×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

First Creation of Anti-Strange Hypernuclei

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the quark-gluon-plasma dept.

Science 179

runagate writes "Brookhaven National Laboratory has created a heretofore unknown form of matter. The matter we normally encounter, and are composed of, has nuclei of protons and neutrons that contain no strange quarks. It was known that anti-strange matter could exist, and using the Solenoidal Tracker at Brookhaven's RHIC, scientists detected a couple of dozen instances of antihypernuclei. The 'Z' axis of the Periodic Table has already been extended in the positive direction by the discovery of hypernuclei, but this new discovery extends it in the negative direction for this new type of 'strange' antimatter — which may exist in the core of collapsed stars and may provide insight into why our universe appears to be made almost solely of matter and not antimatter." The Register's coverage reproduces a helpful diagram.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

179 comments

heh (3, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372376)

I can follow stuff like this, but every time I hear it, Treknobabble comes to mind. [wikipedia.org] Strange quarks, you say!

Re:heh (3, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372732)

We will fire the Anti-Strange particle emitter into the temporal distortion field to correct the change in the timeline.

Re:heh (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31373648)

It's not working! Reverse the polarity!

Re:heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31373922)

Sample output from your ultimate computer:

jellomizer@localhost:~$ DoWhatIWant | DoItFaster
That's what she said.
jellomizer@localhost:~$

Quote that made my day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372384)

"Blasting a pair of high-energy gold nuclei into each other as is their wont, RHIC boffins found they had created something very odd indeed."

I'm guessing that with a name like "negatively strange antihypernucleic antimatter", Star Trek et al. will be all over this. Countdown until the term appears in sci-fi shows...

Re:Quote that made my day (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372530)

I'm guessing that with a name like "negatively strange antihypernucleic antimatter", Star Trek et al. will be all over this. Countdown until the term appears in sci-fi shows...

Probably... But what I'm really hoping is that scientists -- and by extension sci-fi shows -- adopt El Reg's proposed term for negative strangeness "hypermundanity".

Just imagine Data saying that. "Captain, the gaseous anomaly we've entered contains high levels of hypermundanity."

"*yawn* Tell me about it, Commander."

*** Sigh *** (4, Funny)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372396)

Quote: "Hypernuclei bring a third dimension into play, based on the strangeness quantum number of the nucleus, thus allowing the territory of antinuclei with nonzero strangeness." ... Just when I thought I was starting to get it ... :-\

Re:*** Sigh *** (3, Funny)

greenguy (162630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373578)

Three dimensional? Anti- this and that? A bit hyper? Fairly strange?

Sounds like they've discovered my friends.

Re:*** Sigh *** (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31373630)

Can we has eezo nao?

from the register's "helpful diagram": (4, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372398)

"Atomsmash boffins' reverse alchemy bizarro-stuff triumph"

"Sometimes there is more strangeness than none at all. Or less."

the article is complete with a "Bootnote"

so i'm under the impression of having advanced quantum physics described to me by a drunk with a cockney accent. i guess that's helpful...

Re:from the register's "helpful diagram": (1)

Obyron (615547) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372456)

I found the article pretty amusing, but that's El Reg for you. I like their suggestion to refer to "negatively-strange" antihypernuclei as, perhaps, "ultramundane," or maybe "hyperboring."

and... (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372504)

"Essentially, according to their explanation, you've got your regular old Periodic Table of elements, which no doubt we all recall at least dimly from skool, which is based on the number of protons (Z) in an atom's nucleus."

lol "skool"

in any other publication, this is an embarassing typo. in the register, its simply a sly joke about education

carry on, uh, topflight british word-scurvy boffins!

Re:and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372632)

lol "skool"

in any other publication, this is an embarassing typo. in the register, its simply a sly joke about education

Or it's a literary reference to the "Nigel Molesworth" [wikipedia.org] series of books.

even before clicking your link, (3, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372878)

simply judging by the hyper-british name of "nigel molesworth" (is there possibly a more british name?), i have to accept that i am way over my head here in terms of obscure british esoterica

anyway, the joke works across the pond, if for completely different reasons

Re:even before clicking your link, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31373774)

"nigel molesworth" is pretty british, but for it to be truly british you need both a middle initial that stands for a ridiculous middle name (i'm a big fan of "Tiberius" for obvious reasons) as well as some sort of honorific.

Re:from the register's "helpful diagram": (2, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372650)

so i'm under the impression of having advanced quantum physics described to me by a drunk with a cockney accent. i guess that's helpful...

Isn't that what it takes to be able to understand Quantum Mechanics? To normal folks, there isn't any difference between Quantum Mechanics and bellybutton lint, both are totally incomprehensible.

Re:from the register's "helpful diagram": (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372910)

This stuff is simpler than high school chemistry (making nuclei out of nucleons, made out of quarks), actually.

Re:from the register's "helpful diagram": (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372706)

so i'm under the impression of having advanced quantum physics described to me by a drunk with a cockney accent. i guess that's helpful...

Nah. Then then they'd call "Anti-Strange Hyypernuclei" something like "Panty-mange wiper pukey pie."

Re:from the register's "helpful diagram": (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31373814)

Atomsmash boffins

Make Atom Angry... ...AtomSmash!

so what happens (2, Interesting)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372428)

when this new form of matter comes in contact with the normal matter that the rest of the universe is made of? Do we get a gigantic explosion (as we would with matter and anti-matter), of do the particles just avoid each other like the plague?

Re:so what happens (3, Insightful)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372510)

It really has to hurry up to do that, 100 ps doesn't give you much time to do anything. Plus,with energy in greater energy out, you can't get a bigger explosion than the one you created to create the particles to begin with. In case the annihilation of two strange atoms should destroy earth, please give yourself a Noble price on the way out.

Re:so what happens (1)

Erythros (140001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372564)

Since I live so close to BNL, ~15 miles, I will be sure to get the first post onto Slashdot about it so the rest of you can prepare to assume the head between your legs position.
Hopefully I can do it within 100 ps.. :-)

Re:so what happens (3, Funny)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372598)

As I'm on my way out, my last words will be "It's spelled Nobel..."

Thanks. I wanted to say something meaningful! :(

Re:so what happens (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374108)

It's also spelled "prize". But maybe he really MEANT "Noble price?" Selling something for less than you paid does indeed give it a noble price.

Re:so what happens (5, Informative)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372560)

No.

Strange quarks behave just like down quarks (which are one of the two constituents of protons and neutrons). The only difference is that they have a higher mass.

Y'know how heavy water is just like light water, except one of the hydrogens is replaced with a deuterium atom? This stuff is similar, except one of the down quarks is swapped with a strange.

Unlike deuterium, though, these lambda baryons are unstable, because the strange quark is unstable. They can decay by the weak interaction (the same thing responsible for beta decay) into an up quark and a couple of leptons (electrons and neutrinos). The amount of time that weak decays take is very long compared to the time-scales involved in quark physics, but it's still very short compared to a second.

Re:so what happens (3, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372726)

That's all good, but the major discovery here is actually anti-hypernucleons made with anti-strange quarks. So yeah, they will annihilate on contact with normal matter just like non-strange anti-matter.

Re:so what happens (4, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372918)

Except for the anti-strange quark. Since regular matter doesn't contain strange quarks, the anti-strange quark will probably not find a partner to annihilate with, therefore it will live on until it decays into an anti-up, which then can annihilate with an up quark from ordinary matter.

Actually heavy water is not just like light water (4, Informative)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373108)

Never mind its nuclear differences its:

Heavier
Different hydrogen bond strength (which causes toxicity in biological systems in large doses)
Completely transparent to visible light spectrum - light water is slightly blue due to red end absorbtion
Different melting/freezing points
Heavy water ice will sink if put in normal water

Re:Actually heavy water is not just like light wat (3, Informative)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374682)

Actually, D2O is not generally toxic to biological systems. Multicellular organisms don't exactly like it, but it is possible to grow bacteria and yeasts in heavily deuterated media. It is generally used to produce deuterated proteins for various analytical methods. Bacteria do tolerate 12C and 15N diets rather well, too - of course, the isotopic effect is lower there than for hydrogen. I am not exactly sure where the difference between unicellular and multicellular organisms comes from in that regard.

Re:so what happens (2, Interesting)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373160)

What would be interesting is if there was some combination of nucleons which would make the particle with the strange quark stable.

For example, the half life of a free neutron is 10 minutes decay via the weak interaction, but when in a nucleus of appropriate configuration (any stable elements) it is stable.

Would would the properties of a atom containing a strange particle be like?

Make 'em at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372458)

I hear you can make those at home just by microwaving a metal jiffy pop container.

This could be used as a source of limitless energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372484)

Scientists would only need to figure out how to create a beam of anti-strange hypernuclei and aim it at a target of Steven Wright. IMHO things would get much less funny, but the release of energy would be enormous.

Re:This could be used as a source of limitless ene (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372622)

Tell me something - if you're driving you car near the speed of light, and you turn the headlights on, will they do anything?

Re:This could be used as a source of limitless ene (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372798)

Not to be overly pedantic, but yes. From your point of view, the light from the headlights will shine ahead of you at the same relative speed that they would if you were stopped. The apparent speed of light is constant, regardless of your frame of reference.

Re:This could be used as a source of limitless ene (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372824)

if you're driving you car near the speed of light

Hypothetically you've already crashed, so the headlights wont help.

Re:This could be used as a source of limitless ene (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31373308)

Yes, extend out the remaining distance between the "near speed of light" and the "speed of light"

Re:This could be used as a source of limitless ene (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31373520)

To you, the headlights will behave exactly as they would were your car "stationary" they will emit light photons which separate from your car at the speed of light -- more on that in a second. To the observer watching your car approach at near the speed of light, your headlights will emit light photons which approach the observer at the speed of light in his reference frame, that fact that you are moving doesn't change that; the velocity of your car and the light emitted doesn't add together -- the light he sees from your headlights will, however, be blueshifted by your approach speed. The reason I put "stationary" in parentheses above is because in your reference frame you and your car are stationary and it is the things you are passing which are moving at near the speed of light. Kind of a poor explanation of Special Relativity in what I wrote -- consult a more authoritative description for a better one.

Re:This could be used as a source of limitless ene (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31373732)

You might need to turn off the air conditioner for the alternator to have enough juice left for the lights at that speed, but yes of course. You'd see them shine off away from you at the speed of light.

If the events (being at such a speed) could be observed by someone standing on the curb, it would appear to them that you were trailing just barely behind the light beam.

Re:This could be used as a source of limitless ene (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31374232)

Light in a vacuum will always travel at a constant speed regardless of the circumstances. If you were in a train car traveling at the speed of light and shine a light, it would STILL travel at the speed of light, no faster. In addition, if you started walking, you too, would not exceed the speed of light.

Re:This could be used as a source of limitless ene (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31374704)

Yes!

The light from your headlights will be, as far as you're concerned, travelling at the speed of light. As in, the light coming out of your headlights will go zipping out in front of you in the blink of an eye, not crawling in front of you as if they can barely keep up.

Yet, a 'stationary' observer would see the light travelling at the exact same speed. If they had a device that could measure how fast the light was travelling, and you had a similar device, and measured the same light coming out of your headlights, both devices would read the exact same speed.

Mindbending, innit?

That's Relativity for you.

is this to be called unobtainium or bureaucracium? (2, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372490)

I have, of course, discovered and documented both at work. prior art does exist.

RHIC as copy editor.... (3, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372556)

Atomsmash boffins' reverse alchemy bizarro-stuff triumph.

I like The Register, but it seems all their article (sub)titles are generated in the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven as well...

Re:RHIC as copy editor.... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374056)

Actually they're created in the Relativistic Heavy Irony Collider, which is distributed throughout London pubs.

I've always wondered... (1)

calibre-not-output (1736770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372592)

...why is it called a "strange" quark anyways?

This is slightly off-topic, but from all the names they could have given the damn thing, why give it a bizarre name like that? As if particle physics weren't confusing already...

Re:I've always wondered... (3, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372794)

...why is it called a "strange" quark anyways?

This is slightly off-topic, but from all the names they could have given the damn thing, why give it a bizarre name like that? As if particle physics weren't confusing already...

From Wikipedia:

The quark flavors were given their names for a number of reasons. The up and down quarks are named after the up and down components of isospin, which they carry.[48] Strange quarks were given their name because they were discovered to be components of the strange particles discovered in cosmic rays years before the quark model was proposed; these particles were deemed "strange" because they had unusually long lifetimes.[49] Glashow, who coproposed charm quark with Bjorken, is quoted as saying, "We called our construct the 'charmed quark', for we were fascinated and pleased by the symmetry it brought to the subnuclear world."[50] The names "top" and "bottom", coined by Harari, were chosen because they are "logical partners for up and down quarks".[36][37][49] In the past, top and bottom quarks were sometimes referred to as "truth" and "beauty" respectively, but these names have mostly fallen out of use.[51]

Re:I've always wondered... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374162)

> In the past, top and bottom quarks were sometimes referred to as "truth" and
> "beauty" respectively, but these names have mostly fallen out of use.

Which is very sad.

Re:I've always wondered... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374462)

In other words, they're running out of names for things, but they had to call them something and John, Paul, George, and Ringo were taken.

"Anti-strange"? (0)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372596)

Wouldn't an Anti-Strange Hypernuclei just be a Normal Hypernuclei?

Re:"Anti-strange"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372686)

And if there is nothing "strange" about it, why bother make it?

Re:"Anti-strange"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372740)

You want something that is less strange than normal. Maybe "boring hypernuclei".

Re:"Anti-strange"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31372830)

Anti-Strange implies opposition, not just "absence of". A Republican Hypernuclei, perhaps. Better yet, maybe a Hyperconservative Nukyali.

Re:"Anti-strange"? (3, Informative)

MikTheUser (761482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372908)

Wouldn't an Anti-Strange Hypernuclei just be a Normal Hypernuclei?

No.

"Strange", in this context, means "having the attribute of positive strangeness", which means that these hypernuclei are composed of at least one nucleon which, in turn, is composed of at least one strange quark (as opoosed to "ordinary" up and down quarks).

Thus, "anti-strange" means "having the attribute of negative strangeness", which stands for all the ablove blah-blah, but with "strange anti-quark" inserted instead of "strange quark".

Kind of neat, but no new physics here (2, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372628)

We've known for quite a while that this sort of thing is possible. All quarks have the exact same strong interactions, after all. This is like strontium displacing calcium in bones -- it's got the same valence structure, it has similar properties, and it's no surprise that it happens.

RHIC is a nifty machine for a lot of reasons. It provides an experimental counterpart to lattice QCD calculations of the equation of state of the quark-gluon plasma, which is the natural state of the universe at very high temperatures. But "OMG! An antistrange wound up in a bound state!" isn't why this machine is worthwhile, even if it does give El Reg something funny to write about.

Maybe no new physics, yet new knowledge (1)

Bananenrepublik (49759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373150)

It is worthwhile research. For instance: the neutron is stable in the nucleus, but not outside (its lifetime as a free particle is ~15 minutes). Now you put a Lambda into the nucleus. A free lambda has a lifetimetime of ~10^-10 seconds. Will it be stable inside the nucleus or not? Will it's lifetime be significantly altered? That's something you don't know without experiment. Even if you have a theory, without experiment you don't know if it's right.

Must I be the one to ... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372674)

welcome our new Anti-Strange Hypernucleic over... er, I mean under... I mean inside-out .... Um. Let me get back to you on that one.

Re:Must I be the one to ... (1)

Loko Draucarn (398556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373010)

I think the direction you're looking for is either cheeseward or chalkward. I forget which is which, though.

Hence: I for one welcome our new Anti-Strange Hypernucleic cheesierlords/chalkierlords.

OK Slashdot, time to get honest... (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372782)

This story is really a marketing gimmick for the new Alice in Wonderland movie that opened today, isn't it?

I hate you, Register. (3, Insightful)

Bahumat (213955) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372812)

I swear to god I'm going to write a script for my browser that blocks loading any page with the word "boffin" in it.

Anywhere I can get a SERIOUS interpretation of this event that isn't busy self-fellating over how gigglingly clever it's own writers are?

Re:I hate you, Register. (5, Insightful)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373716)

I'm not a physicist, but what I got from the article (+ some background for those who have forgotten/never took nuclear physics:)

* Atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Atomic nuclei contain just protons and neutrons.

* Protons and neutrons themselves are made up of smaller particles called quarks.

* In regular matter the protons and neutrons are made up of two different types of quarks, called up and down quarks.

* Two up quarks + one down make up a proton, one up + two down give you a neutron.

* If you replace some or all of the up or down quarks with a different type of quark (up -> strange, down -> charm I believe) then you get a new type of subatomic particle. If you think of the periodic table as being a building, the regular periodic table makes up the ground floor, while atoms using these strange/charm subatomic particles would live on higher floors.

* If you replace all the up and down quarks with antiup and antidown quarks, you get a new type of subatomic particle (the antiproton or antineutron.) They live in the other wing of the periodic building.

* This article reports that researchers have found particles where both the quarks have been replaced by antiquarks and some or all of those antiup/antidown quarks have been replaced by an antistrange quark. These are in the basement of the periodic building, the first particles discovered there.

Re:I hate you, Register. (1)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373792)

I find your summation brilliantly succinct, and perfect for someone like me.
Not a rocket scientist - but a former rocket operator.

Why have I been getting 15 mod points a day lately, and have none when I need 'em.

Re:I hate you, Register. (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373952)

Something predicted by theory, but never seen before, has now been seen.

Current practical significance: None, unless you are a quantum mechanic.

Current theoretical significance: Chalk up another one that our theory got pretty much right. Now we need to check the detailed predictions against what we measured.

This was all there to be read in the Register article, but the story was being presented in a humorous way. (But not, I think, demeaning. The article did poke a bit of fun as the way quarks are named...but the names are rather silly, even if there are reasonable historical reasons.)

What's really strange about all of this (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372828)

is how not having strange quarks is the strange issue...

Hum.. strange

Misleading summary (5, Insightful)

MikTheUser (761482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372842)

Hypernuclei with negative strangeness haven't been "created for the first time". They've been produced in RHIC collisions for as long as they've been running (with sufficient energy), and it's only now that we've been able to see them.

That, however, is quite the accomplishment, as relativistic heavy ions collisions are so complex that we're hardly begun to understand what happens in them. Think a two-hundred-truck collision at 1,000 mph, and you're interested in what screw came from which truck and how the drivers' shoes were tied.

[No truck drivers were hurt in the writing of this comment!]

Re:Misleading summary (3, Informative)

stillnotelf (1476907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373930)

That's not the only error in the summary - it also says the 'Z' axis is extended, which is wrong. Z is number of protons. They meant the 'S' axis (for strangeness) has now been extended in the negative direction.

Negatively strange anti-hypernucleus? (4, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31372952)

Particle physicists have basically been fucking with us for years, haven't they?

Re:Negatively strange anti-hypernucleus? (2, Funny)

svtdragon (917476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373674)

You're just figuring this out now?

These are the same people who measure area in barns, sheds, and outhouses [wikipedia.org]. 1 square foot = 9.290304 × 10^26 barns. Or 9.290304 × 10^32 outhouses.

Re:Negatively strange anti-hypernucleus? (1)

htdrifter (1392761) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374574)

Particle physicists have basically been fucking with us for years, haven't they?

I wonder about that too.
The tools of the trade are incredible. They are also very expensive.
Has anything of practical value come out of this?
What's the return on this investment?
In our current economic mess, can we afford it?

Slightly better article (1)

hadhad69 (1003533) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373016)

http://www.world-science.net/othernews/100304_antimatter.htm [world-science.net] Mind boggling stuff. I still don't understand why this accounts for where the 'missing' mass of the universe is. Am I right in saying that the likelihood of this 'Anti-stuff' existing in the quark-gluon plasma in the ultra high pressures of quasars etc is as likley as 'normal' matter and thats where the lost mass is?

Honest question? (2, Interesting)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373082)

Is anti-matter matter? Could we build stuff out of it?

Re:Honest question? (2, Informative)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373224)

Anti-matter is matter which has exactly the opposite properties from normal matter (e.g. the proton has positive charge, the antiproton has negative charge). In principle you could build stuff out of it; the problem is that in our matter world that stuff would immediately annihilate with all that matter around. Well, and that we just don't have enough antimatter to begin with :-)

Re:Honest question? (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31373374)

Ah, so you'd need a way to isolate it from... everything.

+1 Informative

Re:Honest question? (1)

trapnest (1608791) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374252)

Not from everything, antiiron could only react with iron, for example. I am not sure if simply the particles making up the material (neutron/antineutron etc) could annihilate each other...

Re:Honest question? (2, Informative)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374472)

Not from everything, antiiron could only react with iron, for example.

Nope.

Anti-iron would contain anti-protons and anti-neutrons made of anti-quarks and its lepton orbitals would be filled with positrons.

In the presense of any normal matter--an oxygen atom, say--the electrons in the normal matter would be attracted to the positrons in the anti-matter and they would anihilate, emitting gamma ray photons, leaving the nuclei more-or-less bare. The positively changed matter nucleus would attract the negatively charged anti-matter nucleus, and the various quark/anti-quark pairs would likewise annihilate, producing more photons.

The thing is, a quark has no clue what kind of nucleus it happens to be in, so the quarks in anti-iron would happily get together with their complements in normal oxygen (or whatever). Annihilation takes place at the elementary particle level, not the baryon (proton/neutron) level.

So while there would be bits of the anti-iron nucleus left over after it encountered an oxygen nucleus, they would be scattered around and running into other stuff...

Re:Honest question? (3, Informative)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374076)

Is anti-matter matter? Could we build stuff out of it?

Consider:

The theoretical macroscopic properties of antimatter are the same as matter. Interaction with light, gravity, the fundamental forces, entropy would be all the same.

If you had a world made of anti matter, everything should work the same.

All electrical charges would be reversed - anti electrons (positrons) are positive charge.

Anti Protons are negative charge.

From a distance you would not know that world was made of antimatter, since properties would be the same. Electromagnetic wavelengths absorbed / emitted would be the same. Anti-Sodium would have the same yellow emission line as Sodium.

However we have not observed antimatter besides as particles. Besides anti-hydrogen, no other anti-atoms (let alone anti-molecules) have been produced or discovered.

Now building something made of antimatter in a matter world would be quite difficult - close proximity of a positron to an electron and you have neither particle, just a very energetic photons flying away. Any particle coming into proximity of its anti-particle results in annihilation (complete conversion of the masses of the particles to energy).

Now if Fred meets anti-Fred (ignoring air) they explode not because macroscopic Fred sees his anti-self (no matter how many time you watch that Star Trek episode, it's not true) - it is because Fred is made up or protons, neutrons and electrons and anti-Fred is made up of positrons, anti-protons and anti-neutrons and those little guys go boom.

How to handle such material that you cannot even get near - and "building" something means manipulating atoms, molecules - uncharged?

Re:Honest question? (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374396)

Could tossing an anti-proton at a nucleus of mercury negate on proton to turn it into gold? i'm guessing "DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY".

If we could create anti-matter safely and reliably... seems like it could make for an efficient sort of nuclear reactor. Instead of getting isotopes you'd be unravelling the nuclear bonds.

Fun stuff.

Re:Honest question? (1)

mbstone (457308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374676)

If you had a world made of anti matter, everything should work the same.

All electrical charges would be reversed - anti electrons (positrons) are positive charge.

Except all your diodes and batteries would have to be put in backwards.

Has anyone noticed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31373422)

Has anyone noticed that every time a mass-media article involving physics is released, there is always an excerpt about how the matter may be in the core of a collapsed star?

What's up with that?

Re:Has anyone noticed? (2, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374800)

IANAP, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that the temperatures and pressures inside a collapsed star are far beyond the environment in normal nature, so weird things are bound to happen there, just like weird things happen when we accelerate particles to high velocities in particle colliders and smash them into each other. There aren't very many other places in the universe that we know off offhand where such extreme conditions exist, except for black holes.

Bottom/Anti-Bottom Hypernuclei? (1)

argyleman (1320431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31374638)

Any particle physicists out there patient enough to answer what is probably an ignorant question? As I remember, Strange are second generation quarks. Can third generation Bottom quarks can do the same thing? Are Bottom/Anti-Bottom Hypernuclei theoretically possible or are the energies involved just to high to allow it?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...