Sunday/ does it (anti-)matter?

The Sunday edition of the South China Morning Post reported today on a research project that has been going on, right here where I have worked on Daya Bay Nuclear Power station’s information systems project (picture from the newspaper’s website).   A global team of scientists  study the neutrinos generated by the nuclear reactors here, in an effort to understand antimatter better.

What is antimatter?  Well, we all know electrons.  They have equivalent anti-particles called positrons.   Neutrons have antineutrons, and protons have antiprotons.   So it is entirely possible for a hydrogen atom made up of a proton and an electron, to instead be an ‘anti-hydrogen’ atom made up of an anti-proton and a positron.   How cool is that?

From Wikipedia’s antimatter entry : There is considerable speculation as to why the observable universe is apparently composed almost entirely of matter (as opposed to a mixture of matter and antimatter), whether there exist other places that are almost entirely composed of antimatter instead, and what sorts of technology might be possible if antimatter could be harnessed.  At this time, the apparent asymmetry of matter and antimatter in the visible universe is one of the greatest unsolved problems in physics.

 

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