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Some Antiproton Properties Found to Mirror That of Protons

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 03:29PM

Despite how common antimatter is in fiction and uncommon it is in reality, it is a real thing that we are still trying to understand. One of the reasons we are trying to understand it is to figure out why there is so little of it in the Universe, compared to normal matter. Some explanations suggest that some properties of antimatter inhibited it from forming (anti)atoms like normal matter did, but researchers at Rice University and Brookhaven National Laboratory have ruled out at least two of these properties.

According to the Big Bang theory, equal parts matter and antimatter should have been created when the Universe was created, but instead we find that matter was more common. Antimatter particles having the opposite charge and spin of their normal-matter counterparts is not enough to explain this discrepancy. Now we know the scattering length and effective range of antiprotons match those of normal protons, so those properties did not lead to the bias either. The scattering length is the measure of how particles, anti- or normal, deviate as they travel a path, while effective range is how close particles must be to magnetically interact with each other. Both of these properties are measured in femtometers.

It took examining data of 500 million particle collisions from Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, but finally the data revealed the answers. With the measurements being nearly identical to that of protons, the question remains unanswered, but then researchers had already assumed these properties were the same for decades. This is just the first time that assumption has been confirmed.

Source: Rice University

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