'TRAPPING ANTIMATTER' PHYSICISTS HAVE SUCCEEDED IN TRAPPING A FEW HUNDRED THOUSAND PARTICL

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"TRAPPING ANTIMATTER" PHYSICISTS HAVE SUCCEEDED IN TRAPPING A FEW HUNDRED THOUSAND PARTICLES OF ANTIMATTER. THE TRAPPED PARTICLES WERE POSITRONS, THE ANTIMATTER VERSION OF ELECTRONS. THE TWO ARE IDENTICAL EXCEPT FOR ELECTRIC CHARGE, POSITRONS BEING POSITIVE AND ELECTRIONS NEGATIVE. RESEARCHERES AT AT&T BELL LABORATORIES AND THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IN SAN DIEGO SNARED THE FAST-MOVING POSITIRONS IN A WALNUT-SIZE TRAP OF MAGNETIC FIELDS. THEIR SOURCE WAS RADIOACTIVE SODIUM. THE POSITRONS FORMED A POSITIVE CHARGED PLASMA WITHIN THE MAGNETIC FIELD, WHICH ISOLATED THE PARTICLES FROM ORDINARY MATTER. AFTER ABOUT A MIMUTE THE POSITRONS BEGAN LEAKING FROM THEIR MAGNETIC "bottle", VANISHING IN BURSTS OF ENERGY AS THEY COLLIED WITH ELECTRONS. THE EXPERIMENT RAISES THE POSSIBILITY THAT PHYSICISTS MIGHT SOMEDAY MANUFACTURE THE FIRST ANTIMATTER ELEMENT, ANTIHYDROGEN- (THE FILP SIDE OF HYDROGEN). THEORETICALLY, ANTIHYDROGEN IS THE MOST EFFICIENT SOURCE OF ENERGY CONCEIVABLE. IF ANTIHYDROGEN AND ORDINARY HYDROGEN COULD MEET, THEIR MASS WOULD BE COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED INTO ENERGY. -----****PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS****------ *KARL WEST* Graciously supplied by Double Helix BBS 1 (212) 865-7043......2400 N81N

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