full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Rolf Landua: What happened to antimatter?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Is it possible to create something out of nothing? Or, more precisely, can energy be made into matter? Yes, but only when it comes together with its twin, antimatter. And there's something pretty mrotyseuis about antimatter: there's way less of it out there than there should be. Let's start with the most fouams phyicss frmloua ever: E equals m c squared. It basically says that mass is concentrated energy, and mass and energy are exchangeable, like two currencies with a huge exchange rate. 90 trillion Joules of energy are equivalent to 1 gram of mass. But how do I actually tfnsroarm energy into matter? The magic word is energy density. If you concentrate a huge amount of energy in a tiny space, new particles will come into existence. If we look closer, we see that these particles always come in pairs, like twins. That's because particles always have a cruentporat, an apantrlictie, and these are always produced in exactly equal amounts: 50/50. This might sonud like science fiction, but it's the daily life of particle accelerators. In the collisions between two protons at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, billions of particles and antiparticles are produced every second. Consider, for example, the electron. It has a very small mass and ntgveaie elercitc carhge. It's antiparticle, the positron, has exactly the same mass, but a positive electric charge. But, apart from the opposite charges, both particles are iiacdtenl and perfectly stable. And the same is true for their heavy cousins, the proton and the antiproton. Therefore, scientists are convinced that a world made of antimatter would look, feel, and smell just like our world. In this antiworld, we may find antiwater, antigold, and, for example, an antimarble. Now igimane that a marble and an antimarble are brought together. These two antepplary silod objects would completely disappear into a big flash of energy, equivalent to an atomic bomb. Because combining matter and antimatter would create so much energy, science fiction is full of ideas about henrsnaisg the energy stored in antimatter, for example, to fuel ssicppheas like Star Trek. After all, the energy content of antimatter is a bilolin times higher than conventional fuel. The energy of one gram of antimatter would be enough for driving a car 1,000 times around the etarh, or to bring the spcae shuttle into orbit. So why don't we use antimatter for energy production? Well, antimatter isn't just sitting around, ready for us to harvest. We have to make antimatter before we can combust antimatter, and it takes a billion temis more energy to make antimatter than you get back. But, what if there was some antimatter in outer space and we could dig it out one day from an antiplanet somewhere. A few decades ago, many scientists believed that this could actually be possible. Today, observations have shown that there is no significant amount of aimattnetr anywhere in the visible unsvreie, which is weird because, like we said before, there should be just as much antimatter as there is matter in the universe. Since antiparticles and particles should exist in eauql numbers, this missing antimatter? Now that is a real mystery. To understand what might be hipanepng, we must go back to the Big Bang. In the instant the universe was created, a huge amount of engrey was transformed into mass, and our initial universe contained equal amtouns of matter and antimatter. But just a second later, most matter and all of the antimatter had dtyesreod one another, pdoincurg an enormous anuomt of radiation that can still be orvebsed today. Just about 100 mlhtioinls of the oianrigl amount of matter scutk around and no antimatter whatsoever. "Now, wait!" you might say, "Why did all the antimatter disappear and only mtaetr was left?" It seems that we were somehow lucky that a tiny asymmetry exists between matter and antimatter. Otherwise, there would be no particles at all anywhere in the universe and also no hmaun beings. But what causes this asymmetry? Experiments at CERN are trying to find out the reason why something exists and why we don't live in a universe filled with radiation only? But, so far, we just don't know the answer.

Open Cloze

Is it possible to create something out of nothing? Or, more precisely, can energy be made into matter? Yes, but only when it comes together with its twin, antimatter. And there's something pretty __________ about antimatter: there's way less of it out there than there should be. Let's start with the most ______ _______ _______ ever: E equals m c squared. It basically says that mass is concentrated energy, and mass and energy are exchangeable, like two currencies with a huge exchange rate. 90 trillion Joules of energy are equivalent to 1 gram of mass. But how do I actually _________ energy into matter? The magic word is energy density. If you concentrate a huge amount of energy in a tiny space, new particles will come into existence. If we look closer, we see that these particles always come in pairs, like twins. That's because particles always have a ___________, an ____________, and these are always produced in exactly equal amounts: 50/50. This might _____ like science fiction, but it's the daily life of particle accelerators. In the collisions between two protons at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, billions of particles and antiparticles are produced every second. Consider, for example, the electron. It has a very small mass and ________ ________ ______. It's antiparticle, the positron, has exactly the same mass, but a positive electric charge. But, apart from the opposite charges, both particles are _________ and perfectly stable. And the same is true for their heavy cousins, the proton and the antiproton. Therefore, scientists are convinced that a world made of antimatter would look, feel, and smell just like our world. In this antiworld, we may find antiwater, antigold, and, for example, an antimarble. Now _______ that a marble and an antimarble are brought together. These two __________ _____ objects would completely disappear into a big flash of energy, equivalent to an atomic bomb. Because combining matter and antimatter would create so much energy, science fiction is full of ideas about __________ the energy stored in antimatter, for example, to fuel __________ like Star Trek. After all, the energy content of antimatter is a _______ times higher than conventional fuel. The energy of one gram of antimatter would be enough for driving a car 1,000 times around the _____, or to bring the _____ shuttle into orbit. So why don't we use antimatter for energy production? Well, antimatter isn't just sitting around, ready for us to harvest. We have to make antimatter before we can combust antimatter, and it takes a billion _____ more energy to make antimatter than you get back. But, what if there was some antimatter in outer space and we could dig it out one day from an antiplanet somewhere. A few decades ago, many scientists believed that this could actually be possible. Today, observations have shown that there is no significant amount of __________ anywhere in the visible ________, which is weird because, like we said before, there should be just as much antimatter as there is matter in the universe. Since antiparticles and particles should exist in _____ numbers, this missing antimatter? Now that is a real mystery. To understand what might be _________, we must go back to the Big Bang. In the instant the universe was created, a huge amount of ______ was transformed into mass, and our initial universe contained equal _______ of matter and antimatter. But just a second later, most matter and all of the antimatter had _________ one another, _________ an enormous ______ of radiation that can still be ________ today. Just about 100 __________ of the ________ amount of matter _____ around and no antimatter whatsoever. "Now, wait!" you might say, "Why did all the antimatter disappear and only ______ was left?" It seems that we were somehow lucky that a tiny asymmetry exists between matter and antimatter. Otherwise, there would be no particles at all anywhere in the universe and also no _____ beings. But what causes this asymmetry? Experiments at CERN are trying to find out the reason why something exists and why we don't live in a universe filled with radiation only? But, so far, we just don't know the answer.

Solution

  1. observed
  2. matter
  3. energy
  4. formula
  5. millionths
  6. producing
  7. physics
  8. sound
  9. human
  10. amounts
  11. imagine
  12. charge
  13. transform
  14. amount
  15. spaceships
  16. original
  17. harnessing
  18. space
  19. antimatter
  20. billion
  21. identical
  22. equal
  23. times
  24. destroyed
  25. solid
  26. electric
  27. counterpart
  28. antiparticle
  29. universe
  30. negative
  31. earth
  32. apparently
  33. stuck
  34. happening
  35. famous
  36. mysterious

Original Text

Is it possible to create something out of nothing? Or, more precisely, can energy be made into matter? Yes, but only when it comes together with its twin, antimatter. And there's something pretty mysterious about antimatter: there's way less of it out there than there should be. Let's start with the most famous physics formula ever: E equals m c squared. It basically says that mass is concentrated energy, and mass and energy are exchangeable, like two currencies with a huge exchange rate. 90 trillion Joules of energy are equivalent to 1 gram of mass. But how do I actually transform energy into matter? The magic word is energy density. If you concentrate a huge amount of energy in a tiny space, new particles will come into existence. If we look closer, we see that these particles always come in pairs, like twins. That's because particles always have a counterpart, an antiparticle, and these are always produced in exactly equal amounts: 50/50. This might sound like science fiction, but it's the daily life of particle accelerators. In the collisions between two protons at CERN's Large Hadron Collider, billions of particles and antiparticles are produced every second. Consider, for example, the electron. It has a very small mass and negative electric charge. It's antiparticle, the positron, has exactly the same mass, but a positive electric charge. But, apart from the opposite charges, both particles are identical and perfectly stable. And the same is true for their heavy cousins, the proton and the antiproton. Therefore, scientists are convinced that a world made of antimatter would look, feel, and smell just like our world. In this antiworld, we may find antiwater, antigold, and, for example, an antimarble. Now imagine that a marble and an antimarble are brought together. These two apparently solid objects would completely disappear into a big flash of energy, equivalent to an atomic bomb. Because combining matter and antimatter would create so much energy, science fiction is full of ideas about harnessing the energy stored in antimatter, for example, to fuel spaceships like Star Trek. After all, the energy content of antimatter is a billion times higher than conventional fuel. The energy of one gram of antimatter would be enough for driving a car 1,000 times around the Earth, or to bring the space shuttle into orbit. So why don't we use antimatter for energy production? Well, antimatter isn't just sitting around, ready for us to harvest. We have to make antimatter before we can combust antimatter, and it takes a billion times more energy to make antimatter than you get back. But, what if there was some antimatter in outer space and we could dig it out one day from an antiplanet somewhere. A few decades ago, many scientists believed that this could actually be possible. Today, observations have shown that there is no significant amount of antimatter anywhere in the visible universe, which is weird because, like we said before, there should be just as much antimatter as there is matter in the universe. Since antiparticles and particles should exist in equal numbers, this missing antimatter? Now that is a real mystery. To understand what might be happening, we must go back to the Big Bang. In the instant the universe was created, a huge amount of energy was transformed into mass, and our initial universe contained equal amounts of matter and antimatter. But just a second later, most matter and all of the antimatter had destroyed one another, producing an enormous amount of radiation that can still be observed today. Just about 100 millionths of the original amount of matter stuck around and no antimatter whatsoever. "Now, wait!" you might say, "Why did all the antimatter disappear and only matter was left?" It seems that we were somehow lucky that a tiny asymmetry exists between matter and antimatter. Otherwise, there would be no particles at all anywhere in the universe and also no human beings. But what causes this asymmetry? Experiments at CERN are trying to find out the reason why something exists and why we don't live in a universe filled with radiation only? But, so far, we just don't know the answer.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
huge amount 2
electric charge 2
billion times 2

Important Words

  1. accelerators
  2. amount
  3. amounts
  4. answer
  5. antigold
  6. antimarble
  7. antimatter
  8. antiparticle
  9. antiparticles
  10. antiplanet
  11. antiproton
  12. antiwater
  13. antiworld
  14. apparently
  15. asymmetry
  16. atomic
  17. bang
  18. basically
  19. beings
  20. believed
  21. big
  22. billion
  23. billions
  24. bomb
  25. bring
  26. brought
  27. car
  28. cern
  29. charge
  30. charges
  31. closer
  32. collider
  33. collisions
  34. combining
  35. combust
  36. completely
  37. concentrate
  38. concentrated
  39. contained
  40. content
  41. conventional
  42. convinced
  43. counterpart
  44. cousins
  45. create
  46. created
  47. currencies
  48. daily
  49. day
  50. decades
  51. density
  52. destroyed
  53. dig
  54. disappear
  55. driving
  56. earth
  57. electric
  58. electron
  59. energy
  60. enormous
  61. equal
  62. equals
  63. equivalent
  64. exchange
  65. exchangeable
  66. exist
  67. existence
  68. exists
  69. experiments
  70. famous
  71. feel
  72. fiction
  73. filled
  74. find
  75. flash
  76. formula
  77. fuel
  78. full
  79. gram
  80. hadron
  81. happening
  82. harnessing
  83. harvest
  84. heavy
  85. higher
  86. huge
  87. human
  88. ideas
  89. identical
  90. imagine
  91. initial
  92. instant
  93. joules
  94. large
  95. left
  96. life
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  98. lucky
  99. magic
  100. marble
  101. mass
  102. matter
  103. millionths
  104. missing
  105. mysterious
  106. mystery
  107. negative
  108. numbers
  109. objects
  110. observations
  111. observed
  112. orbit
  113. original
  114. outer
  115. pairs
  116. particle
  117. particles
  118. perfectly
  119. physics
  120. positive
  121. positron
  122. precisely
  123. pretty
  124. produced
  125. producing
  126. production
  127. proton
  128. protons
  129. radiation
  130. rate
  131. ready
  132. real
  133. reason
  134. science
  135. scientists
  136. shown
  137. shuttle
  138. significant
  139. sitting
  140. small
  141. smell
  142. solid
  143. sound
  144. space
  145. spaceships
  146. squared
  147. stable
  148. star
  149. start
  150. stored
  151. stuck
  152. takes
  153. times
  154. tiny
  155. today
  156. transform
  157. transformed
  158. trek
  159. trillion
  160. true
  161. twin
  162. twins
  163. understand
  164. universe
  165. visible
  166. weird
  167. whatsoever
  168. word
  169. world