find events of interest. Since leptons don't interact via the strong force, you have much cleaner signals.

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678827)

There have been matter-antimatter colliders since the sixties

AdA Frascati, Italy; Orsay, France 1961-1964

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_accelerators_in_particle_physics#Electron-positron_colliders

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678847)

And LEP, the former CERN accelerator; LEP stands for Large Electron Positron Collider.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Electronâ"Positron_Collider

uninformend ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678033)

There was a Particle-AntiParticle accelerator already running for years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Electron-Positron_Collider [wikipedia.org]
and there currently is another one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tevatron [wikipedia.org] and there were some more I'm to lazy to look up.
The only new thing is the planned Center-of-Mass-Energy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_in_special_relativity) of hopefully around 1 Tev (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TeV) which forces the design to a linear collider (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_particle_accelerator) due to Bremsstrahlung (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bremsstrahlung).

So if you want a Warp drive or Vulcans you will have to continue sitting in front of your TV-Set but hey I like this much more then having to
cope with security personal standing on every corner in my city.

How Depressing (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678049)

The +/- designs are last gen ^ X, not next gen. If The Register followed the history details closely, a good number of computer startups came from a club that met at SLAC, the Stanford Linear Accelerator. Yes, the design is that old and older.

As for the 'obvious question', if the supposedly obligatory SF reference comes out sounding like so much shite, leave it out, OK?

Between these two details, TFA could have predated /. by a decade.

Hello Computer! (1)

ZuchinniOne (1617763) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678063)

They should be OK as long as they don't use any of those damned Klingon Crystals. Otherwise they'll need access to the nuclear wessels.

Matter-Antimatter isnt new (2, Insightful)

Zorpheus (857617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678075)

There were already some electron-positron colliders, the LEP for example. I think the new thing about this collider is that it is a linear and for high energy. In an electron/positron synchrotron the particles are flying in circles, permanently loosing energy to synchrotron radiation. This is why a linear design will allow to achieve higher energies.

Build it in space. (0)

Higaran (835598) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678181)

Here's an idea, I know it gonna cost probably a trillion anyway, so instead of makeing a 10km ring somewhere here on earth, build a lets say 1 or 2 km space station/ring somewhere out in gostationary orbit. You don't need all of the cooling hardware you would normally, and you'll shut up most of the people that are gonna bitch about it blowing up a killing us all. Also your better off, because your allready pretty nuch in a vacume so that another problem that these things have when they are on earth. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but I think its a good idea.

Re:Build it in space. (1)

KeNickety (1416855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678329)

You're wrong, cooling is a major issue in orbit (only radiative cooling works), power would also be a major issue and that's not including all of that lovely high energy radiation you get in orbit disrupting your delicate experiment.

So how many of you are outside with your telescope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29678251)

at this hour in this hemisphere (Western)

Re:So how many of you are outside with your telesc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29679493)

The western hemisphere is arbitrary.

"sneak-peak" (2, Interesting)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678323)

and will the Vulcans show up for a sneak-peak?

Peak: top of a mountain.

And the daily Slashdot malapropism award goes to samzenpus.

Re:"sneak-peak" (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678767)

That's so "Grammar Nazi" that I'm invoking Godwin's Law through a degree of separation.

Re:"sneak-peak" (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678859)

That's so "Grammar Nazi"

If I'd called him an illiterate moron, that might be justified. But I tried to make the point with a lighter note.

If you don't care about spelling (not "grammar"), that's fine, but it's not debatable, it's just 100% wrong.

Many other options right now (1)

torako (532270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678347)

The article, and the summary, is a bit misleading.

There are always many different designs being investigated, even up to fairly advanced stages. This doesn't mean that any of those is going to be build. You have to realize that in order to make decisions that cost several M$, you have to know what you can do and how to achieve it beforehand, in great detail.

CLIC is definitely one of the bigger things currently in investigation. The ILC (lepton machine) is another one. There's also big interest in Neutrino Factories, Superbeams, Betabeams, etc.

What we want to build (maybe in 2020) depends crucially on what the LHC finds and on new results in the neutrino sector (measurement of the 13-angle).

Intergalactic Patents? (1)

secondhand_Buddah (906643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678461)

It is more likely that a representative from the Intergalactic Patent office will show up and attempt to begin negotiations for royalty premiums.

Read the Register article (2, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678479)

For once, read TFA. It's quite amusing. And it isn't about what it seems to be.

It's about wakefields and the possibility of reducing their external effects by detuning. What makes this interesting is that the proposals for next-gen small accelerators are about deliberately using wakefields to achieve very high acceleration over very short ranges, effectively getting particles to surf on laser-induced wakefields.

The guy with the proposal also manages to give a spectacularly bad example of detuning - bells, anyone? - which fully complies with the Bad Analogy requirements, i.e. detuning is nothing at all like having lots of bells, and the analogy doesn't provide any insight at all into what is happening. Detuning is more like resting a finger gently on a vibrating guitar string.

All this article really tells me is that wakefields are very hot in particle accelerator research, and efforts are focussing on reducing their unwanted effects as well as extracting more energy from them.

Re:Read the Register article (1)

smolloy (1250188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678771)

The article's explanation is quite bad -- wakefields aren't really anything to do with twisting and warping "the very fabric of space-time". They're just the electromagnetic energy left behind by the beam as it traverses these cavities.

I think his bell analogy is actually quite good. He goes on to say that damped detuning is much more preferable to strong damping, and it is strong damping that is more like resting a finger on a guitar string. The problem he is trying to solve is that of the entire structure of many cells ringing strongly at a particular frequency. This ringing will add coherently, thus lasting long enough to disrupt the next electron/positron bunch.

His solution is to make each cell ring at a slightly different frequency, thus causing them to add incoherently, and strongly reducing the resultant amplitude.

Just like a collection of bells ringing with different notes.

Vogons clear it for an Intergalactic Highway (2, Insightful)

kubitus (927806) | more than 4 years ago | (#29678591)

maybe by Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz himself now back to the poetry

Matter - Antimatter? (1)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29679233)

Okay now correct me if I'm wrong on this, but if I remember correctly, Positrons and Electrons are in the group of Leptons. More generally they are a type of fermion. I understand that fermions make up Baryons and so forth, but aren't we getting ahead of ourselves when we call this reactor a "matter-anitmatter" reactor? Wouldn't it be more fitting to call it a "particle-antiparticle" reactor?

Re:Matter - Antimatter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29679385)

A positron has the opposite spin, charge, and mass of an electron, hence it's the antimatter equivilent of an electron. Add an anti-proton and you'd have anti-hydrogen, which we've made.

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