Antiproton


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antiproton

[′an·tē¦prō‚tän]
(particle physics)
The antiparticle to the proton; a strongly interacting baryon which is stable, carries unit negative charge, has the same mass as the proton (938.3 MeV), and has spin ½.

Antiproton

 

symbol ρ̄ or p̄), antiparticle with respect to the proton. The mass and spin of an antiproton are equal to those of a proton, but the electrical charge and magnetic momentum, although identical in absolute value, are opposite in sign. The existence of the antiproton was predicted by contemporary theories of elementary particles, and research for its existence in cosmic rays was conducted for about 20 years. Antiprotons were experimentally discovered in 1955 by O. Chamberlain, E. Segrè, C. Wiegand, and T. Ypsilantis at Berkeley (USA), using a proton accelerator with a maximum energy of 6.3 giga electron volts (GeV).

In accordance with the law of conservation of heavy particles (baryons), antiprotons can be bred only in pairs with protons (or with neutrons, if the law of conservation of electric charge is satisfied). The threshold (minimum) energy for creation of a proton-antiproton pair through the collision of two free protons in the laboratory systems of coordinates—that is, in a system in which one of the protons in the collision is at rest—is ~6.6GeV; for collision with a proton or a neutron that is bound in the atomic nucleus, it is about 4 GeV. Therefore, formation of antiprotons on nuclei was expected in a 6.3 GeV proton accelerator.

In the experiment by Chamberlain and the others, antiprotons were bred through the collisions of protons from the accelerator with a copper target. At least 1011 collisions are required for a minimal antiproton generation. A magnetic deflection system removes the negatively charged particles, the great majority of which are negatively charged pi-mesons. To detect antiprotons—that is, to differentiate them from other negatively charged particles—the mass must be determined. This is done by determining the momentum (by deflection in a magnetic field) and velocity (with the use of a Cherenkov counter) of the particles.

Another notable feature of antiprotons was observed in experiments—their annihilation in collisions with protons and neutrons of nuclear matter. It turns out that four or five high-energy pi-mesons are created as a result of antiproton annihilation.

With the help of accelerators it is now possible to obtain quite intensive beams of antiprotons. In experiments with such beams in the 1960’s a number of short-lived elementary particles (meson resonances) were discovered.

V. P. PAVLOV

References in periodicals archive ?
The Marshall Space Flight Center is conducting experiments leading to an antimatter trap, essentially a magnetic bottle that will contain the antiprotons in magnetic fields.
En 1955, los fisicos Emilio Segre, Owen Chamberlain, Clyde Weingand y Tom Ypsilantis localizaron un antiproton, o sea un proton de carga negativa y al ano siguiente Bruce Cork, Oreste Piccione, William Wenzel y Glen Lambert encontraron un antineutron.
Marshall Center engineers are building a High Performance Antimatter Trap, which will store antiprotons for a 10-day lifetime.
When a particle and its antimatter twin are brought into contact, the two annihilate each other and their combined mass is converted into energy in accordance with Einstein's formula, E=mc(2) (that is, energy is equal to mass times the speed of light, squared)," explains RAND, reporting on the results of a workshop on antiproton science and technology.
BEST), today announced the award of a contract for five radio frequency (rf) cavities for the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) project, valued at approximately $5.
Implementing agency : FAIR Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe GmbH
Antimatter is a material composed of antiparticles of regular matter (such as a position for an electron and an antiproton for a proton, which can together form a molecule of antihydrogen), and when the two opposites come into contact, they completely destroy each other, a high-energy burst of gamma rays being the only remnant.
Ulmer's next goal is to measure the intrinsic magnetism of the antiproton, which, like charge, should be equal but opposite that of the proton (SN: 6/28/14, p.
It is known indeed that proton and antiproton virtual couples are formed by vacuum fluctuations and high order two-photon interactions during photon fluctuations able to generate fermion-antifermion pairs [21].
Among specific topics are super-heavy and giant nuclear systems, an experimental program with rare-isotope beams at the international Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), quantum Monte Carlo calculations of light nuclei, tests of clustering in light nuclei and applications to nuclear astrophysics, shell-model calculations with low-momentum realistic interactions, studying nuclear structure by means of Coulomb energy differences, symmetry and super-symmetry in nuclear physics, and the microscopic study of multi-photon excitations in nuclei.
An atom of antihydrogen, or anti-H, consists of a negatively charged antiproton and a positively charged antielectron (a.
Scientists were quite convinced that if the antielectron existed, the antiproton had to exist also.