Solar flares help solve matter-antimatter puzzle
Antimatter has been detected in solar flares via microwave and magnetic-field data, according to a new research.
Washington: Antimatter has been detected in solar flares via microwave and magnetic-field data, according to a new research.
The research sheds light on the puzzling strong asymmetry between matter and antimatter by gathering data on a very large scale using the Sun as a laboratory.
While antiparticles can be created and then detected with costly and complex particle-accelerator experiments, such particles are otherwise very difficult to study.
However, NJIT Research Professor of Physics Gregory D. Fleishman and the two co-researchers have reported the first remote detection of relativistic antiparticles-positrons-produced in nuclear interactions of accelerated ions in solar flares through the analysis of readily available microwave and magnetic-field data obtained from solar-dedicated facilities and spacecraft.
That such particles are created in solar flares is not a surprise, but this is the first time their immediate effects have been detected.
The results of this research have far-reaching implications for gaining valuable knowledge through remote detection of relativistic antiparticles at the Sun and, potentially, other astrophysical objects by means of radio-telescope observations.
The ability to detect these antiparticles in an astrophysical source promises to enhance our understanding of the basic structure of matter and high-energy processes such as solar flares, which regularly have a widespread and disruptive terrestrial impact, but also offer a natural laboratory to address the most fundamental mysteries of the universe we live in.
They are presenting their research in a paper titled `Discovery of Relativistic Positrons in Solar Flares` at the 44th meeting of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society, held in Bozeman, Montana, July 8-11.