A team of physicists has determined that mysterious ‘antinuclei’ can travel across the universe without being absorbed by the interstellar medium. The discovery suggests that we can detect antimatter produced by dark matter in deep space.
Physicists estimate the so-called Milky Way Transparency to antihelium-3 nuclei—that is, how much a galaxy’s interstellar medium is allowed to zip nuclei through space.
“Our results show for the first time, based on direct absorption measurements, that antihelium-3 nuclei from the center of our Galaxy can reach near-Earth locations,” said ALICE Physics Coordinator Andrea Dainese. CERN liberation.
Antimatter is not just the stuff of science fiction novels. It’s a real, naturally occurring mirror to the ordinary. Antimatter particles have the same mass but opposite charges of their ordinary counterparts. Where electrons have a negative charge, their antimatter counterparts, positrons, have a positive charge. Antimatter partners of protons More simply named Antiprotons.
This principle can be scaled down to the atomic level: eMost atoms have a nucleus – a core of protons and neutrons that shine together – but there are also antinuclei.Antiprotons and Antineutrons. We know they exist because they were discovered An experiment in 1965When physicists observed antideuterons (the antimatter version of the deuterium atom) in a laboratory.
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The universe was formed 14 billion years ago, in theory with a big bang Equal amounts of matter and antimatter must have formed. But look around you, or Latest Web Telescope Images: We live in a universe dominated by matter. A classic question in physics What happened to all the antimatter?.
A recent research team – a large, international collaboration of physicists – has teamed up with CERN’s Large Hadron Collider underground near Saint-Genis-Boiley, France, to try to get one step closer to discovering the mystery. items.
Alice (A large ion collision experiment) is an 11,000-ton detector that probes collisions between heavy ions and other particles, allowing physicists to study the smallest, primordial, and most exotic masses in our universe.
In a recent experiment, the ALICE collaboration attempted to measure the rate at which antihelium-3 nuclei (isotopes of helium’s antimatter counterpart) disappear when they encounter normal matter. Their study Published In Natural Physics.
Not much has been studied about the significant distances that antimatter particles can travel But “how many detectors will the produced antihelium-3 reach,” said Laura Šerkšnytė, a physicist at Technische Universität München and a member of the ALICE collaboration, in an email to Gizmodo.
In other words, the team’s research is as useful an indicator as cosmic antinuclei detectors. AMS test On the ship International SSpeed Station And to come GAPS Balloon Experiment In Antarctica, there would be a fair chance of finding intense particles.
There are few candidates for sources of natural antinuclei in the universe; One is the collision of high-energy cosmic rays with atoms in the interstellar medium, the material that occupies the interstellar space. Another candidate—a key component of recent research—is a particular taste Theoretical Dark matter particles called WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) emit anti-atoms when they annihilate.
A third, more tantalizing idea is that antinuclei are given off by antistars, a theoretical object of—you guessed it. A star made entirely of antimatter.
Antinuclei from interactions of cosmic rays with regular matter have high energiesDark matter is consumed with the antinuclei born from annihilation events rather than with them. Cosmic light antinuclei (‘cosmic light antinuclei’) have not been confirmed to have been detected.universe,’ They mean to float in space, and ‘light,‘ represents their mass) Such antimatter particles are undetected in the wild, Physicists’ best bet has Accelerators like the LHC.
The ALICE collaboration separately modeled the transparency of the Milky Way to antinuclei that would emerge from dark matter WIMPs and cosmic ray collisions. They found 50% transparency for the dark matter sample and 25% to 90% transparency for the cosmic ray sample.
According to their measurements, antihelium-3 nuclei can make it several kilobarsecs (thousands of light-years) without being absorbed by normal matter in the interstellar medium.
“The idea of the paper is to show this transparency, and our measurement can be used in all future studies,” said Šerkšnytė.
Šerkšnytė also noted that transparencies “can actually measure these antinuclei in principle,” adding that these measurements provide a means for future research teams to interpret data from light antinuclei searches—in turn informing the search for dark matter.
The findings therefore restore antimatter nuclease detectors such as the AMS on the ISS. and the GAPS balloon mission. AMS has so far collected data on 213 billion cosmic ray events and counting, troves over the data to find signs of antimatter. A second iteration of the experiment found some antihelium candidates in cosmic rays. Results from GAPS, which is expected to fly by in late 2023, could independently confirm AMS’s antihelium detections.
You might think of new research as the idiomatic horse that should be before the cart if you plan to go anywhere soon. If physicsists want to move forward their An understanding of the antimatter universe—where it is and How do we find it – and Learn more about dark matter, They need to find some anti-atoms.
Also: Could antimatter be a gateway into the dark universe?