Saturday, 1 September 2012

AntiMatter and AntiHydrogen

Experiments at CERN are many. Many think about the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) a special particle accelerator that is used to find the higgs-boson. A special particle in a field of these particles and it is to clarify that this theories particle actually exists. The higgs-boson is a field which gives matter its mass. This in turns explains a gravitational force that is usually associated with the mass of an object. But at CERN there are many other experiments that are just as important and take place all the time outside the LHC.  One such experiment would be the anti-particles. First derived from Paul Dirac, which demonstrated that there could be another class of particles called anti particles. So for every proton there is an anti-proton, for an electron there is a positron. Just as these exist in principle, you can actually put them together to create more composite systems.

This is an image of untrapped anti-hydrogen annihilation on the inner surface.
Fig.1 this graphic © 2010 by CERN

A shining example of such a composite would be where you would place an anti-particle with a positron and this would make “anti-hydrogen”. This has been done practically and has been proven to exist. But one major flaw with the experiment was that when an anti-particle and its particle partner meet, it forms an annihilation, giving of immense light. So it showed that they were able to obtain it. But they weren’t able to keep it for a significant amount of time (1/6th of a second)
The process that is used to sustain anti-particles such as anti-hydrogen is to be stored in a magnetic field and electrical field, as the anti-particles must not meet with physical matter. But currently anti hydrogen looked exactly the same as normal hydrogen. But due to the magnetic fields that trap the anti-hydrogen, scientist don’t know whether or not that gravity works the same way on anti-hydrogen as normal hydrogen does. Energy levels of an anti-hydrogen.
This is a graphical representation of matter(Hydrogen) Vs. Anit-matter(Anti-Hydrogen)
Fig.2 this graphic @2011 by CERN

So that is well and good, it sounds nice and we have created some of it. Where does it come into our life? What physical application does it have in society? Well, try Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scanners. Which have made essential breakthroughs in the medical sciences, in Oncology, Neuroimaging, Cardiology, Musculo-skeletal and Pharmacology imaging. The PET uses a special isotope, a nuclear isotope which decays very quickly and one of the decay products is the positron. The positron then circulates around your brain for example. But it is emitted very slowly around your brain, it will hit an electron, thus when the positron hits the electron light is emitted then giving a signal to the detector.
As of yet, there is not much you can utilise from anti-matter technology, mainly due to man power and or finances. But when these hurdles are over come then most of the issues we currently face will be vanquished.



  • Anonymous says:
    7 September 2012 at 15:32

    This will help with my university course. Thanks!

  • Anonymous says:
    15 September 2012 at 11:51

    WoW !!! Thanks for sharing such rare information :)

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