ANTIMATTER SLOWED WITH LASER LIGHT
Here's an intriguing article that was sent by P.S.J., and it has my high octane speculation motor running me right off the end of the speculation twig, but that will take some explaining. Here's the article:
Now there's something here that caught my eye and that of course has me crawling very gingerly to the end of today's high octane speculation twig, and very possibly, right off of it (which is very often what we non-scientists do when we're speculating about the latest scientific or engineering wizardry):
Antihydrogen is the simplest stable atom that consists only of antimatter particles, namely an antiproton and an antielectron (a positron). Measurements of antihydrogen therefore provide an ideal way to test the symmetry between matter and antimatter, but such experiments present formidable obstacles. In 1995, 11 antihydrogen atoms were produced from reactions in a particle accelerator at CERN, Europe’s particle-physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, and hurtled down a 10-metre-long vacuum tube at nine-tenths of the speed of light2. Each atom existed for barely a few tens of nanoseconds before being destroyed by striking a particle detector.
Much of the ensuing research into antihydrogen has involved inventing new ways of producing samples of increasingly slower-moving atoms. This was eventually achieved by confining and mixing clouds of antiprotons and positrons in magnetic fields that acted as ion traps to produce antihydrogen atoms. The atoms were then confined by another complex configuration of magnetic fields that acted as a neutral-atom trap3,4. The ALPHA collaboration at CERN’s Antiproton Decelerator facility can now routinely trap 1,000 antihydrogen atoms for many hours in this way. This has allowed an atomic frequency of antihydrogen, which corresponds to the energy of a characteristic atomic transition, to be measured5 with a fractional precision of 2 parts in 1012. No deviation from the corresponding frequency of hydrogen was observed, which is exactly the outcome expected from CPT symmetry. (Boldface emphasis added
Regular readers of this website or of my books will know that I have long speculated that the vast expenditure of money and manpower on CERN's Large Hadron Collider was not just about "pure research". I've even entertained the speculation that it's not just about particle physics but other kinds of physics as well, and these speculations I still entertain to this day. But here we are concerned with particle physics, and specifically, let it be noted, with the creation of anti-matter in the form of antihydrogen, and then the all-important issue of containing it long enough to take measurements. Why is this significant? Firstly, because when any anti-matter comes into contact with its opposite, that is to say, "normal matter", there is a total annihilation reaction. Let's say you had x numbers of regular hydrogen atoms, and x number of anti-hydrogen atoms, and you brought them together. They would both be completely consumed with a tremendous burst of energy. Indeed, if one could assemble enough of these atoms and anti-atoms, and then suddenly bring them together by allowing the containment of the anti-atoms to collapse, one could conceivably have an explosion much, MUCH larger than the largest hydrogen bomb humanity ever detonated (which, incidentally, was the Soviet Union's "Tsar Bomba" test of 1961 which resulted in a yield estimated at a whopping 57 megatons. Some estimates placed it much higher at around 67 megatons.)
To put this all "country simple," there is a clear military implication and potential application to CERN's findings, not the least of which has been to contain a large amount of antihydrogen "for many hours."
The other interesting takeaway from the above qoutation is the chemical implication, for as noted, the anti-hydrogen behaves exactly like normal hydrogen in atomic transition states, which implies that if, say, anti-oxygen would be created and similarly contained, and chemically bonded with anti-hydrogen, one might have anti-water because the transition states of their positrons(i.e., anti-electrons) would behave in a similar fashion to their normal matter counterparts. In short, the implication is that any elements and chemical compounds composed of them might have their anti-matter correspondents. Of course, it needs to be emphasized that we're a very very very long way away from that and we're similarly very very far away from such conclusions, as there are a variety of arguments that could be and have been advanced against the notion (the matter-anti-matter anisotropy in the universe being but one), but nevertheless it seems to emerge from the implications of the article, narrowly considered.
But... all this is still only prelude, because then there's an explanation of a new technique of cooling - and thus being able to contain - a much greater density of antihydrogen using counter-propagating laser beams. I'll let the reader read the details in the article. But these details then end with this:
Finally, because laser cooling leads to a greater concentration of slower atoms at the magnetic-field minimum of the neutral atom trap, it might allow denser clouds of antihydrogen to be produced than is currently possible. This would further improve the precision of measurements in future experiments.
Again, the potential military implications here seem to follow from the previous speculations. And that means, once and for all, what's going on in Geneva is not just about "pure science."
The late US Naval Observatory astronomer Dr. Tom Van Flandern speculated that the asteroid belt is the remains of an exploded planet that used to be more or less in the orbit of the asteroid belt, reviving the early 19th century hypothesis of astronomers that the asteroid belt was the remains of just such a planet which, oddly enough, they named "Krypton." When searching for an explanation of why a planet should suddenly and spontaneously explode, Dr. Van Flandern speculated that perhaps there was somehow an accumulation of antimatter in the planetary core whose containment had somehow suddenly collapsed, producing the explosion. (For more information on his theory, see the discussion in my book The Cosmic War: Modern Physics, Ancient Texts, and Interplanetary Warfare, or Dr. Van Flandern's book Dark Matter, Missing Planets, and New Comets: Paradoxes Resolved, Origins Illuminated.) Why is this significant? Because as far as was known then, or indeed now, there are no known naturally occurring examples of such anti-matter accumulation and containment able to produce such an explosion. All such accumulations and containments achieved thus far have been the results of technology and applied engineering, in short, of intelligence...
OK... my high octane speculation of the day is concluded, and everyone can laugh now...
See you on the flip side...
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