Essay, Research Paper: Anti-Matter

Physics

Free Physics research papers were donated by our members/visitors and are presented free of charge for informational use only. The essay or term paper you are seeing on this page was not produced by our company and should not be considered a sample of our research/writing service. We are neither affiliated with the author of this essay nor responsible for its content. If you need high quality, fresh and competent research / writing done on the subject of Physics, use the professional writing service offered by our company.


Ordinary matter has negatively charged electrons circling a positively charged
nuclei. Anti-matter however has positively charged electrons - positrons -
orbiting a nuclei with a negative charge - anti-protons. Only anti-protons and
positrons are able to be produced at this time, but scientists in Switzerland
have begun a series of experiments which they believe will lead to the creation
of the first anti-matter element -- Anti-Hydrogen. (Encarta 99) The Research
Early scientists often made two mistakes about anti-matter. Some thought it had
a negative mass, and would thus feel gravity as a push rather than a pull. If
this were so, the antiproton's negative mass/energy would cancel the proton's
when they met and nothing would remain; in reality, two extremely high-energy
gamma photons are produced. Today's theories of the universe say that there is
no such thing as a negative mass. (Encarta 99) The second and more subtle
mistake is the idea that anti-water would only annihilate with ordinary water,
and could safety be kept in (say) an iron container. This is not so: it is the
subatomic particles that react so destructively, and their arrangement makes no
difference. Scientists at CERN in Geneva are working on a device called the LEAR
(low energy anti-proton ring) they are attempting to slow the velocity of the
anti-protons to a billionth of their normal speeds. The slowing of the
anti-protons and positrons, which normally travel at a velocity near the speed
of light, is necessary so that they have a chance of meeting and combining into
anti-hydrogen. The problems with research in the field of anti-matter is that
when the anti-matter elements touch matter elements they annihilate each other.
The total combined mass of both elements are released in a spectacular blast of
energy. Electrons and positrons come together and vanish into high-energy gamma
rays (along with a certain number of harmless neutrinos, which pass through
whole planets without effect). Hitting ordinary matter, 1 kg of anti-matter
explodes with the force of up to 43 million tons of TNT - as though several
thousand Hiroshima bombs were detonated at once. (Encarta 99) So how can
anti-matter be stored? Outer space seems the only place, both for storage and
for large-scale production. On Earth, gravity will sooner or later pull any
anti-matter into disastrous contact with matter. Anti-matter has the opposite
effect of gravity on it, the anti-matter is 'pushed away' by the gravitational
force due to its opposite nature to that of matter. A way around the gravity
problem appears at CERN, where fast moving anti-protons can be held in a
'storage ring' around which they constantly move - and kept away from the walls
of the vacuum chamber - by magnetic fields. However, this only works for charged
particles, it does not work for anti-neutrons, for example. The Unanswerable
Question Though anti-matter can be slowly manufactured, natural anti-matter has
never been found. In theory, we should expect equal amounts of matter and
anti-matter to be formed at the beginning of the universe - perhaps some far off
galaxies are the made of anti-matter that somehow became separated from matter
long ago. A problem with the theory is that cosmic rays that reach Earth from
far-off parts are often made up of protons or even nuclei, never of anti-protons
or antinuclei. There may be no natural anti-matter anywhere. In that case, what
happened to it? The most obvious answer is that, as predicted by theory, all the
matter and anti-matter underwent mutual annihilation in the first seconds of
creation; but why there do we still have matter? It seems unlikely that more
matter than anti-matter should be formed. In this scenario, the matter would
have to exceed the anti-matter by one part in 1000 million. An alternative
theory is produced by the physicist M. Goldhaber in 1956, is that the universe
divided into two parts after its formation : the universe that we live in, and
an alternate universe of anti-matter that cannot be observed by us. (Encarta 99)
The Chemistry Though they have no charge, anti-neutrons differ from neutrons in
having opposite 'spin' and 'baryon number'. All heavy particles, like protons or
neutrons, are called baryons. A firm rule is that the total baryon number cannot
change, though this apparently fails inside black holes. A neutron (baryon
number +1) can become a proton (baryon number +1) and an electron (baryon number
0 since an electron is not a baryon but a light particle). The total electric
charge stays at zero and the total baryon number at +1. But a proton cannot
simply be annihilated. A proton and anti-proton (baryon number -1) can join
together in an annihilation of both. (Galactic Positron Annihilation) The two
heavy particles meet in a flare of energy and vanish. Their mass is converted to
high-energy radiation while their opposite charges and baryon numbers cancel
out. We can make antiprotons in the laboratory by turning this process round,
using a particle accelerator to smash protons together at such enormous energies
that the energy of collision is more than twice the mass/energy of a proton. The
resulting reaction is written: p + p p + p + p + p Two protons (p) become three
protons plus an antiproton(p); the total baryon number before is: 1 + 1 = 2 And
after the collision it is: 1 + 1 + 1 - 1 = 2 Still two. Anti-matter elements
have the same properties as matter properties. For example, two atoms of
anti-hydrogen and one atom of anti-oxygen would become anti-water. (Galactic
Positron Annihilation) The Article The article I read about on the Internet,
reflects on recent advancements in anti-matter research. Scientists in
Switzerland have begun experimenting with a LEAR device which would slow the
particle velocity by a billionth of its original velocity. This is all done in
an effort to slow the velocity to such a speed where it can combine chemically
with positrons to form anti-hydrogen. (Galactic Positron Annihilation) The
author of the article, whose name was not included on the article, failed to
investigate any other anti-matter research laboratories and their advancements.
The author focused on the CERN research laboratory in Geneva.(Encarta 99) The
article also focused on the conniving into the discovering the anti-matter
secret, but did not mention much on the destruction and mayhem anti-matter would
cause if not treated with the utmost care and safety. Discovering anti-matter
could mean the end of the Earth as we know it. One mistake could mean the
release of high-energy gamma rays that could wipe out the life on earth in mere
minutes.(Encarta 99) It was a quite interesting article, with a lot of
information that could affect all of humanity. The article, however, did not
address on the advantages or disadvantages of anti-matter nor did it mention the
practical uses of anti-matter. They are too expensive to use for powering rocket
ships, and are not safe for household or industrial use, therefore having no
meaning to the general public. It is simply a race to see who can make the first
anti-matter element. (Galactic Positron Annihilation) Conclusion As research
continues into the field of anti-matter there might be some very interesting and
practical uses of anti-matter in the future of society. Until there is a
practical use, this is barely an attempt to prove which research lab will be the
first to manufacture the anti-matter elements.BibliographyEncarta 1999, Articles on Matter and Anti-Matter Galactic Positron
Annihilation, http://www.astro.nwu.edu/astro/purcell/511kev/mcgraw.html
3
0
Good or bad? How would you rate this essay?
Help other users to find the good and worthy free term papers and trash the bad ones.
Like this term paper? Vote & Promote so that others can find it

Get a Custom Paper on Physics:

Free papers will not meet the guidelines of your specific project. If you need a custom essay on Physics: , we can write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written papers will pass any plagiarism test, guaranteed. Our writing service will save you time and grade.




Related essays:

0
0
The evolution of the modern atom model took several years to evolved with contribution from different scientists. One of these scientists, the first to come up with a modern model of the atom is JJ T...
2307 views
0 comments
5
0
Physics / Atom Model
The evolution of the modern atom model took several years to evolved with contribution from different scientists. One of these scientists, the first to come up with a modern model of the atom is JJ T...
2451 views
0 comments
0
0
Physics / Atomic Theory
The Greek concept of atomos: the atom Around 440 BC leucippus of Miletus originated the atom concept. He and his pupil, Democritus of abdera refined it for future use. Their atomic idea has five majo...
1975 views
0 comments
0
0
Physics / Black Holes
Black holes are objects so dense that not even light can escape their gravity, and since nothing can travel faster than light, nothing can escape from inside a black hole . Loosely speaking, a black ...
1576 views
0 comments
0
0
To define matter, one would say that it is something that occupies space and has weight. Matter naturally occurs in three phases: solid, liquid, and gas. Changing from a solid to a liquid, liquid to ...
2373 views
0 comments