Solar flares help solve matter-antimatter puzzle

Washington, July 9 (ANI): 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. (ANI)


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