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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 02:42:54 PM   #41
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One of the biggest unsolved mysteries in physics today is why the universe is dominated by matter, when theory predicts that exactly equal quantities of matter and anti-matter should have been created. When matter and anti-matter come into contact, they annihilate into pure energy (e=mc^c), but all we see in the universe today is standard matter -- where is the antimatter? So called CP-violations, which might explain the dominance of matter over antimatter, were just discovered not even two months ago. The difference to create the universe we see today would be just one surviving matter particle for every billion matter-antimatter annihilations, so the effect we're looking for is extremely fleeting. But anti-matter is real:

Antimatter

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Antimatter is said to be the most costly substance in existence, with an estimated cost of $25 billion per gram for positrons[17], and $62.5 trillion per gram for antihydrogen.[18] This is because production is difficult (only a few antiprotons are produced in reactions in particle accelerators), and because there is higher demand for the other uses of particle accelerators. According to CERN, it has cost a few hundred million Swiss Francs to produce about 1 billionth of a gram (the amount used so far for particle/antiparticle collisions).[19]

Several NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts-funded studies are exploring whether it might be possible to use magnetic scoops to collect the antimatter that occurs naturally in the Van Allen belts of Earth, and ultimately, the belts of gas giants like Jupiter, hopefully at a lower cost per gram.[20]
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In antimatter-matter collisions resulting in photon emission, the entire rest mass of the particles is converted to kinetic energy. The energy per unit mass (9×1016 J/kg) is about 10 orders of magnitude greater than chemical energy (compared to TNT at 4.2×106 J/kg, and formation of water at 1.56×107 J/kg), about 4 orders of magnitude greater than nuclear energy that can be liberated today using nuclear fission (about 200 MeV per atomic nucleus that undergoes nuclear fission[21], or 8×1013 J/kg), and about 2 orders of magnitude greater than the best possible from fusion (about 6.3×1014 J/kg for the proton-proton chain). The reaction of 1 kg of antimatter with 1 kg of matter would produce 1.8×1017 J (180 petajoules) of energy (by the mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc²), or the rough equivalent of 43 megatons of TNT. For comparison, Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated, reacted an estimated yield of 50 megatons, which required the use of hundreds of kilograms of fissile material (Uranium/Plutonium).

Not all of that energy can be utilized by any realistic propulsion technology, because as much as 50% of energy produced in reactions between nucleons and antinucleons is carried away by neutrinos in these applications, so, for all intents and purposes, it can be considered lost.[22]

Antimatter rocketry ideas, such as the redshift rocket, propose the use of antimatter as fuel for interplanetary travel or possibly interstellar travel. Since the energy density of antimatter is vastly higher than conventional fuels, the thrust to weight equation for such craft would be very different from conventional spacecraft.

The scarcity of antimatter means that it is not readily available to be used as fuel, although it could be used in antimatter catalyzed nuclear pulse propulsion for space applications. Generating a single antiproton is immensely difficult and requires particle accelerators and vast amounts of energy — millions of times more than is released after it is annihilated with ordinary matter due to inefficiencies in the process. Known methods of producing antimatter from energy also produce an equal amount of normal matter, so the theoretical limit is that half of the input energy is converted to antimatter. Counterbalancing this, when antimatter annihilates with ordinary matter, energy equal to twice the mass of the antimatter is liberated — so energy storage in the form of antimatter could (in theory) be 100% efficient.

For more regular (earthly) applications however (e.g. regular transport, use in portable generators, powering of cities, ...), artificially created antimatter is not a suitable energy carrier, despite its high energy density, because the process of creating antimatter involves a large amount of wasted energy and is extremely inefficient. According to CERN, only one part in ten billion (10−10) of the energy invested in the production of antimatter particles can be subsequently retrieved.[23]

Antimatter production is currently very limited, but has been growing at a nearly geometric rate since the discovery of the first antiproton in 1955 by Segrè and Chamberlain.[citation needed] The current antimatter production rate is between 1 and 10 nanograms per year, and this is expected to increase to between 3 and 30 nanograms per year by 2015 or 2020 with new superconducting linear accelerator facilities at CERN and Fermilab.

Some researchers claim that with current technology, it is possible to obtain antimatter for US$25 million per gram by optimizing the collision and collection parameters (given current electricity generation costs). Antimatter production costs, in mass production, are almost linearly tied in with electricity costs, so economical pure-antimatter thrust applications are unlikely to come online without the advent of such technologies as deuterium-tritium fusion power (assuming that such a power source actually would prove to be cheap).

Many experts, however, dispute these claims as being far too optimistic by many orders of magnitude. They point out that in 2004, the annual production of antiprotons at CERN was several picograms at a cost of $20 million. This means to produce 1 gram of antimatter, CERN would need to spend 100 quadrillion dollars and run the antimatter factory for 100 billion years.

Storage is another problem, as antiprotons are negatively charged and repel against each other, so that they cannot be concentrated in a small volume. Plasma oscillations in the charged cloud of antiprotons can cause instabilities that drive antiprotons out of the storage trap. For these reasons, to date only a few million antiprotons have been stored simultaneously in a magnetic trap, which corresponds to much less than a femtogram. Antihydrogen atoms or molecules are neutral so in principle they do not suffer the plasma problems of antiprotons described above. But cold antihydrogen is far more difficult to produce than antiprotons, and so far not a single antihydrogen atom has been trapped in a magnetic field.

One researcher of the CERN laboratories, which produces antimatter regularly, said:

If we could assemble all of the antimatter we've ever made at CERN and annihilate it with matter, we would have enough energy to light a single electric light bulb for a few minutes.

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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 03:11:23 PM   #42
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Two part PBS series on exploring space through telescopes (if you have time to kill):

Part I: http://video.pbs.org/video/1456686369/

Part II: http://video.pbs.org/video/1463392610/
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 03:27:53 PM   #43
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He also smoked weed. w00t. Just sayin. Seriously, google it. I stumbled upon one of his articles about herb a couple weeks ago....
No doubt.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9KT4...eature=related
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 03:59:01 PM   #44
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This is a picture of the sun -- taken from 3,500 feet underground. The picture was created from 500 days of collecting neutrinos, extremely highly energetic particles created in the sun in vast quantities (trillions are passing through your body every second) but which hardly ever interact with normal matter. A neutrino could pass through several light-years of solid lead without being impacted.

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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 05:09:27 PM   #45
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The 32nd shuttle mission to the International Space Station, STS-130, left planet Earth on February 8. Its early morning launch to orbit from Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A followed the long, graceful, eastward arc seen in this 2 minute time exposure. Well composed, the dramatic picture also shows the arc's watery reflection from the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge, in Ponte Vedra, Florida, about 115 miles north of the launch site. In the celestial background a waning crescent Moon and stars left their own short trails against the still dark sky. The brightest star trail near the moon was made by red supergiant Antares, alpha star of the constellation Scorpius.


As the Earth spins on its axis, the sky seems to rotate around us. This motion, called diurnal motion, produces the beautiful concentric trails traced by stars during time exposures. Partial-circle star trails are pictured above over Grants Pass, Oregon, USA last month. Near the middle of the circles is the North Celestial Pole (NCP), easily identified as the point in the sky at the center of all the star trail arcs. The star Polaris, commonly known as the North Star, made the very short bright circle near the NCP. About 12,000 years ago, the bright star Vega was the North Star, and in about 14,000 years, as the Earth's spin axis slowly continues to precess, Vega will become the North Star again.


At about 100 meters from the cargo bay of the space shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless II was farther out than anyone had ever been before. Guided by a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), astronaut McCandless, pictured above, was floating free in space. McCandless and fellow NASA astronaut Robert Stewart were the first to experience such an "untethered space walk" during Space Shuttle mission 41-B in 1984. The MMU works by shooting jets of nitrogen and has since been used to help deploy and retrieve satellites. With a mass over 140 kilograms, an MMU is heavy on Earth, but, like everything, is weightless when drifting in orbit. The MMU was replaced with the SAFER backpack propulsion unit.


Katrina as a cat 5


Ghostly Zodiacal light, featured near the center of this remarkable panorama, is produced as sunlight is scattered by dust in the Solar System's ecliptic plane. In the weeks surrounding the March equinox (today at 1732 UT) Zodiacal light is more prominent after sunset in the northern hemisphere, and before sunrise in the south, when the ecliptic makes a steep angle with the horizon. In the picture, the narrow triangle of Zodiacal light extends above the western horizon and seems to end at the lovely Pleiades star cluster. Arcing above the Pleiades are stars and nebulae along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. Recorded on March 10 from Teide National Park on the island of Tenerife, the vista is composed of 4 separate pictures spanning over 180 degrees.
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 05:36:24 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil97m3Blue View Post
This is a picture of the sun -- taken from 3,500 feet underground. The picture was created from 500 days of collecting neutrinos, extremely highly energetic particles created in the sun in vast quantities (trillions are passing through your body every second) but which hardly ever interact with normal matter. A neutrino could pass through several light-years of solid lead without being impacted.

That is amazing.
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 05:42:18 PM   #47
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http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showp...postcount=9790
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 05:53:14 PM   #48
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That's stunning. I would love to know his camera setup for that shot...
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 06:28:07 PM   #49
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Quote:
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That's stunning. I would love to know his camera setup for that shot...
Looking for the article. They may have given the set up.
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 06:35:37 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirius View Post
That's stunning. I would love to know his camera setup for that shot...
Article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...ssing-Sun.html

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The snapshot was taken in broad daylight at 1.28pm on May 16 using a specialised SBIG ST-10XE mounted camera and a 14in telescopic lens.

To ensure the quick-moving craft could be captured in direct sunlight with his camera, he combined a pin hole-sized aperture, letting in only a little light, with a extremely fast shutter speed.

Also, because he used to a prism on the lens to filter out the light, the sun appears almost ghostly and without flares.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...#ixzz0pipnBEZj
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