back to article 'Anti alpha' mirror-matter made from gold in atomsmasher

Allied international boffins are exceedingly chuffed this week to announce a recordbreaking reverse-alchemy triumph: gold has been turned into extra hefty nega-helium antimatter by using an enormously powerful atom smasher. The particle-punisher in question was not our old friend the Large Hadron Collider but rather the …


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  1. thomas k.

    Well, that explains Fringe!

    Go ahead and end it now before Abrams can ruin it, like he did Lost.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    I think it was better when you just reviewed Ethernet over Mains kit noone cared about!

  3. GregC
    Thumb Up

    On form today, Lewis

    "unstrange - ultramundane – infraboring" particles sound good, and the arse-kickingest scientific instrument is splendid.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Yup - Lewis ..

      .. the LHC of the English language :-)


      Yes, yes, the one with the thesaurus, thanks.

  4. Filippo Silver badge

    Possible or not?

    Wait a second. They say that creation of anti-alpha by cosmic rays is impossible, and therefore they want to look for anti-alpha in orbit because, if they find it, it's evidence of antimatter that doesn't come from cosmic rays. So far, so good.

    But they were also able to find anti-alpha after a particle accelerator experiment. Last I heard, the energy levels reached by particle accelerators are still lower than what you can get in cosmic rays - this is what gets frequently stated in order to debunk claims that the LHC could destroy Earth. If particle accelerators can create anti-alpha, then wouldn't cosmic rays also be able to create anti-alpha, which would moot the space experiment?

    1. Christoph

      Probably the collision rate

      They collided huge numbers of particles head-on and got a very few anti-helium nuclei. At a guess, the likely production rate by random collisions of two cosmic rays is so low that they can ignore it. And if a cosmic ray hits anything else, any antimatter produced is likely to promptly annihilate.

  5. Olafthemighty

    Brainbox <= Boffin?

    So is a brainbox a wannabe boffin or the other way round?

  6. ratfox

    Let me get this straight (ha!)

    If ever the probe on the ISS detects anything, it will mean that we are surrounded by anti-matter, and soon to disappear in a flash of energy?


  7. Stuart Halliday

    One small step for giant explosion for mankind

    Imagine that. Astronaut lands on a new planet and it self destructs.

    I bet Kirk or Picard never saw that coming!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re. One small step for man...

      Larry Niven already did this in one of his Beowulf Shaeffer short stories (Flatlander).

      1. Christoph

        Long before Niven

        Back in 1956, someone did a poem about Edward Teller landing on a planet where Edward Anti-Teller lived.

        Then shouting gladly o'er the sands

        Met two who in their alien ways

        Were like as lentils, their right hands

        Clasped ... and the rest was gamma rays

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And People Call Them Explorers!

      Kirk and Picard mostly just explored their own little galaxy, which may well be made entirely of the same stuff.

  8. Ammaross Danan

    I for one

    Welcome our mutually-annihilating anti-matter-based alien overlords. Tom Cruise or Mel Gibson would simply have to shake hands with them rather than expose them to water....I'm sure the world would be better for it too.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "anti-matter galaxies"

    If there are anti-matter galaxies out there, then shouldn't some of the galactic collisions that we see such pretty pictures involve "+" and "-" versions - and therefore be a bit more spectacular than they appear to be? I am assuming, of course that when galaxies collide there are actual collisions, not just intricate orbital dances.

  10. Ru


    Awesome term.

    Google seems to think you may not have been the first to coin it, alas, but you win a consolation prize of some prestige for being the first to bring it to my attention.

  11. Jeff 10

    With the high price of gold...

    ...I'm surprised the anti-science, anti-fact Republican Party haven't shut it down to close the deficit gap.

    Mines the one with the anti-lint in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      More to the point....

      Now we know which f**kers are driving up the price of the shiny stuff. My missus is a jeweller and their "scarcity engine" is sending her bottom line right into the shitter.

      Grrrrr. Look what's sailing over your perimeter fence tonight.

    2. Greg J Preece


      Much as I dislike the Republican party, I feel I may have to pull you up on that one, by proxy. Enter Mr deGrasse Tyson:

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    From the headline, I'd sort of assumed a parallel antimatter world which would have been wonderful. Imagine being able to earn overtime for work carried out by a parallel, antimatter doppelganger in a parallel, antimatter world......

    1. hplasm

      It exists!

      It's negative money- that's where the huge deficit comes from...

  13. Mystic Megabyte

    "assembled in orbit, "

    With a sonic screwdriver?

  14. Steve K


    Well that news has given me a large Hadron of my own...

  15. amanfromearth

    Or to summarise..

    Instrument on board final shuttle mission is designed to investigate CP violation.

    There. You do get paid by the word I assume?

  16. David Pollard

    Cheers for Hannes Alvèn

    "... finding even one would strongly suggest ... a distant region of the universe dominated by antimatter" sounds very much like Alfvèn-Klein cosmology.

    Does this mean that it is finally becoming possible to consider some of the ideas that Hannes Alfvèn suggested half a century ago without the risk of dismissive sneers, opprobrium and ridicule from every corner?

    1. hplasm

      Such a region-

      sounds more hospitable than the Calvin-Klein region.

  17. Graham Marsden

    "a gnat's chuff less than the speed of light"

    Is this going replace the Velocity of a Sheep in a Vacuum as a standard El Reg measure?

  18. MondoMan

    Some fact-checking, s'il vous plait

    You claim "...the AMS requires more power than any feasible satellite or spacecraft built here on Earth could possibly yield. "

    A wee bit 'o checking would have turned up the fact the the old Soviet RORSATs, with their onboard nuclear reactors, not only were highly effective at inducing cataplexy in Greenpeaceniks, but generated more than 2kW of electrical power, and so would have been able to supply the 2kW power need of the AMS-02.

    Otherwise, congrats on the creative language use!

  19. Lghost

    anyone else

    get the impression halfway through that Lewis and amanfromars1 may be 2 personae behind the same keyboard ?

  20. Msan

    Thereby turning a rolex into a funny voice maker

    that will eat my vocal chords! Fucking awesome! Can you book online?

  21. Nigel Brown

    I'm soooo disappointed

    Nobody bothered to chuck in a comment about Lord Percy and his nugget of 'purest green!'

    Except that it's not really a nugget but more of a splat.............

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      I just logged in to say that!

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