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Viewings: 6437In the best-selling Dan brown's "Angels and demons", which preceded it as "the Code Yes Vinci", the action is centered around the plot of a small group of extremists-"Illuminati"; the conspirators wanted to blow up the Vatican bomb of antimatter stolen from a nuclear laboratory CERN near Geneva. The conspirators know that the result of contact of matter and antimatter should be grandiose explosion, many times more powerful than the explosion of the hydrogen bomb. Although the bomb from antimatter - the fruit of imagination of the author, in itself antimatter is quite real.
The effectiveness of the atomic bomb, despite its terrible power, is only about 1%. In the energy passes only a tiny part of the mass of uranium. But the bomb of antimatter, if such was possible to create, turn into energy 100% of its mass, and therefore would be far more effective than the atomic bomb. (More precisely, in the "useful" explosive energy in such a bomb would have been about 50% of the substance; the rest mass would be carried out in the space of almost undetectable particles - neutrino.)
For a long time antimatter was in the focus of public and scientific interest. Although the bombs from antimatter still does not exist, physicists have learned to create small amounts of antimatter to study with the help of powerful accelerators.
Getting antiatom and anthemia
In the beginning of XX century, physicists realized that the atom consists of a charged elementary particles and electrons (negatively charged particles) turn around a tiny kernel (with a positive charge). The kernel, in turn, consists of protons (positive charge carriers) and neutrons (which are electrically neutral).
In the early 1950s physics has experienced a real shock. It was connected with the understanding that each particle there are a couple to it antiparticle is exactly the same particle, but with opposite charge. The first was opened positively charged antielectron (called a positron). Positron identical to the electron, but the charge is positive. (The track or trail, positron very easy to see in the chamber. In a powerful magnetic field flying positrons are rejected in the opposite direction in relation to objenum electrons. At school I was taking pictures of such tracks antimatter.)
In 1955 on the particle accelerator of the University of California at Berkeley - "Bevatron" - received the first antiproton. As expected, he was completely identical to the proton, except that charged negatively. This means that in principle, you can create antiatom (where around antiproton engine will apply the positrons). Moreover, it is theoretically possible existence of all entilements, anticipee, Antilopa, antesaneli and even Antiveleni.
To date, scientists have managed to create a tiny portion of antihydrogen on a giant accelerator at CERN and Laboratories name Fermi near Chicago. (This beam of high-energy protons with powerful accelerator sent to the target, thus creating a chaotic stream of fragments of atoms. Powerful magnets allocated from this thread the antiprotons, which then slows down to a very low speeds and then expose positrons, which naturally emits sodium-22. If the positron, he antielectron, begins to turn around the antiproton, there is an antihydrogen atom - because the hydrogen atom consists of one proton and one electron.) In the pure vacuum such anatomy can exist forever. But the walls are made of normal matter and impurities cannot be avoided, so sooner or later anatomy face ordinary atoms and annihilate, releasing energy.
In 1995, CERN made a real sensation - announced the creation of nine atoms of antihydrogen. In principle, nothing - except, of course, prohibitively high prices is not prevent us from creating atoms heavier entierement. Any state has ruined it, producing several tens of grams of antiatoms. Currently, the level of production of antimatter in the world is from one billion to one ten-billionth of a gram per year. By 2020 this number will probably triple. Economic aspects of production of antimatter looks very ugly. In 2004, several trillionth of a gram of antimatter cost CERN 20 million. At this rate the production of 1 gram of antimatter would cost a hundred quadrillion dollars and would take 100 billion years of continuous operation of the factory! This makes the antimatter most expensive product in the world.
"If we could collect all made us antimatter and annihilate it with the substance, - the statement says CERN, - we would have enough energy to one light bulb would burn for a few minutes."
Contact antimatter is extremely difficult, as any contact of matter and antimatter explosion generates. To put antimatter in regular container tantamount to suicide - as soon as it touches the walls, an explosion will occur. In General, how can you make such a sensitive substance? The only way is to pre-ionize the antimatter, turning it into ion gas, and then be locked in a "magnetic bottle", where the magnetic field will not allow him to come into contact with the walls.
If we want to build the engine on the antimatter, we will need to ensure a constant supply of it in the working chamber; there is antimatter would be neat to come into contact with matter, giving rise to a controlled explosion - about the same as what is happening in the with a chemical rocket engine. Ions formed in the process of explosion, will then be discharged through the nozzle of the engine, giving the rocket forward motion. The engine on the antimatter very efficiently converts matter into energy, so theoretically it is the most seductive type of engine for spaceships future. In the TV series "Star trek" energy source of the ship "enterprise" is antimatter; its engine is constantly controlled meeting matter with antimatter.
Jet engine on the antimatter
Physicist Gerald Smith from the University of Pennsylvania is one of the most ardent supporters of the ships on the antimatter. He believes that without looking too far ahead, just 4 mg positrons would be enough to deliver the ship to the respective engine to Mars in just a few weeks. Smith notes that the antimatter is capable of releasing about a billion times more energy than a conventional rocket fuel.
First thing in the production of fuel-antimatter should be getting in a particle accelerator flow of antiprotons and warehousing of them in the penning trap, which is currently developing a Smith. It is assumed that the finished penning trap will weigh 100 kg (most of which should be liquid nitrogen and helium) and can accommodate around trillion antiprotons, keeping them in a magnetic field. (At very low temperatures wavelength antiprotons several times greater than the wavelength of the atoms that make up the wall of the container, so the antiprotons in most cases will be reflected from the wall without annihilation.) Smith argues that the antiprotons in a penning trap will store about five days (to use, i.e. before mixing with ordinary atoms and annihilation). It is expected that its a trap will accommodate approximately one billionth of a gram of antiprotons. The purpose Smith - create a penning trap, capable of holding up to 1 mcg, i.e. up to one millionth part of a gram, antiprotons.
Although antimatter continues to be the most expensive substance on Earth, its price from year to year decreases sharply (at today's prices grams of antimatter would cost approximately 62.5 trillion dollars). In the Laboratory Fermi Chicago building a new injector particles, which should increase the production of antimatter in the laboratory ten times, from 1.5 to 15 ng per year, which should also significantly reduce rates. However Harold Gerrish from NASA believes that with the further improvement of technology, the price may drop to $ 5000. for micrograms. Dr. Stephen How from the company Synergistic Technologies in Los Alamos, new Mexico, says: "Our goal is to translate the antimatter from unreachable areas of science fiction in the open for commercial use, transportation and medical applications."
Still to get antiprotons are used accelerators were developed as tools for scientific research and not as a factory for the production of antimatter; therefore, they, of course, is very inefficient. That is why Smith wants to build a new particle accelerator, specially developed for the production of a significant number of antiprotons; the emergence of such a specialized factory directly would lower the price.
Smith dreams that someday, when further technical improvements and mass production will help reduce it even further, missiles on the antimatter will be the workhorses of interplanetary, and possibly interstellar messages. So far their projects remain only on paper.
If antimatter is so hard to get in the earth conditions, it is easier to locate it in space? Unfortunately, the search for antimatter in the Universe, to the great surprise of physicists, almost nothing. It is difficult Claredream why our universe consists mainly of substances, instead of antimatter. It would seem that logicnega that the birth of the Universe, matter and antimatter appeared in equal, symmetrical quantities. Therefore affects almost complete absence of antimatter.
The most likely answer to this question was the first to formulate Andrei Sakharov, the man that developed in the 1950s for the Soviet Union's hydrogen bomb. Sakharov reasoned that in the early Universe during the Big Bang arose light asymmetry in the amount of matter and antimatter, the cause of which was the so-called violation of the charge and even symmetry (CP-symmetry). At present, this phenomenon is a subject of the most intense research. Ultimately, reasoned Sugars, all the atoms of our Universe today are remnants almost complete mutual annihilation of matter and antimatter; it is a mutual space destruction followed the Big Bang. Only a tiny single piece of matter formed the remainder, which formed the present visible universe. All atoms of our bodies - the remains of the Titanic collision of matter and antimatter.
This theory assumes the existence of small amounts of antimatter, which arose naturally. If we can detect its reserves, the cost of production of fuel for engines on the antimatter will fall sharply. In principle, look for "deposits" natural antimatter should be easy. When an electron meets a positron, both annihilate while emitting gamma-quanta with energy 1,02 MeV or higher. Therefore, scanning the sky in search of gamma-rays with such energy can accurately to find traces of the presence of natural antimatter.
In fact, Dr. William Purcell from northwestern University found "fountains" antimatter in the milky Way galaxy, near its center. Apparently, there is a stream of antimatter that when confronted with the usual hydrogen generates the characteristic gamma rays with an energy of 1.02 MeV. If this thread has a natural origin, then maybe in the Universe there are other pockets antimatter, which was not destroyed during the Big Bang.
For more systematic search for antimatter natural origin in 2006 was put into the orbit the satellite PAMELA developed jointly by Russia, Italy, Germany and Sweden and is designed to search preserved parts of antimatter. Previous attempts of this kind were restricted to high-altitude balloons and shuttles, i.e. data collection lasted no longer than a week. PAMELA will work in orbit for at least three years. "This is the best detector of all that had so far, and we'll use it for a long time", - said the participant of the project, Piergiorgio Picozza from the University of Rome.
The device is designed for registration of cosmic rays as from conventional sources such as supernova, and from unexpected and unusual, such as stars, consisting entirely of antimatter. More specifically, PAMELA will look for the trail of anthelia that may arise in the depths of answesd. Today, most physicists believe that the Big Bang matter and antimatter in the Universe almost completely annihilated, as suggested in its time Sugars, but the device PAMELA will work, based on another assumption - that in this annihilation was not part of the whole area of the Universe with a predominance of antimatter, where it exists today in the form of answesd.
If antimatter in small quantities exist in outer space, it is possible that you will collect it and use as fuel for spaceships. The Institute for advanced concepts NASA quite serious about the idea of collecting antimatter in space, as evidenced by recently issued a grant for a pilot project to study the idea. "Simply speaking, you need to create a network of like fishing," says Gerald Jackson from the company Nag Technologies-makers in this project active participation.
The basis of the proposed acquisition devices antimatter are three concentric spheres made of wire mesh. External sphere diameter 16 km should be positively charged; it will alienate positively charged protons, but to attract the negatively charged antiprotons. The antiprotons that have passed through the first field, will slow down, passing second, and stop at the approach to the domestic sphere with a diameter of 100 meters There antiprotons will be captured by the magnetic field and be mixed with positrons to get antihydrogen.
According to the estimate of Jackson, managed annihilation of matter and antimatter inside the spacecraft could bring it under a solar sail to Pluto at the rate of just 30 mg antimatter. To reach alpha Centauri, the spaceship, the same calculations will need 17 grams of antimatter. At the same time, Jackson argues that between the orbits of Venus and Mars may contain up to 80 grams of antimatter, which theoretically can be collected using this space probe. However, taking into account technical issues and the cost of running a giant collector antimatter, we can assume that this project will be implemented not earlier than the end of the XXI century, if not later.
Some scientists dream to get antimatter from the asteroid, freely drifting in space. (In the comic book series "Flash Gordon" once appeared flying on space ominous asteroid antimatter, capable when meeting any planet to cause terrible explosion.)
If antimatter natural origin in space is found, we will have to wait a few decades, or even centuries, before we on Earth will be able to produce significant quantities. But if we assume that technical problems of production of antimatter is solved, the probability that ever vehicles with engines on antimatter will Tomcat us to the stars, remains significant.
Considering all that we know today about the antimatter, and assuming further development of related technologies, I would define a rocket ships on the antimatter as the inability of the I class.
What is antimatter? It seems strange that nature without any apparent reason doubled the number of elementary particles in the universe. As a rule, the nature is very economical - but for a pair of matter-antimatter it seems, has behaved in a highly wasteful. In addition, there is another question: if there is antimatter may be, there are Antiveleni?
To look for answers to these questions, we have to understand the history of the antimatter. Opening it dates back to 1928, to innovative works of Paul Dirac, one of the most brilliant physicists of the twentieth century. He held Lokosovsky the chair at Cambridge University, is the same one in my time occupied Newton and which currently holds Stephen Hawking. Dirac was born in 1902; he was a young man, tall and wiry, when in 1925 erupted quantum revolution. At this point Dirac he studied electrical engineering, but the wave of interest awakened by the new theory, captured it and forever changed his life.
Quantum theory is based on the idea that a particle like an electron can be described not only as a point-like object, but also as a kind of wave that meet the famous wave equation, Sre'ginger. (The wave function represents the probability of finding the particle at a particular point.)
But Dirac quickly realized that the Schrodinger equation has a major drawback. It describes only the slow-moving electrons. At higher speeds equation ceases to operate, so as not subject to the laws of relativity of albert Einstein - and in fact, these laws describe the behavior of objects on high, relativistic speeds.
Young Dirac immediately wanted to reformulate the Schrodinger equation, to try to include in it and the laws of relativity. In 1928, the young scientist offered his version of the Schrodinger equation is quite a radical modification, which are fully consistent with the theory of relativity. The scientific world was shocked. Dirac found his famous relativistic equation for an electron by purely mathematical manipulations with higher mathematical objects, known as spinors. Suddenly a mathematical curiosity was a Central figure in the entire Universe. [To Dirac many physicists were convinced that the great discoveries in physics should stand on a firm basis of experimental data, but Dirac chose the opposite strategy. For him pure mathematics - unless, of course, she was quite beautiful - served as a guiding star on the way to great discoveries. He wrote: "the Beauty of equations is more important than their compliance with the experimental data... it seems that if we pursue in equations beauty and possess sound intuition, you are on the right path.")
Working on a new equation for an electron Dirac found that glorified Einstein's equation, E = mc2, is not quite true. This equation is only partly true, although it can be seen everywhere: on ads Madison Avenue and children's t-shirts in cartoons and in superhero costumes. Equation looks as follows: E = ±mc2. (Minus occurs because in the process of conclusion we have to take the square root of a certain size. And the operation of taking the square root always adds to the expression of uncertainty in the mark.)
But physics is not render negative energy. In physics there is an axiom according to which objects are always aspire to the condition with minimal energy (that is why the water seeks always to the minimum level, the level the sea). And if matter has always state with a minimum of energy, the prospect of occurrence of negative energy is fraught with disastrous consequences. The presence in the Universe of negative energies would mean that all the electrons eventually fail to endless negative energies - and this, in turn, would mean that the theory of Dirac unstable. Trying to avoid this, Dirac invented the concept of the "Dirac sea". He suggested that all States with negative energies are already taken, so the electron can not there to fail. Therefore, the universe is stable. In addition, sometimes gamma-quantum, faced by accident with an electron, residing in a state with negative energy, pushes it up, in a state with a positive energy. Then we see gamma-quantum becomes the electron, and in the sea Dirac occurs hole. This hole should behave like a bubble in a vacuum: it should have a positive charge and the mass of the initial electron. In other words, a hole must behave as antielectron. In other words, in this picture of the world antimatter consists of "bubbles" in the Dirac sea.
Just a few years after this remarkable prediction Carl Anderson really found antielectron, and in 1933 Dirac received for his prediction of the Nobel prize.
In other words, antimatter exists because the Dirac equation has two versions - one for matter, the other for antimatter. (And this, in turn, is a consequence of the special theory of relativity.)
The Dirac equation predicted the existence of antimatter; it also predicts the existence of the electron "spin". Elementary particles can spin like a top. The spin of the electron, for example, are very important for understanding the behavior of electrons in transistors and semiconductors that constitute the Foundation of modern electronics.
Stephen Hawking regrets that Dirac not patented his equation. He writes: "Dirac would state if patented the Dirac equation. He would get a copyright per TV, player, video games or computer."
Today the famous Dirac equation carved in stone Westminster Abbey, near the tomb of Isaac Newton. This is probably the only equation in the world, awarded such an exceptional honor.
Dirac and Newton
Trying to understand exactly how Dirac came to his revolutionary equation and the concept of antimatter, historians of science is often compared it with the Newton. Interestingly, the Newton and Dirac really have a lot of similar features. They both worked at the University of Cambridge and his most important discovery was made in 20 years with little; both were well versed in mathematics. In addition, they had one thing in common: full reaching pathology, lack of social skills. Both are famous for their failure to support small talk and generally behave in society. Dirac was painfully shy; he never said anything until it right not asked, and answered only "Yes", "no" or "don't know".
Moreover, Dirac was extremely modest and hated every publicity. When he was given the Nobel prize for physics, he seriously thought of giving up only because of the inevitable publicity and associated concern. But when he pointed out that the refusal of the Nobel prize will bring him great fame, he decided to accept the award.
About eccentricity Newton written numerous works; hypothesis was put forward various: from poisoning by mercury vapor to mental illness. But recently Cambridge psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen has put forward a new theory that could explain the strange at the same time and Dirac, and Newton.
Baron-Cohen argues that both they probably suffered from Asperger's syndrome, similar to autism - disease suffered great madman in the film "rain Man". People suffering from Asperger's syndrome, an extremely closed, do not know how to behave in society, and sometimes have outstanding mathematical abilities; unlike with autism, they are still able to live and work among people. If this theory is true, that wonderful computational abilities of Newton and Dirac possible they got, because they become separated both from the rest of humanity.
Antigravity and Antiveleni
The theory of the Dirac helps to get answers to many questions. What is the role of gravity in the world antimatter? Are there Antiveleni?
As we discussed, antiparticles have the opposite charge in relation to the ordinary particles. Thus we can say that the particles with no charge at all (such as a photon, a particle of light, or the graviton particle gravity), can serve as a antiparticles themselves. Therefore, that gravity is itself antimatter; in other words, gravitation and antigravitation is the same. So antimatter gravity will, as a substance, to fall down and not up. (Here all physicists agree, but in the laboratory, this fact is never checked.)
The theory of Dirac and is responsible for more in-depth questions. Why is nature allows for the existence of antimatter? Does it exist Antiveleni?
In some science fiction works hero encounters in space planet earth. Moreover, the new planet turns around like Earth, except that consists of antimatter. Each of us on this planet there is a double; intrude with their antidote live there at antikorodin. Because the laws of anticipee fully comply with the laws of chemistry, not counting the contrast of all charges, the people of this world are not able to understand that consist of antimatter. (Physicists call this universe the universe with reverse charge because all the charges in it have the opposite sign, but everything else is exactly the same as we do.)
In other sci-Fi stories scientists discover in outer space planet is the twin of Earth, only mirror; left and right are reversed. The hearts of the people are right-and left-handed users much more than right-handed. The local residents live my life, not knowing that live in the mirror universe upside down. (Physicists call this mirror universe, or the universe-back parity.)
Can in fact exist mirror universes or universes of antimatter? In General, the physics are very serious about the question of universes-the twins, because the equations of Newton and Einstein will remain the same, if you just change the sign of the charge of elementary particles and swap left and right. On this basis, and mirror universes, and universes of antimatter, in principle, possible.
Nobel laureate Richard Feynman asked in respect of these universes interesting question. Suppose someday we will be able to communicate by radio with the inhabitants of the distant planet; to see them, we will not. "If we can explain to them on the radio the difference between the concepts "left" and "right"?" asked Feynman. If the laws of physics allow for the existence of the mirror universe, to convey to our radicalisation these concepts will be impossible.
He reasoned in the following way. Some things are easy to explain - this applies, for example, to the form of our body, the number we fingers, legs and hands. We can even explain the aliens laws of chemistry and biology. But the moment we try to explain to them the concept of "left" and "right" (or "clockwise" and "counterclockwise"), we will not succeed. We will never be able to explain that the heart it is to the left of the direction in which the Earth rotates or twisted spiral DNA molecules.
Scientists was really shocked when H. Yang and C. Lee, who worked at that time at Columbia University, proved that this remarkable theorem is incorrect. Having studied the nature of elementary particles, they were able to show that the mirror universe cannot exist. Having learned about this revolutionary result, one physicist said, "the Lord must have made a mistake". For this result is that shook the foundations of physics and called "failure parity", Yang and Lee got in 1957 Nobel prize in physics.
For Feynman this result meant that if establish radio contact with aliens, we can agree on some kind of experiment that would determine for each other the difference between the right and left of the universes. (For example, radioactive cobalt-60 emits electrons with right and left spin not in equal amounts; one of the directions of rotation is preferred, and parity, therefore, is broken.)
Feynman imagined that will be held a historic meeting between the Terrans and representatives of other civilizations. We ask the aliens to stretch when you first meet the right hand and shake hands. If the aliens really stretched us right hand, we understand that managed to explain to them what a "right-left" and "clockwise or counterclockwise".
But then Feynman asked a difficult question. What if strangers stretched us left hand instead of the right? This will mean that we have made a fatal error and could not clearly explain what the "left" and "right". Worse, it would mean that someone else actually consist of antimatter, but because they spent all experiments backwards and got "left" and "right" on the contrary. And then it will mean that when you try to shake hands we'll all vzorvalsya!
These were our ideas until the 1960s, Some time was considered, that it is impossible to distinguish our Universe from another universe, which would consist of antimatter from the opposite parity. If I change both parity and charge, then the resulting universe will obey the same laws of nature as our. Yes, parity itself was refuted, but at a charge and parity gave quite symmetrical universe. So the universe, symmetric our simultaneously in charge and parity SSR-symmetric), seem to have remained possible.
This meant that we are talking to aliens on the phone, never managed to explain to them the difference between the regular universe and the universe "upside down" on the charge and parity (such where the left and right are reversed, and all the substance turned into antimatter).
And here in 1964 physics has experienced the second shock: CF-symmetric universe (symmetric our in charge and parity) also proved to be impossible! Study of the properties of elementary particles will allow, even in a universe to distinguish between right and left, direction, clockwise and counter. For this result in 1980, James Cronin and Shaft of the Fitch was awarded the Nobel prize.
(Many physicists disappointed when I found out that CF-symmetric universe contradicts the laws of physics, but in hindsight it can be argued that in itself is good; we have already discussed this. If CF-inverted universe had a right to exist, in the original Big Bang would have been involved in exactly the same amount of matter and antimatter, which then annihilated least 100%, and no atoms would not have arisen at all! The fact that we exist as a remnant from annihilation unequal amounts of matter and antimatter, in itself is proof of the violation of CP symmetry.)
In General, can there be any Antiveleni, symmetric our one or more parameters? This question should be given a positive answer. Although the balanced parity and charge universes impossible, in principle Antiveleni have the right to exist; however, it will be very strange symmetry. If I change to the opposite not only the sign of the charge and parity, but the direction of the course of time, the universe that we would get, would be subject to the laws of physics. Thus, what is allowed CPT-symmetric universes.
Circulation time - very bizarre kind of symmetry. In T-symmetric universe fried jumps off a plate, going together in the pan, and then scatters back to the eggs and stuffs for a shell. Dead rising from the grave, younger, becomes a baby and jumps into the womb.
Common sense tells us that the universe is impossible. But mathematical equations elementary particles claim the opposite. Newton's laws are wonderful - even further in time, though ago. Imagine a video billiard party. Each encounter balls subject numonova laws of motion. If we scroll a record in the reverse direction, the game will look strange, but Newton's laws allow, and such order of things.
In quantum theory harder. Treatment time is in itself a violation of the laws of quantum mechanics, but CPT fully symmetric universe (in other words, the universe, where at the same time changed the sign of the charge, the parity and the direction of the course of time) does not contradict anything. This means that the universe, where left and right are reversed, the substance turned into antimatter, and time goes backwards, from the point of view of the laws of physics looks perfectly normal!
(It is interesting to note that we have no way to contact CPT-inverted world. If the time on their planet is flowing in the opposite direction, all we will pass on the radio, will be part of their future, therefore, will be forgotten immediately upon receipt of a signal. Therefore, although in itself CPT-symmetric universe has a right to exist, contact her at radio impossible.)
Let's sum up. Perhaps in the distant future engine on the antimatter will give us a real opportunity to build a spaceship-of course, if we find a way to make on the Ground or to gather in the open space sufficient amount of antimatter. Violation of CP symmetry leads to a slight imbalance between matter and antimatter; possibly, in the Universe still exist clusters, or "pockets", antimatter that ever could be collected.
But since the development of the engine on the antimatter will face serious technical difficulties, overcome them may take a hundred years or more. This causes include engine on the antimatter to the class I impossibility.
But let's start now with another question. Will - at least in a few thousand years - created superluminal spaceships? Is it possible to bypass the famous axiom of Einstein, which says that nothing can move faster than light? The answer is, oddly enough, should be unequivocally positive.
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