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NC State Creates Most Powerful Positron Beam Ever

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the there-are-four-lights dept.

Announcements 214

eldavojohn writes "A fairly large breakthrough took place earlier this month with the most powerful man-made antimatter electron beam ever being created at North Carolina State University. Professor Hawari who worked on the project explains its benefits: 'The idea here is that if we create this intense beam of antimatter electrons — the complete opposite of the electron, basically — we can then use them in investigating and understanding the new types of materials being used in many applications.'"

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Obligatry (5, Funny)

Avitor (640676) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078281)

Whatever you do, don't cross the streams...

I have a radical idea... (2, Funny)

PixelScuba (686633) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078681)

...We'll cross the streams.

Re:I have a radical idea... (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079411)

...We'll cross the streams.
No, don't. The pee goes everywhere.

Re:Obligatry (2, Funny)

cytg.net (912690) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078791)

"The reactor is a huge recruiting tool," Hawari said. "After they get exposure to the reactor and the facilities online at their own universities, many of them become excited about the possibility of coming to NC State for hands-on experience.""

- excited or radient ?

Re:Obligatry (4, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079115)

"...many of them become excited..."

Do the students emit photons when they relax?

Re:Obligatry (2, Funny)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079395)

Definitely the latter. "The students practically radiate with curieosity" "The students' eyes scintillate with joy"

Re:Obligatry (2, Funny)

opieum (979858) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078809)

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Antimatter the same crap that Star Trek says is bad. Malon Frieghters (people in hazmat suits without helmets real smart bunch there) polluted space with that stuff in Voyager, Warp Cores on starships explode when antimatter leaks and all that fun stuff and here we are making laser beams of the shit? Yep I see lots more military applications there than I do "Scientific"

Re:Obligatry (2, Funny)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078865)

Yes, Star Trek says it's dangerous, therefore it MUST be a bad idea to investigate it...

And anyway, as a Trekkie, I can tell you that you're completely wrong; they use "anti-matter" drives. According to Star Trek, anti-matter is just as "bad" as gasoline: if something bad happens they both blow up.

Re:Obligatry-try again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21079379)

Best. Beam. Ever.

Opposite of electrons... (4, Funny)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078285)

So, will it make my Ironman watch run backwards? OR block out all neural activity?

Re:Opposite of electrons... (2, Funny)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078301)

Actually, it blocks out all positive thinking. Sheesh! Some scientist you are...

Re:Opposite of electrons... (1)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078335)

...and I thought that was the purpose of Chemistry (101).

Re:Opposite of electrons... (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079139)

On the other hand, NEGATIVE thinking will cause you brain to detonate with the force of a nuclear warhead. Probably better not to think at all...

Re:Opposite of electrons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078591)

OR block out all neural activity?

That depends how much they managed to crank it up.

(Hint: "death" is one way to block neural activity)

Re:Opposite of electrons... (1)

beckerist (985855) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078729)

you wouldn't think much is needed...

Hmmm... (1)

moogied (1175879) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078311)

A giant beam, whos primary purpose is to create peices of energy that explode when in contact with normal matter...

I smell a sitcom!

Re:Hmmm... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078367)

Or a Val Kilmer movie.

So who will mount these on sharks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078333)

If I can't have frickin' laser beams, I want positron beams!

Re:So who will mount these on sharks? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078475)

Jesus Christ, dude. Will you please let this fucking "joke" die?

Re:So who will mount these on sharks? (2, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078627)

Jesus Christ, dude. Will you please let this fucking "joke" die?
In Soviet Russia, joke fucks YOU!

Omitted text from the article (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078339)

Professor Hawari who worked on the project explains its benefits: 'The idea here is that if we create this intense beam of antimatter electrons -- the complete opposite of the electron, basically -- we can then use them in investigating and understanding the new types of materials being used in many applications.'"

He added: " We are not quite sure how long it will take to miniaturize the technology for shark mounted applications, but we expect this to be investigated thoroughly in the future"

Is this Slashdot or.. CNN? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078351)

The idea here is that if we create this intense beam of antimatter electrons -- the complete opposite of the electron, basically -- we can then use them in investigating and understanding the new types of materials being used in many applications.
Captain Obvious called, he's going to rob this guy blind with business method patent charges.

Little useful info in TFA (3, Insightful)

burtosis (1124179) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078355)

Do the news reporters talk to the scientists anymore? Or does the average joe just not care?

Apparently outdoing some undisclosed reactor in Munich is about all they say.

Apparently in 1985 you couldn't walk into a store and buy plutonium but perhaps in 2015 you can buy antimatter.

Re:Little useful info in TFA (4, Interesting)

burtosis (1124179) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078425)

http://positrons.physics.lsa.umich.edu/nanopos/Publications/Reprints/Annual%20Rev%20Materials%20Research%20PAS%202006.pdf [umich.edu] Used mostly for characterizing porus materials. Fun read if you find materials or nuclear science interesting, however perhaps too boring to put forth as informations in TFA.

Re:Little useful info in TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078987)

Good golly! We can't let Iran get positron beams, so we need to nuke all their vacuum chambers immediately! And the wheel, that's a bad idea, could lead to chariots! We need to nuke them immediately! And Windows Vista... wait. Let them have Windows Vista. it'll set them back 50 years. SOLD.

Ghostbusters!! (1)

BoyIHateMicrosoft! (1044838) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078365)

So besides ghost busting, what does this thing do? In all seriousness TFA says that is allows microscopes to see stuff at an atomic level. I thought there were already microscopes out there that did that???

Re:Ghostbusters!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078395)

that was a proton beam, this is a positron beam.
Hand in your geek card at the door

Re:Ghostbusters!! (1)

BoyIHateMicrosoft! (1044838) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078419)

I almost swear at some point they talk about having a positron glider. Maybe I was smoking crack here, but I'm fairly certain it was. Anyways...

Re:Ghostbusters!! (1)

BoyIHateMicrosoft! (1044838) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078633)

So my wording was off, but I knew they talked about positron's in Ghostbusters!!!!!

In the film Ghostbusters, Peter Venkman refers to his proton pack as a "positron collider" while he and his fellow teammates trap their first ghost since going into business.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positron [wikipedia.org] I know it's only Wikipedia but still...

Re:Ghostbusters!! (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079083)

I might point out that Barbarella had the positronic ray. Well, actually, it was Duran Duran.

Re:Ghostbusters!! (1)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078399)

It allows atomic level photographs to be viewed in sepia.

Re:Ghostbusters!! (5, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078491)

Electron microscopes can already image at the atomic level, but a positron microscope has advantages [aps.org] because it can give complimentary information (e.g. about the positions of atomic vacancies). You can also use positron beams for PALS (Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectroscopy [wikipedia.org] ), which is a powerful tool for determining the distribution of sizes in (nano-scale) voids in materials (difficult to measure by any other technique). It's also worth remembering that PET scans [wikipedia.org] used in medicine involves a positron-emitting chemical injected into the patient.

There are probably a whole bunch of other experiments that positrons would be great for performing, but intense positron sources are not readily available. The development of more intense positron sources will certainly be welcomed by the scientific community, as it may allow previously unimagined types of measurements.

Re:Ghostbusters!! (1)

BoyIHateMicrosoft! (1044838) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078549)

Awesome!! Thanks for the info! I'd mod you up if I had points.

sharks (2, Funny)

hoto0301 (811128) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078371)

how soon can we affix these beams to sharks' heads?

Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (3, Insightful)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078383)

Currently, there are approximately 25 universities across the United States with active nuclear reactors on campus


You know, when you've read as many science fiction books as I have, this shit is a liiiitle creepy.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (1)

peektwice (726616) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078561)

Yes, and one of the news magazine shows (20/20, 60 minutes, I forget which) had an article about the complete lack of security at these reactors. Often, the security is a grad student with next to no sleep.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (3, Informative)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078785)

Yes, and one of the news magazine shows (20/20, 60 minutes, I forget which) had an article about the complete lack of security at these reactors. Often, the security is a grad student with next to no sleep.


Did they also mention that these reactors have a very low power output and that you couldn't cause a meltdown even if you tried? Even for a dirty weapon the material in these reactors would be rather useless. You can find more dangerous chemicals in your local paint shop.

Having said that, I think we should ban the nuclear family on health and safety grounds. IT'S NUCLEAR! THINK OF THE CHIDLREN!

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (3, Funny)

clarkcox3 (194009) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078855)

I think you mean NUKYULAR!

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21079101)

No, Nucular physics is physics related to the Nuculus.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (4, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079365)

Note: I've been in the PULSTAR reactor room several times.

Nuclear reactors generally pose two threats. The first is that they will get out of control. That can't happen at NC State. By the time the water gets hotter than bathwater, alarms would be going off. The reactor isn't allowed to get at all close to boiling.

The other risk comes from the radioactive substances being stolen. Ignoring the fact that the stuff in the reactor is the least accessible stuff in the building, you would need lethal weapons and scuba gear to get significant quantities out of the reactor room. Getting the stuff off campus would be even harder.

There is a much bigger risk of somebody raiding the chemistry labs for chemical weapons materials.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (1)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078565)

Approximately? Who the heck couldn't count to 25?

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078967)

I don't know, but I sure hope they didn't go to one of those 25-ish universities.

most newsmen (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079011)

Approximately? Who the heck couldn't count to 25?

Most newsmen (judging by their use of the term "many" in place of actual integers - even very small ones - in most of their stories.

Either that or they think their audience can't understand numbers greater than three or so.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (5, Informative)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078701)

You know, when you've read as many science fiction books as I have, this shit is a liiiitle creepy.

Why? These are usually research reactors, from what I understand. They're not meant to power cities; they're not meant to run at a profit. They're meant to generate some types of isotopes for nuclear medicine students, and to give the nuclear engineers something to do.

I've read a lot of science facts, and that's why this shit doesn't feel that creepy at all. I don't mean to single you out, of course, and there are plenty of valid security and OSHA-like concerns at pretty much any nuclear facility; the public's allergy to anything remotely involving the word "radiation," however, is something that could stand a lot of improvment. The dangers of nuclear science are more to do with mismanagement and a lazy operating culture--which are thankfully not fundamental physical issues but rather human ones that can potentially be fixed.

And, frankly, I'd rather the public learn about nuclear science from scientists rather than science fiction authors.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21079317)

LOL - Humans can be fixed

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21079453)

I think we've proven ourselves much better at working around the physical issues than the human ones.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078781)

The reactor here at the University of New Mexico is limited to only 5 Watts by the NRC. It can go critical, but it can't power a light bulb... we use it mainly for short-lived beta source creation.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078883)

Yeah, with all those atoms and neuters floating around...

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (2, Informative)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078995)

Currently, there are approximately 25 universities across the United States with active nuclear reactors on campus

You know, when you've read as many science fiction books as I have, this shit is a liiiitle creepy.


This isn't a little creepy. Idiocracy [netflix.com] is a bit creepy. Manna [marshallbrain.com] is a bit creepy. And this Wired story [wired.com] is down right scary and creepy. If we continue down this path, then we are well on our way to being a nation of idiots.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (1)

PackMan97 (244419) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079135)

Not really. The PULSTAR is a whopping 1MW reactor. Although, it is kinda freaky that it sits right smack in the middle of campus and that must students don't even know it's there!

If you'd like to know more about State's NE program here is a link, http://www.ne.ncsu.edu/ [ncsu.edu]

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079171)

Currently, there are approximately 25 universities across the United States with active nuclear reactors on campus You know, when you've read as many science fiction books as I have, this shit is a liiiitle creepy.

Reed College here in Portland has one. It never seems to be mentioned in the news, ever. I assume they are not actively using it. I've actually been inside the main reactor chamber once. Obviously it was not turned on. Very cool, fascinating, and scary at the same time.

Ahh, Reed College. There used to be a bong chained to the floor in the student union there. You could toke it up, but Don't Steal That Bong.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (4, Informative)

TFer_Atvar (857303) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079179)

Actually, there are 32. I wrote my senior thesis on this topic. That number is actually down from the late 1970s, when there were nearly 60. As a previous commenter said, they're virtually all research reactors, and most are of the TRIGA design designed by General Atomics. When the engineers and scientists went about designing it in the 1950s, they asked themselves how they could design a reactor that was completely accident-proof. Even if you wanted to melt down a TRIGA, you couldn't. Yanking every control rod fully out of the reactor will cause a spark in neutron activity before the water moderates the reaction back down. NC State had the first collegiate nuclear reactor in the United States, before even the TRIGA design. Rest assured, they know what they're doing.

Re:Jesus Christ in a Chicken Basket (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21079189)

I don't see how this post is insightful -- it doesn't say anything factual. I have been around a research reactor at Cornell, before they closed it (in 2001 I think they finally did). They showed us how it operates. We (the students in the Nuclear Engineering class) were in the control room when they let it go critical. Those reactors are a completely different design than power-generating or breeder reactors. By design they cannot go critical for more than a millisecond or so -- the nuclear reaction shuts itself down due to the nature of the neutron crossection of Uranium. The reactor at Cornell was an open reactor -- it was at the bottom of a pool of water and one could look at it from above -- it glowed nice and blue. Also those are reactors that run on Uranium that is only weakly enriched and cannot be used for weapons.

Man (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079429)

My university is not cool enough to have a real reactor. All they got is these steam tunnels and a bunch of blue-glowing water!

positron rifle from Evangelion? (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078393)

Reminds me of the positron rifle from the 6th episode of Evangelion [wikipedia.org] .

I for one . . . (3, Funny)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078397)

I for one welcome our new Tarheel Overlords! :-)

In seemingly unrelated news, Duke University ceases to exist, somehow evaporated by a wave of unknown positron emission energy. But little seem to care, since Duke sucks anyways!

Re:I for one . . . (1)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078413)

That's stinking funny.

Re:I for one . . . (2, Informative)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078463)

btw - NC State is the Wolfpack, not Tarheel's (UNC). But they also hate Duke, so your headline still works.

Re:I for one . . . (1)

PseudononymousCoward (592417) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078477)

But we hate UNC more...

Re:I for one . . . (0, Flamebait)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078891)

As a Tarheel, allow me to say:

"Duke is our evil twin; State is our retarded cousin."

(and as a geek, let me say congrats to Prof Hawari and his team)

Re:I for one . . . (1)

plate_o_shrimp (948271) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078483)

>I for one welcome our new Tarheel Overlords! :-)

As an NCSU alum, I take umbrage at your comment! UNC (the Tarheels) have nothing over the NC State Wolfpack! ;-)

Re:I for one . . . (5, Informative)

gregoryb (306233) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078501)

Tarheel? Thems fightin' words, son! It's WOLFPACK...

Re:I for one . . . (2)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079035)

I think a more apropos headline would be:

"Several UNC students carrying buckets of carolina blue paint have been missing since the big UNC win last night. In seemingly unrelated news, this morning NCSU campus police found several strange-looking piles of ash by the Free Expression Tunnel."

Don't cross the beams! (2, Interesting)

Derling Whirvish (636322) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078465)

So if you shot a powerful positron beam at something and also shot a powerful electron beam at it also, would you have a continuous antimatter explosion at the crossover point?

Re:Don't cross the beams! (4, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078695)

So if you shot a powerful positron beam at something and also shot a powerful electron beam at it also, would you have a continuous antimatter explosion at the crossover point?

Kinda. It's more like a gamma-ray (and neutrino) light source. The electron-positron annihilation releases a tad over a MeV mainly as two photons that fly off in opposite directions - plus a neutrino, so the photons are somewhat under half the energy each.

Think of it as an x-ray tube - without the vacuum tube - but with the power supply, instead of being in the kilovolt range, cranked up to whatever the beam voltage is plus an extra half-million volts or so.

Also, if you have a target you don't really need the electron beam. Just ground it well enough that it doesn't accumulate enough positive voltage to deflect the positron beam to somewhere else.

Re:Don't cross the beams! (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079023)

But with an electron beam ... you could potentially create a floating point of light?

As in, a single pixel (individual photons ... crikey, that would be way less than a pixel :)), which could evolve to be a multipixel hologramatic display? :)

Re:Don't cross the beams! (2, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079075)

But with an electron beam ... you could potentially create a floating point of light?

Naw. It would have to hit something to glow. And it wouldn't be much of a beam with an acceleration voltage in the single-digit volts needed to produce visible light when the electrons slam into something.

As for trying to make a middle-of-the-air display by intersecting electron and positron beams: While half-MeV gamma-ray photons count as "light" they don't count as "visible light" (unless the light is really bright and an unfocused, all-over-the-retina, dying-cell sensation counts as "visible"). They're more than 100,000 times as "ultra" as "ultra-violet".

Re:Don't cross the beams! (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079119)

So essentially what you're saying is we have some sort of totally awesome death ray here.. why don't they include important things like this in the summary!

Use it on drug resistant bacteria (2, Funny)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078467)

I'd like my doctor to have one of these new fangled ray gun thingies just in case I become infected with some of that super duper bacteria I keep hearing about.

Dr. Noonien Soong... (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078497)

Isn't Data's neural network positronic?

I call first in line to meet Lor!

How is the beam manipulated? (2, Insightful)

master_p (608214) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078515)

How is the beam manipulated? doesn't it cause an explosion if it touches normal particles? can it be used as a weapon? as fuel? how is the beam created?

Re:How is the beam manipulated? (1)

ruinevil (852677) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078719)

Well... since positrons have charges... I guess magnets would allow manipulation. Also positron pretty have negligible mass. so when they meet up with an electron and make a photon, the photon will have negligible energy... far too little to probably used as a weapon even in a continuous beam. Anyways air has electrons too, so it probably won't good range outside of a vacuum. And it probably uses far more energy to make a positron beam than you get from one... so it won't be useful as a fuel.

Re:How is the beam manipulated? (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078733)

How is the beam manipulated?
The beam is manipulated just like an electron beam: using "magnetic optics." Since an electron has a (negative) charge, you can deflect or accelerate it using electric or magnetic fields. Magnetic coils are used in electron microscopes to focus electrons onto the sample, and then to focus the transmitted electrons onto an imagine plate (very analogous to how a light microscope works).

Similarly, to manipulate positrons, which have a positive charge, you can use the exact same principles.

doesn't it cause an explosion if it touches normal particles? can it be used as a weapon?
Most experiments involving positrons do in fact rely upon the fact that the positrons will annihilate with any electrons they encounter (releasing an easy-to-detect gamma-ray flash). So positrons make for excellent probes of electron density, for instance. Positron beams used for science would be weak enough that their interaction wouldn't really lead to explosions: just a measurable amount of gamma-ray production. (By the way, positron-annihilation is used in medical PET scanners, where the low-level gamma ray bursts are used to determine where the tracer chemical went in the body.) A sufficiently intense positron beam would be highly destructive. However as weapons go it doesn't make much sense: the energy input required to generate a positron beam is so large that you would be better off putting that same amount of energy to more direct use.

as fuel? how is the beam created?
In principle one could generate a positron beam from a particle accelerator. The work described in the article is creating a beam from a small-scale nuclear reactor. Again the creation of positrons is so energy-intensive that it would be somewhat counter-productive to use it as a fuel (rather than just using the energy or nuclear material more directly as a fuel source).

Re:How is the beam manipulated? (2, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078959)

How is the beam manipulated?

Like an electron beam - with electric and/or magnetic fields. (But because the particles are positive you have to use the reverse of the fields you'd use on electrons.)

doesn't it cause an explosion if it touches normal particles?

It causes a spot of gamma-ray (and neutrino) "light" emission. Kinda like an x-ray tube with a half-million volts between the electrodes (minus the vacuum bottle).

can it be used as a weapon?

If you have a BIG truck to carry the swimming-pool reactor around. B-)

as fuel?

No. You'd need to trap the antimatter to use it later - and to trap any significant amount you'd have to make anti-matter neucei to counter (most of) the anti-electrons' mutual repulsion. Otherwise you'd be spending far more power holding it in than it would ever produce. That means making at LEAST anti-protons, a much more ambitious task (over 1,800 times as hard if you're just counting energy per particle).

Re:How is the beam manipulated? (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079241)

How is the beam manipulated? doesn't it cause an explosion if it touches normal particles?

The energy of any such explosion would have to COME FROM somewhere. You aren't getting out any more than you put in. If you're causing megaton-sized explosions, that means you're using megaton-sized energy to create the positron beam. This is nowhere near that.

Pure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078521)

"Pure anti-proton. Absolutely pure!"

--Commodore Decker

Re:Pure (1)

stox (131684) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079409)

You gotta go to Fermilab for the world's most powerful anti-proton beam.

Antimatter electron? (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078579)

I thought in order to actually have "anti-matter" you needed whole anti-atoms. I think the proper term is simply anti-electrons. (Could be wrong in my pedanticism)

Re:Antimatter electron? (1)

clarkcox3 (194009) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078997)

Electrons are matter, so why wouldn't anti-electrons/positrons be anti-matter?

Re:Antimatter electron? (2, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079375)

Sigh... such a lack of precision today. Nothing anti-matters anymore.

Yes, positrons are considered anti-matter. But you can call it what you want in your own Jeffries tubes.

Re:Antimatter electron? (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079015)

I thought in order to actually have "anti-matter" you needed whole anti-atoms. I think the proper term is simply anti-electrons. (Could be wrong in my pedanticism)


I seriously doubt most physicists would give a crap as long as you are consistent and it is clear what you mean. Kinda like nobody beyond high school really cares if you say that a proton is "heavier" than an electron when it is technically more accurate to say it is more massive. There's an XKCD which illustrates this kinda thing rather well: http://www.xkcd.com/123/ [xkcd.com]

Please note that this may not apply when it comes to more important questions that may arise in the cafeteria... THE MILK GOES FIRST! *brings out the pitchfork*

She can't take much more of this! (4, Funny)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078595)

I've seen Scotty create beams of antimatter with two phasers and a tricorder, big whoop.

In other news... (0, Redundant)

RegTooLate (1135209) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078639)

NC State is using the frickin huge antimatter electron beam to create huge frickin sharks to which they will attach aforementioned frickin lazer beam.

Long Lost Brother (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21078641)

Professor Hawari
The last know, and by far the most sucessful, member of the Fuckarwe tribe.

Possible Applications? (0, Redundant)

isane (713829) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078651)

Can we get one on a shark's head? Is that too much to ask? Can someone throw a dog a 'friggin bone?

uh o (3, Funny)

moogied (1175879) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078675)

The reactor is a huge recruiting tool," Hawari said. "After they get exposure to the reactor and the facilities online at their own universities, many of them become excited"
My god.. there making mutants.

Re:uh o (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079297)

you really deserve to be modded up for that.

good catch.

This just in... (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078679)

The president of NC State has just announced the construction of the new FORTRESS OF DOOM Hall which will house both the Physics Department and the Department of Uralic-Altaic Languages.

-sigh- (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078689)

Insert joke here about Dirty Hawari with the Most Powerful Postitron Beam in the world, and can blow a grad student's head clean off...

I know there's a good joke here, but it's not coming to me. -sigh- Some days you have it, some days you don't. :)

I'm not impressed (3, Funny)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078899)

I won't be impressed until scientists are able to create an inverted tachyon pulse that solves any problems caused by spatial anomalies.

Priorities (0, Offtopic)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078907)

As a NCSU alum (class of 2005), I'm impressed that they've got the earth's largest antimatter beam, but I think but I'd be even more impressed if they finally got the majority of professors to put their class syllabus online.

Re:Priorities (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079315)

You see, WITH the antimatter beam, they now have a ray of death with which to threatened said teachers. put the syllabus online or we'll strip every electron from your body in a glorious explosion of photons, gamma rays and neutrinos!

and kudos to them, we need more supervillians in this world.

Useless without... (2, Interesting)

clarkcox3 (194009) | more than 5 years ago | (#21078955)

OK, this article is useless without some mention of how powerful this beam is. They say that the reactor itself puts out 5MW, but nothing of the beam itself.

Re:Useless without... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079059)

The "beam" was probably about 5 or 6 positrons in a row... well, you don't want them to blow up the world, do you?

Re:Useless without... (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21079437)

OK, this article is useless without some mention of how powerful this beam is. They say that the reactor itself puts out 5MW, but nothing of the beam itself.
The two most important questions: what do you shoot with it and how pretty is the 'splosion? Oh, third question: does it work on Angels?

Misread (1)

Boglin (517490) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079001)

I guess that I'm now officially paranoid. I misread the title as "NC State Police Create Most Powerful Positron Beam Ever". I then started to imagine the inevitable YouTube videos.

Good News, Everyone! (1)

gertam (1019200) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079053)

I've created an intense anti-matter beam so powerful that it could evaporate half of New New York if it was accidentally activated. So just remember not to press this big red button!

-------

"Getting the brain out is the easy part. The hard part is getting the brain out."
-Parallel Universe Dr. Hubert Farnsworth

Getting excited... (1)

cmeans (81143) | more than 5 years ago | (#21079103)

"After they get exposure to the reactor and the facilities online at their own universities, many of them become excited about the possibility of coming to NC State for hands-on experience."

Maybe the exposure to the reactor, is just causing their atoms to excite.

Has to be said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21079439)

Just imagine a beowulf cluster of those!
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