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CERN Ups Antimatter Confinement Record to 15+ Minutes

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the why-so-negative? dept.

Science 206

A team at CERN has vastly increased its ability to confine antimatter, says an article published today at Scientific American. Last year, the same researchers managed to trap atoms of antihydrogen. "But," says the SciAm report, "the antihydrogen had at that time been confined for less than two tenths of a second. That interval has now been extended by a factor of more than 5,000. In a study published online June 5 in Nature Physics, the ALPHA group reports having confined antihydrogen for 16 minutes and 40 seconds. The more relevant number for physicists, who often deal in powers of 10, is 1,000 seconds."

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206 comments

Obligatory : Can It (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345274)

be put in a suitcase?

Yours In Novosibirsk,
K. Trout

Re:Obligatory : Can It (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345596)

i want to play with niggers and grinning faggoty hyenas.

Re:Obligatory : Can It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346316)

Better yet, can it be used as fuel for a shuttle? To reach orbit, the shuttle burns for only 8 minutes. This stuff is storable for twice as long! Granted, it's not valuable for longer journeys, but it could be useful for flinging stuff out of the gravity well. A speck of dust would replace over 1000 tons of hardware and fuel.

Brown Like Dan (1)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346832)

Yes, but it will turn your pants Brown, like Dan

If that's not playing God, (5, Insightful)

Hermanas (1665329) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345290)

Then I don't know what is. These guys are no longer playing with the stuff our universe is made of, they're now playing with what it's /not/ made of. That's quite amazing, if you ask me.

Re:If that's not playing God, (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345302)

Wait until they start building bigger bombs with it. ;)

Re:If that's not playing God, (4, Informative)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345378)

since they've to date confined less than 400 anti-atoms, there is no danger of any kind of weapon being built with this kind of technology in the next few decades. Antimatter is horribly energy-intensive to make, well known stat you can check at wikipedia is at the current production rate at CERN it would take 100 billion years to make a gram of the stuff. We're not going to get the hundreds of tons for a fast starship drive this way.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345406)

The whole point of this story is that they're getting better at dealing with antimatter. Eventually, the antimatter bomb will be the next nuclear bomb.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1, Redundant)

iggymanz (596061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345544)

nope, they're getting better at *storing* it, but there's no changing the fearsome energies to make it. We could make antimatter until the Sun burns out, and the total wouldn't be enough to blow your nose, let alone blow up a building.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345748)

You're right. With the money required to create an anti-matter bomb, you could afford to carpet bomb the world with nukes. And at this time, that doesn't seem likely to change anytime in the next hundred years - at least!

Re:If that's not playing God, (4, Interesting)

cduffy (652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345790)

The most thorough treatment of the subject I've seen is that of Robert Forward (who did a study on the subject commissioned by the military). His findings were to the effect that if antimatter production were treated as an engineering problem rather than a scientific one, production of useful quantities would be entirely feasible using incremental and reasonably-foreseen advances on existing technology.

Whether or not you buy his argument in full, there's no doubt that we throw away most of the energy involved in creating antimatter, and much of that needlessly (as we only know how to capture a very small portion of the results). As such, the claim that "there's no changing" the power requirements is false on its face.

Re:If that's not playing God, (2)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345842)

You're pretty sure about that, are you? One microgram of antimatter reacting with one microgram of matter would liberate as much energy as detonating 43 kg of TNT. About 4 nanograms would liberate as much energy as a hand grenade. I don't know how much antimatter we could "make" until the Sun burns out (that's a pretty long time), but it wouldn't take very much anti-matter to be enough to blow your nose. Something well below the picogram range I would say.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346168)

But 1 gram of hydrogen is 6 * 10^23 atoms. So yes, unless there is some big leap in production capacity it will be centuries before we can even produce a useful amount for a weapon.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346296)

We've so far managed 400 atoms worth worldwide. If we do that a mere 6*10^20 more times we'll have enough for something a bit more powerful than Fat Man (but only a bit).

So, let's be really generous and assume 400 atoms a year. When the sun swells and engulfs the earth in about 5*10^9 years, we'll have produced about 3 picograms worth.

That's enough to blow your nose OFF, so you're technically correct. However, if we want an antimater bomb, we'll have to step it up.

Re:If that's not playing God, (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345556)

Fissile material with vast stores of potential energy occurs naturally. Every subatomic particle of weaponized antimatter would have to be synthesized using orders of magnitude more power than the weapon would have. Before you create enough antimatter to light a bulb, you could wipe out most of humanity with ordinary nuclear weapons. Regardless how easy it will become to produce or store antimatter, it will always take more energy than it is worth.

Re:If that's not playing God, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345934)

This is not true. Antimatter is the most potent known energy storage medium in the universe and as such can be used from anything to near-luminal space travel to power for micro-machines. Also, you're statement about it taking more energy to produce that it releases during annihilation applies to any energy storage medium because of the 2nd law of thermodynamics although I do admit it does take much more excess work energy to store energy in the form of antimatter. ( remember that you also have to enrich uranium, manufacture the detonation mechanism and high explosives )

As for your statement "Before you create enough antimatter to light a bulb, you could wipe out most of humanity with ordinary nuclear weapons" this is just categorically false. The problem now is that current particle accelerators are designed to study particle physics, not to produce antimatter. In fact, Robert Forward [wikipedia.org] showed that if we were to build accelerators specifically designed to produce antimatter ( perhaps special linear wake-field accelerators ), we could potentially produce at least 1 milligram of antimatter per year at a cost of only around a 10 million dollars. If one where to use many accelerators in parallel that where able to produce higher energies, that amount might be up in the gram/kilogram range. In the future, we might harness the power of a rapidly rotating micro-back-hole as it's been proved, theoretically, [wikipedia.org] that matter in such a black hole's accretion disk gets converted directly into energy with 50% efficiency.

To put things in perspective, it only takes a milligram or so of antimatter to put the shuttle into orbit.

Re:If that's not playing God, (0)

Kagura (843695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346652)

Your entire post is wrong.

Re:If that's not playing God, (0)

linuxgeek64 (1246964) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346698)

Your entire post is wrong.

Re:If that's not playing God, (0)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347054)

Assuming the last part is true, then the theoretical minimum (ie. the limit that can never be reached) of energy required to produce a milligram of antimatter is also the energy required to put the shuttle into orbit. The actual energy requirement will suffice to put anywhere from a few to a few millions (maybe billions) of shuttles into orbit, depending on the efficiency of the particle accelerator.

What you save is in the mass of liquid fuel you don't have to carry anymore. That's about as much as an empty shuttle weighs. So you save one shuttle-launch out of those millions.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345438)

On the other hand, in a few short years we've gone from picoseconds to 16 seconds.

Re:If that's not playing God, (3, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345598)

16 minutes (closer to 17), not sixteen seconds.

Speaking of 17 minutes, I'm waiting for someone to write a short story about someone needing to crack a NTLM password before an antimatter bottle loses containment.

Re:If that's not playing God, (2, Funny)

Paua Fritter (448250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346122)

On the other hand, in a few short years we've gone from picoseconds to 16 seconds.

Ha! You Americans with your old-fashioned units of "years" and "hours" and so on ... get with the programme people!
If you had 28 grammes of sense you would just take 6 dekaseconds to learn the Systeme Internationale - it's not that hard.

Re:If that's not playing God, (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345630)

At the current rate of progress it should be a useful method of storing energy for weapons or space travel in about 15 years. It's not linear. They're doing good work here. I don't know why you think a starship would require hundreds of tons of antimatter. That's an awful lot.

We don't need any new weapons. We've enough applied physics to immolate the world already and enough applied chemistry and biology to wipe out the survivors. Of course weapons will be made, but we're past the point where they make the global tension situation any more dire. It's not like smuggling an antimatter bomb into some close quarter and detonating it is going to be a deniable thing. We all pretty much know who has the antimatter.

Re:If that's not playing God, (3, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345780)

there is no danger of any kind of weapon being built with this kind of technology in the next few decades.

And you base this on what? Not so long ago, they couldn't store antimatter at all. Going from nothing to something is a bigger hurdle than going from storing small amounts for short times to storing militarily useful amounts for a long time.

Antimatter is horribly energy-intensive to make, well known stat you can check at wikipedia is at the current production rate at CERN it would take 100 billion years to make a gram of the stuff.

If someone figures out how to convert electricity to stored antimatter (halflife of storage, say being on the order of decades to centuries) at a 1% efficiency, then the current electricity output of the US (roughly a terawatt averaged over a year) could produce a kilogram of antimatter every 7-8 months or so. That's equivalent to a bit over 40 megatons of bomb (including the kilogram of regular matter which also gets converted to energy).

Still that's roughly 3 billion usd per megaton of explosive power (just in energy cost at $0.05 per kWh). I see antimatter bombs not filling the roles of the 250kton-1 megaton bombs (or larger), but things on the order of compact 0.1-1 kiloton bombs (useful for shattering deep underground structures). Much cheaper and fills a niche that currently isn't covered by nuclear or conventional weapons.

Re:If that's not playing God, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345824)

Cry me a river, Space Nutter. We don't have the energy or technology to light up a LED flashlight with anti-matter, let alone build a chalet on Jupiter. And when did you become obssessed with weaponry? I thought all technology comes from manned space flight (amen)?

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346596)

I wonder if you could use antimatter as a hydrogen bomb trigger. Would the shock front from the antimatter annihilation be enough to compress D2 in surrounding heavy water to fusion? If it could then it would amp-up the released energy while keeping a compact package. For instance, what if you had four or six traps and emptied them out in a controlled fashion at a central repository of heavy water so that you used anti-matter annihilation to reproduce on a large scale what the laser ignition facility does on a small scale? That could give you a substantial power increase, without the radioactivity telltales of U/Pu triggers.

Re:If that's not playing God, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346638)

Except there is no real explosive power. It releases almost all of it's power as x-rays, not heat.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

EdZ (755139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345306)

Nope, the universe just isn't made mostly of antimatter. Antimatter is created by natural (if staggeringly high energy processes) without human intervention.

Now if they'd created and confined matter with a negative energy, THEN I'd be very surprised.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

Hermanas (1665329) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345324)

Yes yes, be persnickety about it. This is slashdot, after all.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345490)

Beta+ decay isn't a particularly high energy process. It happens in the brain of anyone who has ever had a PET scan, and they live to tell the tale.

Re:If that's not playing God, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345670)

Beta+ decay with an energy of 238 keV happens everywhere in the body that contains potassium, due to the ~1% natural abundance of K-40.

What about negative mass? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345912)

if they'd created and confined matter with a negative energy, THEN I'd be very surprised.

Imagine negative mass, it's attracted to normal mass but normal mass is repelled by negative mass. A piece of negative mass near a piece of normal mass will be under constant acceleration.

Somewhat like a geek near a pretty girl.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346704)

Now if they'd created and confined matter with a negative energy, THEN I'd be very surprised.

Simple. Store it in a room arranged by a very bad Fung Shui [wikipedia.org] decorator.

Re:If that's not playing God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345412)

Which part of the Bible mentions antimatter, exactly? Why cheapen scientific progress by comparing it to some 2000-year-old shepherd's invisible friend?

This is playing human.

Re:If that's not playing God (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345452)

Translated:

I am Anonymous Coward. I do not understand metaphor.

All instances of the word "God" refer invariably to literal belief in the being described in the King James Version of the Bible (on sale now at a bookstore near you!).

Re:If that's not playing God (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345484)

"I am Anonymous Coward. I do not understand metaphor." - neither do most followers of religions.

Re:If that's not playing God (0)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345618)

Gotta love the usual religion bash. Let other people be, maybe? Maybe some of us are quite intelligent, is that at all possible?

Re:If that's not playing God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345676)

If you're so intelligent then why can't you write worth a damn?

Re:If that's not playing God (1, Interesting)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346000)

According to numerous studies, while its not impossible to be intelligent and believe in god, it automatically deducts about 20 IQ points to have such a belief. Making your claim of believing in god and being intelligent less believable.

Re:If that's not playing God (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346530)

According to numerous studies, while its not impossible to be intelligent and believe in god, it automatically deducts about 20 IQ points to have such a belief.

Huh? Citations of numerous publications or it didn't happen. Making stuff up doesn't automatically get you positive karma, even on /..

More provacatively: Only stupid atheists think anyone who believes in God is much more likely to be less intelligent than they are.

I weep for you, sir or madame.

Re:If that's not playing God (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346966)

I worded it poorly, and 20 I did see somewhere in a study that measured athiests vs christians vs muslims vs Buddhists, with one or two other metrics thrown in. In relation to the Wikipedia article I can be arsed to dig up right now its actually just 6 points.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiosity_and_intelligence [wikipedia.org]

Re:If that's not playing God (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346914)

According to numerous studies, while its not impossible to be intelligent and believe in god, it automatically deducts about 20 IQ points to have such a belief.

OK, formally calling shenanigans. This is just more "conventional wisdom" bullshit and it needs to be boldly refuted to one's face. See here [wikipedia.org] . Comparing the quotes of Nyborg vs. Lynn (who have done similar research and worked together) is interesting:

Nyborg: "I'm not saying that believing in God makes you dumber. My hypothesis is that people with a low intelligence are more easily drawn toward religions, which give answers that are certain, while people with a high intelligence are more skeptical."

Lynn: "Why should fewer academics believe in God than the general population? I believe it is simply a matter of the IQ. Academics have higher IQs than the general population. Several Gallup poll studies of the general population have shown that those with higher IQs tend not to believe in God."

Some points:

1. The difference in IQ is 5 or 6, not 20. Oops.
2. Nyborg's statement is weaker, Lynn's stronger, for correlation between IQ and lack of belief. But in neither case do the researchers say that faith means a person "automatically" has a lower IQ. You take a claim that goes in one direction and turn it around, and then make a stronger claim than either of these researchers themselves. (So that I'm not misunderstood, the Gallop polls referred to find those with higher IQs are less likely to believe in God, not that faith in God indicates a person has a lower IQ.) Oops II: Revenge of the Oops.
3. I'm not the biggest Wikipedia fan (unless one is quite naive, one understands that editors who are motivated enough to do a lot of work rarely have a NPOV; they work for some payoff which, more often than not, is supporting their own beliefs since, by and large, they aren't paid workers), but unless there are numerous-2 studies the article doesn't report on... well, the number of studies you claim falls a little short.

Re:If that's not playing God (0)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347004)

Oblgatory:

http://xkcd.com/386/ [xkcd.com]

Already posted quickly with wikipeda link. Your rapid fire posting of two posts says more about you than me.

I'll see about linking to those studies once I'm finished re-imaging my laptop.

Re:If that's not playing God (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346504)

Gotta love the usual religion bash. Let other people be, maybe? Maybe some of us are quite intelligent, is that at all possible?

What's funny to me isn't the religion bashing (which is a bit shop-worn by now, isn't it?). What's funny is the KJV bashing.

Breaking news: All translations of the original Hebrew and Koine Greek scriptures say the same thing, though one can argue some are expressed in the modern languages in a more liberal or more conservative way. The KJV is falling out of favor for its use of courtly or "Elizabethan" English, but is still the basic English bible of many Christian churches around the world. Its use (or abandonment) does not signify a "literal" interpretation, namely, one which ignores the understanding since before the Christian era that "Scripture should interpret Scripture."

Re:If that's not playing God (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 3 years ago | (#36347036)

If you can read and write standardized English, thank the King James Bible. Few people are aware of this now 400 years after its publication. Happy anniversary, KJV!

The KJV is freely (as in libre and beer) available in many formats (PDF, plain txt, MS Word DOC and RTF, to name a few) over this new-fangled communications and data exchange medium called the Internet, for use on your PC or data pad. Printing? Now that may cost for materials and time/labor.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345464)

Oh, please.

Equal parts of matter and anti-matter were created in the Big Bang, and anti-matter is created regularly as part of Beta decay. It isn't "not of this universe".

It is quite amazing, though. I agree with you there.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345672)

If the two were created in equal amounts, why is the universe we see mostly positive matter? There was possibly some effect or interaction in the first few picoseconds to skew the balance in favor of the stuff we're made up of, otherwise the universe would have been reduced to a hot photon soup pretty fast by runaway annihilation.

That is because anti-matter is for the afterlife (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346268)

All this messing with anti-matter is causing troubles with heaven and hell which are made of the stuff -- and equally large as half the big bang is antimatter.

All these scientists playing god are going to doom us all for eternity! heaven and hell will get upset and have to come save the good ones and let hell punish the remaining people -- next year! The signs show its 2012!!! this is just going to spark the final blow--- they didn't know anything when they predicted this stuff so they couldn't explain how we'd do it; this clearly is going to lead to the end times! Quick! We have to attack science and stop thinking before we destroy ourselves... ah, never mind it is meant to happen so there is nothing we can do but treat science with the disdain it deserves.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346388)

That is currently one of the biggest unanswered questions in the world of science. Theoretically, equal parts of matter and antimatter where created during the big bang. Why they didn't annihilate each other hasn't been explained yet.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345768)

That's because you've set your bar of a "God" way too low - it's not like they've changed the vacuum speed of light, or the gravitation constant, or made 1+1=3 for everywhere in the universe, yet.

Its playing physicist, not playing god (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345774)

If that's not playing God, then I don't know what is. These guys are no longer playing with the stuff our universe is made of, they're now playing with what it's /not/ made of. That's quite amazing, if you ask me.

My understanding is that the universe is made of both matter and antimatter, just much more of the former and not so much of the later. Matter is just more prevalent and has therefore survived the annihilations.

Re:If that's not playing God, (1)

Bizzeh (851225) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345776)

you cant play as something that doesnt exist, also, there is plenty of anti-matter in the universe, and there used to be a lot more according to current theories. what is wrong with attempting to contain some of what falls out of their experiment?

Re:If that's not playing God, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346550)

It's a good thing you don't exist then. I'd hate to play as you. Really, really hate it.

Re:If that's not playing God, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346998)

I bet what he thinks about you is the same as what God thinks about him saying he doesn't exist.

Re:If that's not playing God, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346850)

It'd be a lot easier if they simply used dilythium crystals to regulate the matter/antimatter. Any starship engineer knows that!

1000 seconds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345318)

When they say 1000 seconds they don't mean exactly 1000. It's just 15 minutes, or quarter-of-an-hour, not 16 minutes 40 seconds.

Re:1000 seconds (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345424)

Yes, here we are again with the journalistic conversions:
~100 m => 328.08 ft

Re:1000 seconds (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345870)

Ahem, that's 328.083989501 ft. Let's get the conversion straight.

Re:1000 seconds (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346188)

Yes, here we are again with the journalistic conversions:
~100 m => 328.08 ft

No, a journalistic conversion would be:
100m = about a football field

Re:1000 seconds (1)

hakey (1227664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345910)

I can imagine in the interview the scientists trying to explain the concept of orders of magnitude. Scientist: "You see it doesn't matter if was exactly 15 or 16 minutes, the point is we can now achieve confinement for an order of magnitude of a thousand seconds." Reporter thinking to himself while writing the story: "so it's 1000 seconds, lets see thats exactly 16 minutes and 40 seconds. Now what was they where trying to explain to me about powers of 10, I better put that in to look smart, oh yeah, the more relevant number for physicists, who often deal in powers of 10, is 1,000 seconds."

Powers of ten (2, Insightful)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345348)

I don't read slashdot anywhere near as much as I used to. And on this brief foray to sample from the pool of away-from-maintream reporting, what am I met with - an exciting progression in scientific endevour twisted into a painfully patronising slashdot summary.

See you in another 10^3 days, hopefully there will be some improvement, but I won't be holding my breath :/

Re:Powers of ten (1)

Hermanas (1665329) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345372)

To be fair, that is a direct quote from the article, so even though the summary editor could have exercised some discretion and removed it, at least it's not his own patronizing words.

Re:Powers of ten (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345398)

Slashdot: News for YOUR MOM, stuff that EVEN FOX NEWS PASSED ON

Re:Powers of ten (1)

Hermanas (1665329) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345440)

Hahah, good one

Re:Powers of ten (4, Funny)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345532)

Well thank god you logged in long enough to register your disgust. How else would we have know to be appropriately sad for being deprived of your magnificent presence ?

Re:Powers of ten (1)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345724)

Well thank god you logged in long enough to register your disgust. How else would we have know to be appropriately sad for being deprived of your magnificent presence ?

You make a fair point. But also; welcome to the internet ;)

Re:Powers of ten (1)

Tuan121 (1715852) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346324)

You do realize that was a quote from the article?

Re:Powers of ten (1)

sempir (1916194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346944)

I don't read slashdot anywhere near as much as I used to. And on this brief foray to sample from the pool of away-from-maintream reporting, what am I met with - an exciting progression in scientific endevour twisted into a painfully patronising slashdot summary.

See you in another 10^3 days, hopefully there will be some improvement, but I won't be holding my breath :/

Bloody hell. I've only this minute noticed you haven't been in here for some time. Long time no miss!

Unacceptable. (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345394)

As a true, red-blooded American I take pride in my nation's tough-on-crime policies of long sentences and harsh incarceration. It is simply unacceptable that some multinational research team of limp-wristed European eggheads is imposing tougher sentences on antiparticles than we are.

I, for one, will not be voting for anybody who can't promise that 25% of the world's antihydrogen will be doing 20-to-life in our very own 'SuperMax' high energy physics institutes.

Re:Unacceptable. (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345512)

You fool! You put antimatter in a SuperMax prison with all sorts of hardened criminals and you'll get ANTIHEROs.

And then where will we be, Mr. Smartypants American Patriot? There is a reason that the world hates us.

Re:Unacceptable. (1)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345658)

You put antimatter in a SuperMax prison with all sorts of hardened criminals and you'll get ANTIHEROs.

Will they shoot first, or will they let Greedo take the first shot while doing a weird head-dance around the blaster bolt?

Re:Unacceptable. (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346654)

Billions and billions of anti-HEROS are going through you at this very moment. But not nearly as many as HEROS, modern science still doesn't fully understand this asymmetry but given a few more strings multi-billion dollar labs we'll figure it out in time for your great grand children's 6th grade term paper.

Re:Unacceptable. (1)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345678)

Chill. It doesn't matter.

Re:Unacceptable. (1)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345950)

What doesn't?

Re:Unacceptable. (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345752)

I am so sick of you antiantimatter conservatives! I, for one, believe that matter and antimatter can co-exist peacefully. I refuse to discriminate based on a trivial single-bit difference, and will continue working together with our antimatter brethren on building a brighter futuNO CARRIER

Re:Unacceptable. (2)

BergZ (1680594) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346020)

You limp wristed academics are turning this country into a bunch of WIMPs!

it blows at the of 38min give or take (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345480)

it blows at the of 38min give or take

Re:it blows at the of 38min give or take (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345576)

except when it's powered by a singularity.

It's... (0)

aztektum (170569) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345528)

Over 5,000!!!

No it isn't... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345584)

IT'S A TRAP!

Re:It's... (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36345826)

9000. It's over 9000. [youtube.com]

Re:It's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346442)

Unless you're in Japan, in which case it's only over 8000...

Imagine the possibilities... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345586)

Imagine the weaponisation potential of this! Anti-matter weapons! Hey, what about the US investment in high energy physics now! Can't afford health care, no, no, no! But pie in the sky fears about more advanced weapons potential in other places, and BANG! raid the treasury and empty Fort Knox, we're building a brand new high energy, made in 'merica high energy thingamajig!

No weapons no healthcare (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345834)

You can't have health care unless you already have a military. Government run services only last as long as the government. Kuwaiti hospitals had pretty good tech and services until the Iraqis came by and started carrying away equipment.

Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345820)

Good thinking...

What test should we run first? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36345864)

Initial studies will involve irradiating the anti-atoms with microwaves

Researcher #1: Wow, we've managed to captured antimatter for a 1000 seconds. What now?
Researcher #2: Lets see what happens if we stick it in the microwave! Ever nuke an egg?

I'm just curious (1)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346106)

Can you see antimatter? Does it reflect and/or emit any kind of radiation? I'm too lazy to google it, and since slashdot is populated by so many examples of fine PhDs, I post the question.

Re:I'm just curious (1)

tragedy (27079) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346554)

Yes, you can see antimatter. Except for transparent antimatter (actually, that is a pretty interesting thought, anyone know if anyone has done any reliable work on what the likely physical properties of antimatter elements would be) and, of course, the antimatter only present in microscopic amounts. As it turns out, we've only worked with it in microscopic amounts so far. If you were in a situation where you were dealing with a macroscopic amount of antimatter and you were looking right at it, you'd have to be really, really, really confident in the containment technology to not be escaping as fast as you could run/drive/fly. Anyway, there are sure to be ways to detect antimatter non-destructively although they may be difficult, but it certainly emits gamma radiation when it annihilates with regular matter, so you can certainly tell that you had antimatter in your container after the fact.

Re:I'm just curious (1)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346780)

The question progresses further, of course. Does it interact with the known forces of the universe just like matter? Does it have an electric charge, for instance, or the concept of electric charge does not apply? Is there a "periodic table" for antimatter?

How little I know about such things, it is plain sad. If one had 1000 lifetimes in order to learn, it wouldn't be enough.

Re:I'm just curious (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346934)

Actually, antimatter should look and act exactly like matter, except for the whole explosion thing when it interacts with matter.

I know what this is really about... (1)

arcsimm (1084173) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346290)

In a conference room, somewhere deep underground at CERN's Top Secret Command Center:

"Those bastards at Fermilab have discovered the Higgs Boson [discovermagazine.com] before we did! It's time to initiate... Plan Z."

"Sir, you't seriously mean to--!"

"Oh, but I do. PREPARE THE ANTIMATTER BOMB!"

[Disclaimer for the perdantic: I know the 150GeV bump is probably not the Higgs boson.]

antimatter Engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346426)

imagine building an antimatter Engine, 43 megaton explosion =D

Re:antimatter Engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346482)

What if antimatter can be created in space,Now that will be cool!

Why do we all have to wear these ridiculous ties? (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346486)

It's probably nothing but, no, the probability of a resonance cascade scenario is infinitesimally small They're waiting Gordon in the Test Chamber ...

next (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346636)

Photon torpedos.

Free the Antimatter! Free It Now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346668)

The coalition for the prevention of unlawful imprisonment of antimatter hereby demands that anyone holding antimatter free it immediately.

Only 15 minutes (1)

drmofe (523606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346710)

...and then Vatican City will be consumed by light.

And in this corner! (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346840)

And in this corner! We have a new contender
on the scene... fighting for the title of Earth
Destroyer 2012!

We have Antimatter Containment!

Anti-matter Con-tain-ment!

Let's get ready to...
  (yeah, I don't want to get a letter).

-AI

16 minutes 40 seconds?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36346854)

Can you imagine any real scientist saying "16 minutes 40 seconds" instead of "1000 seconds"? That's got to be a "science reporter", dumbing it down.

An engineer might say "1 kilosecond". Or would you think they'd be more likely to say "one million milliseconds", or "1 x 10e9 microseconds".

Meanwhile, a Windows software developer would probably using a 64 bit integer set to 10000000000.

Booooooooooring! (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36346896)

Wake me up when they can do 1024 seconds!
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