Can Antimatter Be Generated in a Lab?
“An international team of physicists have come up with a way to generate antimatter in the lab,” reports Popular Mechanics, theoretically “allowing them to recreate conditions that are similar to those near a neutron star.”
This setup, at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) research laboratory in Germany, involves two high-intensity laser beams that can generate a jet of antimatter, as outlined in a paper published earlier this summer in the journal Communications Physics. That could make antimatter-based research far more accessible for scientists around the world…

it’s tremendously difficult to recreate a neutron star’s extreme conditions in terms of the science and logistics — imagine if a sugar cube weighed as much as Mount Everest in your laboratory! Two, scientists want to make antimatter for further analysis in the lab… So how did the researchers at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf figure out how to generate antimatter? They’re using opposing lasers in a setup they’re referring to as a laser pincer… There’s a tiny piece of plastic that both lasers shoot toward. As the lasers destroy the plastic, they send clouds of electrons toward each other… By smashing particles together between two lasers, scientists can begin to approach the intensely concentrated gravity and matter of a neutron star…

In this case, scientists are still speculating that the laser pincers will work, with support from a computer simulation that has helped them test and confirm their theory. Now, the next step is to begin building the rig that will really fire the lasers. “[C]olleagues are developing a platform that can be used to experimentally test whether the magnetic fields actually form as our simulations predict,” HZDR physicist Toma Toncian says.

Thanks to Slashdot reader Third Position for submitting the article!

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