Public to help uncover fundamental property about Antimatter

Have you ever seen the movie Angels and Demons? The movie begins with the theft of a material from CERN a vial of antimatter. This substance is a valid part of nature, antimatter has a lot of the same properties that their matter counterparts do. These include mass and the magnitude of their charge and spin. However antimatter differs in the charge and spin as they are opposite. An example of this is a positron (e+) is the antimatter partner of the electron (e-).

The public are soon to be able to have their hand in a experiment at CERN which is hoping to open a new fundamental difference between matter and antimatter. The AEGIS experiment is preparing to collide antihydrogen atoms at ordinary matter to produce an annihilation and a shower of different particles. These particles will travel through a fluid chamber which shows their tracks. These tracks will be analysed by scientist and public to determine whether antimatter has the same gravitational effect as matter.

The public will be involved in watching short animations and trace over any straight line which could be a particle track. The scientists behind the experiment then use these human obtained tracks to improve their algorithmic software.

The implication of a difference in gravitational effect between the two would be great indeed. Most theories assume that the effects are the same as their matter counterparts. However if it was found that this was incorrect and there exists an intrinsic anisotropy then perhaps we will be a step closer to answering the greater questions such as; Why is the universe  dominated by matter if their existed both at the big bang? and What is dark energy?


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