Posted on 26 January 2014.
Those words are not coming from a Star Trek script, or a Sci-Fi movie, they are actually being given by the scientists of ASACUSA , a multi-disciplinary collaboration between CERN and Japan’s RIKEN research center.
ASACUSA team leader, Yasunori Yamazaki is some kind of Captain Kirk for these guys, requesting things like:
-Check the superconducting anti-Helmholtz coil!
-Scan the multiple ring electrodes!
-Prepare the microwave cavity and a beam-focusing spin-selector ready for operation!
-Check all stats for Fantasy football!
(Ok, that one is mine! lol)
I can actually imagine the whole Star Trek crew, like in an episode of the famous TV show, and myself finding stats at sports websites like Sports Betting Dime.
But the future is now, and those are real engineering marvels that put us a little closer to the answers we´re looking for…
But, what´s the deal with anti-matter stuff?
Sci-Fi movies were able to educate us enough to know that matter and anti-matter annihilate each other in a flash of energy when they interact… Do you remember Angels & Demons by Dan Brown? Something like that.
In this case, scientists are trying to understand why matter prevails in this Universe of ours. If anti-matter and matter co-exist in balance (that’s what we think they do), why is anti-matter so difficult to perceive?
In order to find the answers, Europe’s CERN research center set a new number of particle-smashing experiments, including a special trap. The anti-matter, shows a particular problem–it’s hard to keep the atoms in existence long enough to make fine-scale measurements.
So, this special magnetic trap located at CERN’s Anti-proton Decelerator facility is making the difference for scientists, “bringing the possibility to guide the energetic anti-atoms to a region with a weak magnetic field. This is so we can have high-precision studies of anti-hydrogen atoms, particularly the hyper-fine structure, one of the two best known spectroscopic properties of hydrogen” Yasunori Yamazaki said.
These “mad” scientists won’t build an anti-matter cannon to destroy an asteroid (Why not?), but their discoveries will bring more possibilities to use anti-matter knowledge for medical purposes, like the PET scanners that actually are used by hospitals around the world to take snapshots of our bodies.
So, the next time you hear “Prepare the anti-matter beam!” turn your attention to the Swiss-French border… chances are Captain Kirk is there!