Antimatter links

Discussion in 'General Science' started by Wendy, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
  2. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    1,585
    141
    Interesting tidbit, although perhaps not terribly surprising when one considers a single lightning bolt can involve a peak power of 1 TW and electric fields in the MV regions (i.e., plenty of energy available to give the particles the requisite energy).

    If I understand the process correctly, it's that the large fields at the top of the thunderstorm accelerate electrons to near speed of light and this produces gamma rays by either synchrotron radiation or bremsstrahlung. These gamma rays then go further and cause pair production near a nucleus, which yields the electron-positron pairs that go into low orbit to follow the earth's magnetic field. Then, of course, it's the 0.511 MeV signature of the positron annihilation that the spacecraft's detectors are seeing.

    A lesson is that new measurement tools frequently uncover interesting facts about nature that we didn't know before.
     
  3. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
  4. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
  5. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
Loading...