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[BBC] Antimatter caught streaming from thunderstorms on Earth - Page 2

post #11 of 17
How do they see antimatter? Isn't antimatter the opposite of matter? Ie. Nothing?
     
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post #12 of 17
Also, if there is a detectable amount of antimatter, why doesn't it simply explode when it contacts the air molecules?
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post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by willis888;11971514 
Does this imply that high voltage transmission lines also emit Gamma radiation?
No, high voltage transmission lines come no where near the energy or voltage levels that occur in even a common thunder storm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxicrimsonixx;11971697 
How do they see antimatter? Isn't antimatter the opposite of matter? Ie. Nothing?
Antimatter is still matter, it consists of particles of similar size but opposite charge to the common particles (electron, proton, ...). As for how they see it, from the article:
Quote:
When gamma rays pass near the nuclei of atoms, they can turn their energy into two particles: an electron-positron pair.

Because electrons and positrons are charged, they align along the Earth's magnetic field lines and can travel vast distances, gathered into tightly focused beams of matter and antimatter heading in opposite directions.

The dance of light and matter continues when positrons encounter electrons again; they recombine and produce a flash of light of a precise and characteristic colour.

It is this colour of light, picked up by the Fermi's GBM, that is a giveaway that antimatter has been produced.
EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by weidass;11971859 
Also, if there is a detectable amount of antimatter, why doesn't it simply explode when it contacts the air molecules?
They do, see above. It's just when you're that small, space is mostly empty.
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post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by weidass View Post
Also, if there is a detectable amount of antimatter, why doesn't it simply explode when it contacts the air molecules?
Why would it explode?
    
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post #15 of 17
That's antimatter? I thought it was only plasma.

Also: mmmm, the clouds and antimatter look like pancakes.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFan View Post
Why would it explode?
Because when you mix matter and antimater, approximately 99% of the mixture is transformed into energy. Generally not a good idea to mix the two together.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hickeydog View Post
Because when you mix matter and antimater, approximately 99% of the mixture is transformed into energy. Generally not a good idea to mix the two together.
Yes, but the antimatter they've seen only gets changed into light energy right?
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