The mysteries of the Universe: why antimatter has not destroyed our world

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyamines and Anti-LandThe mysteries of the Universe: why antimatter has not destroyed our world© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina

The objects of the Universe — galaxies, stars, quasars, planets, supernovas, animals and humans are composed of matter. Its form different elementary particles — quarks, leptons, bosons. But it turned out that there are particles in which one portion of the characteristics coincides with the parameters of the «originals» and the other has the opposite meaning. This property has prompted researchers to give the aggregate of such particles common name «antimatter».

It also became clear that to study this mysterious substance is much more difficult than to register. In the nature of antiparticles in a stable condition is not met. The problem is that matter and antimatter at the «contact» annihilate (cancel each other). In the laboratories of antimatter to entirely possible — though quite difficult to keep. While scientists have been able to do it only for a matter of minutes.

According to the theory, the Big Bang would produce the same number of particles and antiparticles. But if matter and antimatter annihilate each other, so they were simultaneously cease to exist. Why does the universe exist?

«More than 60 years ago the theory was that all the properties of antiparticles match the properties of ordinary particles in the mirror-reflected space. However, in the first half of the 60’s, it was discovered that in some processes, this symmetry is not satisfied. Since then, there have been many theoretical models, conducted dozens of experiments to explain this phenomenon. Now most developed the theory that the difference in amount of matter and antimatter associated with the so-called violation of CP symmetry (from the words Sade — «charge» рarity — «parity»). But a reliable answer to the question of why more matter than antimatter, nobody knows», — says Alexey Zhemchugov, associate Professor of the Department of fundamental and applied problems of micro world physics Moscow Institute of physics and technology.

The history of antimatter began with the equations of motion of the electron, which had solutions in which he had negative energy. Since the physical meaning of negative energy scientists could not imagine that «invented» the electron with a positive charge, calling it a «positron».

He became the first experimentally discovered antiparticle. Installing, registering cosmic rays, showed that the trajectory of some particle in a magnetic field similar to the trajectory of the electron was deflected in opposite direction. Next was open a couple Maisons-antimeson registered antiproton and antineutron, and then scientists were able to synthesize antihydrogen and the core anthelia.

If you compare proton and antiproton, some characteristics they have the same: mass is both 938.2719(98) MeV, spin ½ (called the spin-own moment of momentum of a particle, which characterizes the rotation, despite the fact that the particle itself is at rest). But the electric charge of the proton is 1 and the antiproton is -1, the baryon number (which determines the number of strongly interacting particles consisting of three quarks) are 1 and -1, respectively.

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Palaniappan and antiprotonThe mysteries of the Universe: why antimatter has not destroyed our world© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Palaniappan and antiproton

Some particles like the Higgs boson and a photon do not have antianalogue called true neutral.

Most of antiparticles with particles appear in the process called «the birth of steam.» For the formation of such a pair requires high energy, that is a huge speed. In the nature of antiparticles arise in the collision of cosmic rays with the Earth’s atmosphere, inside massive stars, near pulsars and active galactic nuclei. Scientists use the Collider-accelerator.

© Photo : CERNУскорительная section of the Large hadron Collider, where particles are accelerated The mysteries of the Universe: why antimatter has not destroyed our world© Photo : CERNУскорительная section of the Large hadron Collider, where particles are accelerated

The study of antimatter has practical application. The fact that the annihilation of matter and antimatter produces high-energy photons. Suppose we take a jar of protons and antiprotons and begin to slowly let them meet each other at a special tube, literally one thing. In the annihilation of one kilogram of antimatter is released as much energy as the burning of 30 million barrels of oil. One hundred and forty nanograms of antiprotons would be enough for a flight to Mars. The catch is that to receive and hold the antimatter requires more energy.

© RIA Novosti / Vitaly to Incomerate in fotosensibilizatora of a patient using the positron-emission tomograph at the medical center of FEFU in VladivostokThe mysteries of the Universe: why antimatter has not destroyed our world© RIA Novosti / Vitaly to Incomerate in fotosensibilizatora of a patient using the positron-emission tomograph at the medical center of FEFU in Vladivostok

However, antimatter is already used in practice in medicine. Positron emission tomography is used for diagnosis in Oncology, cardiology and neurology. The method is based on the delivery of breaking up with emission of a positron of matter in a specific organ. For example, as transport may be a substance well communicating with cancer cells. In the right region is formed increased concentration of radioactive isotopes and, therefore, the positrons from their decay. The positrons immediately annihilate with electrons. And the point of annihilation, we can fix it by registering gamma quanta. Thus, using positron emission tomography to detect increased concentration of substance transport in a certain place.

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