University of Michigan activates antimatter ‘gun,’ cartoon supervillians twirl moustaches anew



Scientists create tabletop antimatter 'gun,' cartoon supervillians twirl mustaches anew
At the University of Michigan, an international team of physicists has begun experimenting with its tabletop-sized super laser, modding it into an antimatter “gun.” It’s not quite a black hole-firing pistol, but we’re slightly terrified nonetheless. Up until now, machines capable of creating positrons — coupled with electrons, they comprise the energy similar to what’s emitted by black holes and pulsars — have needed to be as large as they are expensive. Creating these antimatter beams on a small scale will hopefully give astrophysicists greater insight into the “enigmatic features” of gamma ray bursts that are “virtually impossible to address by relying on direct observations,” according to a paper published at arXiv. While the blasts only last fractions of a second each, the researchers report each firing produces a particle-density output level comparable to the accelerator at CERN. Just like that, the Longhorns/Wolverines super-laser arms-race begins again.

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Via: Gizmodo, PhysOrg

Source: arXiv



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