## Tuesday, May 12, 2009

### Thoughts on Angel and Demons Plot

For me, the most attractive way ... would be to capture the antihydrogen in a neutral particle trap ... The objective would be to then study the properties of a small number of [antihydrogen] atoms confined in the neutral trap for a long time."Gerald Gabrielse, 1986 Erice Lecture (shortly after first trapping of antiprotons)
"Penning Traps, Masses and Antiprotons", in Fundamental Symmetries,
edited by P. Bloch, P. Paulopoulos and R. Klapisch, p. 59 (Plenum, New York, 1987). See:Goals for ATRAP

Perhaps you may see some familiarities with research material that may insight some correlative recognitions of events as they are portrayed in the science fiction scenario portrayed in the plot? So of course you do your homework first, and then you write about it?

The techniques for slowing, cooling and storing cold antiprotons make it possible for ATRAP and its competitors to pursue the production of antihydrogen that is cold enough to trap for precise laser spectroscopy. TRAP got extremely close to cold antihydrogen with our simultaneous confinement of 4.2 K antiprotons and positrons reported in 1999.

All the initial cold antiproton experiments were carried out at the CERN Laboratory with antiprotons coming from its Low Energy Antiproton Ring (LEAR), a unique facility that then closed. Antihydrogen experiments in 2000 and beyond will be pursued at the new Antiproton Decelerator ring of CERN which was constructed for this purpose. Using the techniques developed by TRAP, antiprotons will be accumulated within traps rather than in storage rings, thereby reducing the operating expenses to CERN.

I finished the book Angel and Demons a couple of days ago. I've had the book for sometime, but just hadn't bothered. I needed a little break from the reporting here so thought to immerse myself in some reading, knowing the movie is out there now.

A single solar flare might hold enough antimatter to power humanity's needs for millions of years. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/SOHO Project

As in any crucial "blackhole calamities reported" some of our science advisers are speaking out to ward off "conspiracy theories" with some factual information, seems to be the jest at allaying fears about what energy released could happen in relation to the plot of the book.

High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI).

At even higher energies, we find gamma rays produced, not from the flare electrons, but from nuclear interactions of the protons and heavier ions accelerated in the flare. These high energy particles interact with the nuclei of the different elements in the ambient solar atmosphere to produce a far more complicated emission spectrum than the relatively smooth continuum bremsstrahlung spectrum. Many individual gamma-ray lines from a wide variety of different elements in the solar atmosphere have been detected. They result from the decay of such relatively abundant elements as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, etc. that are excited to high energy states in the various nuclear interactions. The relative intensities of the various lines provide information about the composition of both the accelerated particles and the target nuclei.

Furthermore, the lines are Doppler broadened and shifted because of the high velocities of the nuclei as they decay and emit the gamma rays. Consequently, the widths and detailed shapes of the lines can reveal the distribution of velocities of the emitting particles and hence also impose severe constraints on the acceleration mechanism itself. Despite the wealth of information believed to be available from observations of these gamma-ray lines, no gamma-ray spectrometer with the resolution necessary to reveal anything other than the intensities of the strongest lines has ever been flown.

See:Overview of Solar Flares

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