Science & Technology

Large Hadron Collider Reveals Secret of Antimatter Creation in Cosmic Collisions

Proton–Proton Collision Event

A proton–proton collision occasion recorded by the LHCb detector, displaying the monitor adopted by an antiproton shaped within the collision. Credit: CERN

Recently on the Quark Matter convention and earlier than that on the Rencontres de Moriond convention, the Large Hadron Collider magnificence (LHCb) collaboration offered an evaluation of particle collisions on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) that will assist decide whether or not or not any antimatter seen by experiments in house originates from the darkish matter that holds galaxies such because the Milky Way collectively.

Space-based experiments such because the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), which was assembled at CERN and is put in on the International Space Station (ISS), have detected the fraction of antiprotons, the antimatter counterparts of protons, in high-energy particles referred to as cosmic rays. These antiprotons might be shaped when dark-matter particles collide with one another, however they is also createdin different situations, comparable to when protons collide with atomic nuclei within the interstellar medium, which is primarily composed of hydrogen and helium.

LHCb reveals secret of antimatter creation in cosmic collisions. The discovering could assist discover out whether or not or not any antimatter seen by experiments in house originates from darkish matter. Credit: CERN

To discover out whether or not or not any of those antiprotons originate from darkish matter, physicists subsequently need to estimate how typically antiprotons are produced in collisions between protons and hydrogen in addition to between protons and helium. While some measurements of the primary have been made, and LHCb reported in 2017 the first-ever measurement of the second, that LHCb measurement concerned solely immediate antiproton manufacturing – that’s, antiprotons produced proper on the place the place the collisions happened.

LHCb Experiment

The LHCb experiment at CERN. Credit: CERN

In their new research, the LHCb group appeared additionally for antiprotons produced at far from the collision level, by the transformation, or “decay,” of particles referred to as antihyperons into antiprotons. To make this new measurement and the earlier one, the LHCb researchers, who normally use knowledge from proton–proton collisions for his or her investigations, as a substitute used knowledge from proton–helium collisions obtained by injecting helium fuel into the purpose the place the 2 LHC proton beams would usually collide.

By analyzing a pattern of some 34 million proton–helium collisions and measuring the ratio of the manufacturing charge of antiprotons from antihyperon decays to that of immediate antiprotons, the LHCb researchers discovered that, on the collision power scale of their measurement, the antiprotons produced through antihyperon decays contribute way more to the full antiproton manufacturing charge than the quantity predicted by most fashions of antiproton manufacturing in proton–nucleus collisions.

CERN LHCb Experiment

LHCb experiment cavern at LHC. Credit: CERN

“This result complements our previous measurement of prompt antiproton production, and it will improve the predictions of the models,” says LHCb spokesperson Chris Parkes. “This improvement may in turn help space-based experiments find evidence of dark matter.”

“Our technique of injecting gas into the LHCb collision point was originally conceived to measure the size of the proton beams,” says LHCb physics coordinator Niels Tuning. “It is really nice to see again that it also improves our knowledge of how often antimatter should be created in cosmic collisions between protons and atomic nuclei.”

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