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Exotic Antimatter Created on Earth

Scientists have created a never-before seen type of exotic matter that is thought to have been present at the earliest stages of the universe, right after the Big Bang.

The recent feat of matter-tinkering was accomplished by smashing charged gold atoms at each other at super-high speeds in a particle accelerator called the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y.

Image: In a single collision of gold nuclei at the RHIC particle accelerator, many hundreds of particles are emitted, most created from the quantum vacuum via the conversion of energy into mass in accordance with Einstein’s famous equation E = mc². The particles leave telltale tracks in the STAR detector (shown here from the end and side). Scientists analyzed about a hundred million collisions to spot the new antinuclei, identified via their characteristic decay into a light isotope of antihelium and a positive pi-meson. Altogether, 70 examples of the new antinucleus were found.

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Posted on Friday, March 5th, 2010 at 11:15 PM
Tagged as: #Science #Physics  Short URL: