What is Antimatter?

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Recent experiments at CERN have demonstrated that antimatter falls, validating yet another aspect of the general theory.

About Antimatter

  • Antimatter is the same as ordinary matter except that it has the opposite electric charge.
  • It is also known as “mirror” matter.
  • For instance, an electron, which has a negative charge, has an antimatter partner known as a positron. A positron is a particle with the same mass as an electron but a positive charge. 
  • The antimatter particles corresponding to electrons, protons, and neutrons are called positrons, antiprotons, and antineutrons; collectively they are referred to as antiparticles.
  • These anti-particles can combine to form anti-atoms and, in principle, could even form anti-matter regions of our universe.
  • Matter and antimatter cannot coexist at close range for more than a small fraction of a second because they collide with and annihilate each other, releasing large quantities of energy in the form of gamma rays or elementary particles.
  • Antimatter was created along with matter after the Big Bang. 
  • Humans have created antimatter particles using ultra-high-speed collisions at huge particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider, which is located outside Geneva and operated by CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research).
  • There are also naturally produced antiparticles made sporadically throughout the universe.


What is General Theory of Relativity?

  • General relativity is physicist Albert Einstein's understanding of how gravity affects the fabric of space-time.
  • Theory:
    • According to the theory, time and space are fused together in a quantity known as spacetime.
    • Gravity is treated as a geometric phenomenon that arises from the curvature of space-time. 
    • Massive objects cause spacetime to curve, and gravity is simply the curvature of spacetime.
    • Gravitational lensing is a dramatic and observable example of Einstein’s theory in action.
  • Gravitational lensing:
    • Extremely massive celestial bodies such as galaxy clusters cause spacetime to be significantly curved. In other words, they act as gravitational lenses.
    • When light from a more distant light source passes by a gravitational lensthe path of the light is curved, and a distorted image of the distant object — maybe a ring or halo of light around the gravitational lens — can be observed.


Q1) What is the Big Bang Theory?

The Big Bang Theory is the leading explanation for how the universe began. Simply put, it says the universe as we know it started with an infinitely hot and dense single point that inflated and stretched — first at unimaginable speeds, and then at a more measurable rate — over the next 13.7 billion years to the still-expanding cosmos that we know today.

Source: Einstein was right: Antimatter falls under gravity