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Science & Technology

Does antimatter fall up ? Scientists now have the answer

By T.K. Randall
September 28, 2023 · Comment icon 24 comments

What if it was possible to defy the force of gravity ? Image Credit: NASA
Physicists at CERN have conducted a major new experiment to find out whether antimatter falls up or down.
One of the staples of science fiction, antigravity - which enables vehicles to float in the air - can be found in many popular franchises ranging from Blade Runner to Star Wars.

But is there really any such thing as antigravity and could antimatter be the key ?

Possessing the same mass as ordinary particles but with an opposing charge, antimatter is as elusive as it is mysterious and could help physicists understand more about the way the universe works.
One of the long-running questions about antimatter is whether or not it obeys the laws of gravity and now, following an experiment at CERN, it turns out that it does - putting to bed any notion of creating objects which float upward due to having an opposing reaction to the Earth's gravitational pull.

The experiment - which offered up the first ever observation of free-falling antimatter - used atomic antihydrogen (which consists of one antiproton orbited by a positively charged positron) and even served to prove, once again, that Einstein's general theory of relativity is correct.

"If you walk down the halls of this department and ask the physicists, they would all say that this result is not the least bit surprising. That's the reality," said physics professor Jonathan Wurtele.

"But most of them will also say that the experiment had to be done because you never can be sure."

Source: Live Science | Comments (24)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by DarkHunter 9 months ago
I'm not sure I'm going to explain this very well but I'm going to try. Experimenting to see if gravity effects anti-matter differently is more to try and solve a different problem, with the problem being where is all the anti-matter in the universe.  From our current understanding of physics when the big bang occured equal amounts of matter and anti-matter should of been created but from all our observations near 100% of what we see is matter and not anti-matter.  Ultimately we either got something wrong in our understanding of physics or there is something undiscovered and this experiment h... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by DieChecker 9 months ago
Some make that claim!
Comment icon #17 Posted by DieChecker 9 months ago
Oh, I didn't read all of it. I read anti-hydrogen and moved on.  
Comment icon #18 Posted by DieChecker 9 months ago
I read the two quoted links again, and both specify anti-hydrogen was tested. Can you post where the tested anti-helium also?
Comment icon #19 Posted by DieChecker 9 months ago
I was watching a YouTube video the other day that made me think.... Why do we position all maps, and globes, with North as UP? It's only due to Euro-centrism, as looking at the world with Antarctica on top is really just as valid. 
Comment icon #20 Posted by Grim Reaper 6 9 months ago
I think I made a mistake, I apologize, I meant to say Anit-helium sorry for the confusion man!
Comment icon #21 Posted by Grim Reaper 6 9 months ago
I also believe that maps and globes are positioned with north up because Magnetic North is what we used for years for navigation. While a compass is still a valid option that can be used for navigation, satellites (GPS) are much more accurate for any other form of global positioning today!!
Comment icon #22 Posted by DarkHunter 9 months ago
Asian maps also had north as up so north being associated with up isn't a Euro-centric thing. The main reason it seems north is associated with up is due to most, but not all, ancient civilianizations being in the northern hemisphere and the north star being visible, easily identifiable, and is largely fixed in the night sky made it essentially a perfect way for every ancient civilization in the northern hemisphere to orient themselves which is important for travel, trade, and a lot of other things essential for civilization.
Comment icon #23 Posted by pallidin 9 months ago
Comment icon #24 Posted by lightly 9 months ago
Still speaking magnetically off topic ;     Our sun has N.& S. poles…which flip approx. every 11 years!    Our sun’s planets all have poles…tilted at various angles!    Apparently galaxies tilt at various angles too    (likely aligned to their magnetic fields?)           This image indicates that our galaxy has N.& S poles too !    (dunno if they flip/reverse periodically) 

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