Monday, March 8, 2010

Anti-Hypertritons: The Flip Side of Strange Matter

"Exotic Antimatter Created on Earth"
Space.com (March 5, 2010)

"Scientists have created a never-before seen type of exotic matter that is thought to have been present at the earliest stages of the universe, right after the Big Bang.

"The new matter is a particularly weird form of antimatter, which is like a mirror-image of regular matter. Every normal particle is thought to have an antimatter partner, and if the two come into contact, they annihilate.

"The recent feat of matter-tinkering was accomplished by smashing charged gold atoms at each other at super-high speeds in a particle accelerator called the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y.

"Among the many particles that resulted from this crash were bizarre objects called anti-hypertritons. Not only are these things antimatter, but they're also what's called strange matter. Where normal atomic nuclei are made of protons and neutrons (which are made of 'up' quarks and 'down' quarks), strange nuclei also have so-called Lambda particles that contain another flavor of quark called 'strange' as well. These Lambda particles orbit around the protons and neutrons...."

It's not quite that simple, of course: it never is.

Or maybe it is simple, and we just haven't worked out a Theory Of Everything - a mathematical model that successfully mimics all observable physical phenomena: matter, energy, the works.

Either way: I think it's fascinating to try keeping up with what physicists and cosmologists are finding out about how the universe works.

But then, I also think it's fascinating how people have come up with everything from ogham and jiăgŭwén (甲骨文) to binary code, to record data.

2 comments:

Dorothy Rimson said...

Nice post..

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

D.R.,

Thanks. for the nice words.

Everybody else: the link is to hampguide.org, "The HAMP Guide Program - Do it yourself Loan Modification Guide". About which I know nothing.

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