Saturday, April 06, 2024

SATURDAY NIGHT MAC DEMARCO, ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN.

Mac DeMarco with Moonlight on the River. From his 2017 album This Old Dog.





Canadian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He sings about his father, who walked out on his mom and him because he was an addict and alcoholic.



Echo and the Bunnymen with Bring On The Dancing Horses. From the 1985 compilation album Songs to Learn and Sing.





Liverpudlian band which formed in 1978 and originally consisted of Ian McCulloch, Will Sergeant, Les Pattison... and a drum machine. Although the band always denied Echo was its name. By the time their debut album appeared, Crocodiles in 1980, there was a flesh and blood drummer, Pete de Freitas, but the name remained the same.


Nite.



MFBB.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

HAPPY EASTER 2024!

To all my followers, like every year I wish you a heartfelt Happy Easter! At least those of the Christian faith, the others I wish a nice weekend!





God bless you and your loved ones, and may He protect you from harm.



MFBB.

RECOMMENDED VIDEO: THE IMAGES THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR VIEW OF THE MOON FOREVER (AND BLOW YOUR MIND).

A fascinating journey to our closest celestial neighbor!




If you follow this link, you can explore the Moon yourself!


Good night.



MFBB.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

RECOMMENDED VIDEO: NEUTRON STARS ARE MORE BIZARRE THAN YOU THINK.

An interesting video by Space Matters on neutron stars, the collapsed cores of massive supergiant stars which had total masses of between 10 and 25 times the mass of our Sun (M☉). They are the smallest and densest known stellar objects, except for Black Holes, having a radius of about 10 kilometers (and a mass of about 1.4 M☉).

They are called neutron stars because, well, their gravitational pressure is so gigantic that atomic nuclei and their electrons are forced onto one another and combine to form neutrons. Further collapse is prevented by a phenomenon called neutron degeneracy pressure.




Nite.



MFBB.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

THE UNITED KINGDOM IS LOST AND GONE FOR GOOD.

Three appalling tidbits of info that show how much the rot has already set in in the United Kingdom:


An adhan in the Houses of Parliament:




Cambridge University warns visitors to the Fitzwilliam Museum that viewing 200-year old paintings of bucolic "Ur-British landscapes", among them works by Constable, may inspire 'dark nationalistic feelings'.




There's about 500 mosques in London, yet they feel they have to pray in the streets. It's a signal, it's intimidation. When you want to sing gospel songs, however...




There are many more signs that Great Britain has effectively become Small Britain - think of Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, setting up a 100 million £ fund for reparations for the sin of slavery (never mind that the UK actually ABOLISHED the slave trade), the guy who was arrested for putting up stickers warning of White Britons becoming a minority by 2060 etc... but let's leave it at this for today. It's too depressing.


At some point we will have to take up arms. And use them.



MFBB.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

SATURDAY NIGHT MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND, LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM.

Manfred Mann's Earth Band with Davy's on the road again. It's on the 1978 album Watch, although it came out as a single in 1971 already.





English rock band which formed in 1971 and still around, despite a hiatus between 1987 and 1991. Lead man Manfred Mann (real name Manfred Sepse Lubowitz) was born in South Africa.



Lindsey Buckingham with Trouble. From his debut solo album Law and Order (1981).





Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac in 1977, together with his then partner Stevie Nicks, and it's impossible to imagine Rumours (1977) and its success without them.


Goede nacht.



MFBB.

Saturday, March 02, 2024

SATURDAY NIGHT FOO FIGHTERS, ABC.

Foo Fighters with Monkey Wrench. From the album The Colour and the Shape (1997).





In the elevator, Grohl hears a muzak version (i.e. lift music) of the FF hit Big Me, performed by The Moog Cookbook, some kind of US version of Daft Punk.



ABC with All Of My Heart. From their debut album The Lexicon of Love (1982). You read that right, 42 years old already. And still good!





English pop band, ex Vice Versa, which formed in Sheffield in 1980. The classic line-up consisted of lead vocalist Martin Fry, guitarist/keyboardist Mark White, saxophonist Stephen Singleton, and drummer David Palmer.


Bonne nuit.



MFBB.

Friday, March 01, 2024

RECOMMENDED VIDEO: INSIDE THE ME262 JET FIGHTER.

A marvellous video by Blue Paw Print:





And while I'm at it, you might want to check out Dan Sharp's "ME262 - Development and Politics":





Nite.



MFBB.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

SATURDAY NIGHT MAC DEMARCO, EDITORS.

Mac DeMarco with Passing out Pieces. From the album Salad Days (2014).





Canadian singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, known for his preference for vintage guitars and synthesizers.



Editors with Munich. From their 2005 debut album The Back Room.





Indie rock band from Brum. Tom Smith is lead singer, songwriter, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist.


Dobranoc.



MFBB.

Friday, February 23, 2024

INTUITIVE MACHINES' ODYSSEUS LANDER TOUCHES DOWN ON MOON.

After more than half a century, America finally made it back to the Moon, as Intuitive Machines's NOVA C-Lander, called Odysseus, touched down on the lunar surface near the South Pole:








Intuitive Machines is a participant in NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Programme, another contender being Astrobotic, which in January launched Peregrine, an attempt to reach the Moon that unfortunately failed due to an anomaly shortly after launch. Astrobotic will do a follow up later this year though with a second lander, Griffin.


After IM's confirmation that Odysseus was standing upright and sending data...





...photos failed to come through though. Apparently the camera didn't deploy during descent. I suppose IM's engineer right now are hard at work to solve that problem though. In any case, with this successful landing on the heels of Japans and India's lunar landers, it's clear that interest for our celestial neighbor is finally back to late 60s/early 70s levels, and hopefully we will finally see a Moon Base in the very near future!



MFBB.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

THE RESULT OF MULTICULTI INSANITY: MASSIVE RIOTS IN THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS.

Mass riots broke out yesterday in The Hague, The Netherlands, when two rival gangs of Eritreans numbering hundreds of individuals clashed with each other, then attacked intervening police.























Multiculturalism is a LIE, invented by leftists after the fall of the Soviet Union. It was the grand bankruptcy of all their delusional ideas, but every time they are proven wrong, they start looking for another cause to sow unrest and hatred, another group of purported victims they can claim to protect. That group was quickly found, had in fact already been on their radar for decades: the Third World. The only reason most of the Third World is a shithole is because WE keep them there, according to socialists, greens, democrats or whatever you want to call these lowlives. And the grand operation to sluice the downtrodden of the Earth towards the West began. Here at last they could benefit from all the riches we had stolen from them.


Not content with the speed of the influx, even after Madwoman Merkel's throwing open the borders of Germany, they doctored the 'UN Global Compact for Safe and Regulated Migration', which went into effect in 2018. The results are appalling. Europe is being flooded day and night with thousands of welfare seekers who can't, and won't, contribute anything of value to our continent.


It is in fact a naked power grab by Europe's leftists and greens, aimed at neutralizing the votes of autochton electorates which vote more an more rightwing - not unlike the Biden government letting some 150,000 Latin Americans in each month with the aim of keeping the GOP from power eternally.


The results of such insane policies were on full display in The Hague yesterday. Politicians who allow and facilitate the import of this scum... actually deserve to be shot.



MFBB.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

WEEKEND MOVIE TIP: DONNIE DARKO (2001).

It's excellent.





And the soundtrack comprising material from Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, Tears for Fears, INXS et al was just the icing on the cake!


Go watch it, you won't be disappointed. Nite.



MFBB.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

WEEKEND MOVIE TIP: MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001).

You know, 3/4ths into this movie I was seriously starting to think David Lynch is overrated. I was seriously starting to think of quitting.


And then I didn't.


And lucky me.





Mulholland Drive tells the story of Betty Elms, an aspiring young actress who arrives in LA only to find an amnesiac woman calling herself Rita in her apartment. I am not going to say more but remember, get past that 3/4 treshold. Besides, Rita has great tits.


Let's say I give it an 8.5/10 score. See it. Nite.



MFBB.

Friday, February 09, 2024

RECOMMENDED VIDEO: INSIDE THE VOUGHT F4U-4 CORSAIR.

A truly enlightening and fun to watch video about a legendary aircraft...






...that, thanks to the movie Devotion (such a shame it tanked), finds itself in the spotlights again!






Some more info here. Good night.



MFBB.

Saturday, February 03, 2024

WEEKEND MOVIE TIP: TRACK 29 (1988).

Saw it many years ago but the favorable impression remains: 7.5 to 10, worth your time.





It's a psychological drama directed by Nicolas Roeg and starring a.o. the beautiful Theresa Russell (at the time Roegs spouse) and Gary Oldman. Russell plays Linda Henry, a doctor's wife in rural Wilmington, North Carolina, who leads a dispiriting life and feels neglected by her husband, a doctor in a local hospital. Then a young drifter shows up, Martin, who claims to be her son, separated at birth from her since as a teen mom she was judged incapable of caring for her baby; and she never had children afterwards.

All rather intriguing and then there's the final Shyamalan twist at the end. See it if you can, it's okay.


Nite.



MFBB.

Friday, February 02, 2024

NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT.

In most of Western Europe, farmers have taken to the streets in an unprecedented way, ostensibly - or principally - to protest high fuel prices and low profits, but what it really boils down to is their resistance to the EU's INSANE plans to curtail their number to meet... insane climate goals:



France:







Spain, France:





Ireland:





The Netherlands:





Belgium:




Italy:





Germany:





The past couple of years have shown us that globalisation has more than its share of disadvantages. In the wake of the covid crisis, Europe suddenly woke up to the fact that, as international shipping of consumer goods from Asia got severely curtailed, it had dispatched an enormous swath of its industrial production to China, Thailand etc. The result? Waiting for that new car for a year for want of essential electronics components from South Korea; only two types of Miele dishwashers available etc... Apparently Western Europe had been dreaming it could afford not to make its hands dirty any longer and become a services economy. It was a rude awakening.


Then came the Russo-Ukraine War and suddenly Europe discovered it relied to a gargantuan extent on Russian fossil fuels, a situation aggravated by green parties' insane war against nuclear energy coupled with their utopian desire to completely switch to renewables. Reality showed the dangers of that approach.


In my country there's a saying: "Een ezel stoot zich geen tweemaal aan dezelfde steen", which translates as "a donkey won't stumble twice over the same rock". But Ladies and Gentlemen, EU ministers and lawmakers are proving time and again that it would actually be better to fill the EU Commission and the EU Parliament with donkeys, since after the production crisis of 2020-2021 and the energy crisis of 2022-present, they are now to stomp on that third stone by outsourcing YET ANOTHER vital sector: farming! Indeed, what could go wrong with, say, forcing at least 3,000 Dutch farmers - who run in all likelihood the cleanest and most environmentally friendly agricultural enterprises on the planet - out of their job and import inferior quality meat and vegetables from far flung places where they don't care ZILCH about nitrogen emissions. Oh yeah, that produce has then to be shipped here by hundreds of reefer vessels and bulk carriers burning gazillion tons of diesel fuel, but for green lunatics one kind of CO2 emissions is not like the other.


The current crop of EU politicians (and most national ones in power) are all obsessed with leftist dadas, even the ones who pose as nominal center or center right. They won't stop at farmers, farmers are just the canaries in the coalmine. It is therefore advisable to Europe's citizens of whom many were indeed hampered this week getting to their jobs, what with all these tractor blockades, to not get too angry...


...for once our 'elites' have got the farmers (taken away their livelihoods, that is), they will come for YOU. And the instruments for that: CBDC, FitFor55, DSA... it's all in the works.


Therefore, FIGHT these smug, obscenely overpaid Davos bastards with ALL YOUR MIGHT, because if they have their way, a decade hence you might not even have a vehicle anymore to shore up a blockade to protest your livelyhood under threat.



MFBB.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

SATURDAY NIGHT THIN LIZZY, CHANDA DANCY.

Thin Lizzy with Wild One. Album Fighting (1975).





Hard to believe TL first broke up more than 40 years ago already - in 1983, that was - and yet it is still around, since guitarist Scott Gorham resurrected it in 1996.



From the soundtrack of Devotion (2022): Jesse Crashes.





Composed by Chanda Dancy from Houston, TX. Besides a composer, she is also a violinist, keyboardist, singer AND founder and president of CYD Music.


Goede nacht.



MFBB.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

RECOMMENDED VIDEO: SABINE HOSSENFELDER ON WHY YOU HAVE MASS.

Sabine Hossenfelder is a theoretical physicist at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies. I got to know her (well... not personally) via X/twitter and so discovered that she also has her own Youtube Channel, Science Without the Gobbledygook.


Maybe you heard left or right already that protons and neutrons are themselves composed of elementary particles called quarks. A proton e.g. is made up of one down and two up quarks. A neutron of one up and two down quarks. Quarks are not massless and their mass can be determined. Yet here's the thing: when these masses are added up, the result is nowhere near the well-known mass of a proton or a neutron. So where does the difference come from? Mrs Hossenfelder explains it in this video: other composite particles called pions, denoted with, you guess it, π, and made up of a quark and an anti-quark, are responsible for it:





You can follow Sabine on: @skdh


Nite.


MFBB.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

SATURDAY NIGHT PREFAB SPROUT, MOBY.

Prefab Sprout with Bonny. From the 1985 album Steve McQueen...





...with the iconic album cover. Only now did I find out the band is from County Durham, UK (which btw I hope to visit with my family next Spring).



Moby with Sunday (The Day Before My Birthday). Album 18 (2002).





Vocals by Sylvia Robinson, better known simply as Sylvia, a singer, record producer and record label exec from Harlem, NY.


Hat tip for both OutlawDaughter. You can see that I raised my offspring well.


Goede nacht.



MFBB.

Friday, January 12, 2024

POLITICAL TURMOIL IN POLAND AS NEW GLOBALIST GOVERNMENT RESORTS TO STASI MEASURES.

Since 13 December Poland has a new government in the form of a center-left coalition of which the main party is Donald Tusk's PO (Platforma Obywatelska, Civic Platform). He has not wasted time in bringing back measures fit for a communist tyranny. The State Broadcaster TVP was raided by police and all personnel deemed to be PiS-aligned (the former rightwing ruling party) was ousted. This week, two PiS parliamentarians who years ago tried to set up a leftist politician (Leper) in an admittedly dubious de-corruption scheme, for which they were however pardoned by the Polish President himself, were arrested in the Presidential Palace no less, and thrown in jail.


Under former EU apparatchik and WEF puppet Donald Tusk, a globalist who can't wait to throw open Polish borders for tens of thousands of illegals in the EU's newest Umvolkung scheme, dark days have returned with a vengeance. This is former Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki:





It's of course far too early to say that Poles show buyer's remorse, and one should not forget that the Polish elections showed that PiS remains the biggest party, but in no time a demo to protest this grossly undemocratic show of force was planned...





...for which reportedly 300,000 protesters showed up, despite freezing temps:











No mean feat! I don't think Tusk has learned a lesson, so it is now imperative for True Poles to keep up the pressure. All over Europe and indeed, the West, those who want to keep our precious societies, for which countless generations before us battled and even gave their all, must unite and fight back against insane globalist schemes. The recent PVV victory in The Netherlands and the current massive demos by farmers in Germany give some hope that perhaps, just perhaps, the tipping point has been reached and native Europeans start to realize that progressive policies can only lead one way: to our doom.



MFBB.

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

THE HUNT FOR STERILE NEUTRINOS - MINIBOONE, MICROBOONE, SBND AND ICARUS.




"The neutrino is perhaps the most fascinating inhabitant of the subatomic world. Nearly massless, this fundamental particle experiences only the weak nuclear force and the much fainter force of gravity. With no more than these feeble connections to other forms of matter, a neutrino can pass through the entire Earth with just a tiny chance of hitting an atom. Ghosts, who are said to be able to pass through walls, have nothing on neutrinos.

The neutrinos’ phantom properties are not the only thing that sets them apart from other fundamental particles. They are unique in that they don’t have a fixed identity. The three known forms of neutrinos are able to transform into one another through a cyclical process called neutrino oscillation. In addition to being subatomic specters, they are also quantum chameleons.

Although the phenomenon of neutrino oscillation has been studied in many experiments, the data don’t tell a unified story. Based on the evidence of some experiments, some scientists have begun to suspect that there may be more than three types of neutrinos. These hypothetical additional neutrino types, unlike their familiar counterparts, would not even interact via the weak nuclear force and thus would be called sterile neutrinos.

Sterile neutrinos are not part of the Standard Model, the accepted theory of matter and energy in the subatomic world. If these extra neutrinos exist, they will force physicists to revisit the theory and possibly substantially revise it. A new experiment set to begin measurements soon may be able to settle the question of whether previous investigations have seen sterile neutrinos or not.


CONFUSING SIGNALS
The three known types of neutrinos are the electron neutrino, muon neutrino and tau neutrino, each named for the charged particle that is produced simultaneously with it. Early in our understanding of neutrino physics, each of these types seemed to be different from the other two. However, the situation became murkier in the 1960s and 1970s, when experiments began to show puzzling results.

Electron neutrinos are produced in nuclear reactions, and the biggest nuclear reactor around is the sun. Researchers used the energy output of our home star to calculate how many electron neutrinos they expected to arrive here on Earth. However, measurements yielded a third as many electron neutrinos as predicted. In addition, the cascade of particle interactions that result when high-energy cosmic protons hit our planet’s atmosphere was expected to produce twice as many muon neutrinos as electron ones. Yet experiments measured roughly equal quantities.

In 1957 physicist Bruno Pontecorvo made the daring proposal that neutrinos could oscillate, thereby changing their identity. Between 1998 and 2001, detectors studying the flux of neutrinos from both the sun and Earth’s atmosphere proved that neutrinos were changing into other flavors on their way to us.

Even prior to these observations, researchers used particle beams to investigate the possibility of neutrino oscillation. One experiment using the Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector (LSND) at Los Alamos National Laboratory produced a sample of nearly pure positive muons. As the muons decayed, they created muon antimatter neutrinos. Taking into account the setup of the experiment, physicists expected to detect electron antimatter neutrinos at a rate of about 0.06 percent of the amount of muon antimatter neutrinos. Instead they measured that electron antimatter neutrinos were about 0.31 percent of interactions, well above predictions.

Scientists can determine which neutrino they’ve detected by studying the particles that are created when neutrinos collide with atoms. When neutrinos do happen to impact an atom of matter, electron neutrinos will create an electron, and muon neutrinos will create a muon. Tau neutrinos react similarly, but it is challenging to identify tau particles.

Using their measurements (and others performed elsewhere), the LSND scientists concluded in 2001 that three neutrino variants could not simultaneously explain both their data and the array of solar and atmospheric neutrino measurements that existed at the time. However, if there were a fourth, sterile neutrino, then the experiments were consistent. The only problem was that other accelerator-based neutrino measurements didn’t support the idea of a fourth neutrino. Another measurement was necessary.

To help resolve this quandary, researchers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Ill., built MiniBooNE (Mini Booster Neutrino Experiment). The idea was to construct a detector using a similar technology as LSND but with a different source of particles and enhanced detector capabilities to see if scientists could clarify the situation.

MiniBooNE collected data from 2002 to 2018. The 2007 publication of its early results ruled out the simplest explanation of the LSND finding, though it did observe a different excess. When scientists collected more data and performed a more sophisticated analysis, they concluded in 2018 that there was a persistent mystery.

Yet other experiments tell a different story. A separate Fermilab project called MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search) saw no evidence for sterile neutrinos. Nor was such evidence found by the IceCube experiment in Antarctica, which uses a cubic kilometer of ice to study neutrinos from space.

Nuclear reactors provide another source of electron neutrinos, and researchers have also used them to look for sterile neutrinos. In 2011 scientists reported a 6 percent deficit of electron neutrinos at a reactor in China, compared with what they expected to see. More recently, other researchers have claimed that the earlier calculations were in error and that no deficit exists...."



Full article by Don Lincoln, senior physicist at Fermilab, here.


Don't miss this video about neutrino oscillations:






MFBB.

Saturday, January 06, 2024

WEEKEND MOVIE TIP: EUROPA REPORT (2013).

Here's another sci-fi flick you probably never heard of, Europa Report, about a space mission in search of extraterrestrial life to Europa, one of Jupiter's four Galilean Moons.





Shot on a low budget (10 million US$), yet entirely at ease visually with far bigger productions; a cast consisting of unknown actors, yet all of them filling the screen; an unknown Ecuadorian director (Sebastian Cordero Espinosa), yet he holds the reins throughout and the tempo never slacks.


Once in a while jewels are made and yet slip under the radar totally undeservedly. Europa Report is just such a movie. See it.


Good night.



MFBB.

Thursday, January 04, 2024

"NEW YEAR'S EVE MOSTLY PEACEFUL"

In Europe anyway.


Hameln, Germany:





Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium:





Milan, Italy:









France:





Berlin, Germany:





Our politicians, who even now flatly refuse to close our borders, indeed, who are now trying to frame declaring illegal immigrants as legal ones through a new 'Migration Pact', deserve to be shot.



MFBB.

Monday, January 01, 2024

CERN ANTIMATTER FACTORY's ALPHA-g APPARATUS FINDS ANTIMATTER REACTS THE SAME WAY TO EARTH'S GRAVITY AS ORDINARY MATTER.

If we can forget for a moment the terrible turmoil in the world, what with the biggest war since WW2 going on in Ukraine; Gaza; Darfur; dangerous tensions between China and Taiwan/The Philippines et al, one can only conclude that we seem to be on the cusp of a new Technological Era. Think quantum computers, the imminent return to the Moon and hence the exploration of Mars, AI, Brain Computer Interfacing and its potential to give severely handicapped people a new lease on life...


... and yet none of all that made as much an impression on me as CERN's ALPHA-g experiment last fall. This post's title sums up the essence: matter and antimatter react the same to Earth's gravity, but to find that out requires being able to isolate antimatter of course. I assume that before the experiment took place, antimatter had already been isolated, but I will use ALPHA-g's feat as the reference for that scientific breakthrough.


Antimatter is the opposite of ordinary matter: composed of antiparticles with reversed charge, parity and time. According to physics' laws, any (subatomic) particle should have its own antiparticle: a proton its antiproton, an electron its anti-electron (aka positron), a neutron its antineutron, a quark its antiquark etc etc. These particles were mathematically predicted and experimentally found, e.g. Paul Dirac predicted the positron around 1928 or so, and only 4 years later Carl Anderson found it in an experiment involving cosmic rays. It was Dirac again (what a genius) who theorized the antiproton in 1933, and in 1955 Emilio Segrè and Owen Chamberlain discovered it in in LBNL's (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) Bevatron, a particle accelerator.


But while the consituent components of the most basic antimatter atom, the anti-hydrogen so to say, had thus been isolated, apparently it took until our days to go one step further and assemble them. Ordinary hydrogen, the basic building component of the Universe that we can see, is composed of one proton and one electron circling it. So anti-hydrogen must consist of an antiproton and an anti-electron, which from now on I will refer to as a positron.





Up until learning of this experiment, which relies on having actual antimatter of course, I thought matter's opposite number was the stuff of sci-fi and thrillers, like e.g. in Dan Browns Angels and Demons where the Pope's camerlengo wants to use an antimatter device to wreak havoc and teach humanity a lesson - the antimatter, suspended in a magnetic field sustained by a battery, expected to react in a violent annihilation explosion with matter upon depletion of the battery.


But the sci-fi is already behind us - CERN has an actual Antimatter Factory, and apparently, aside from measurable quantities of antiydrogen, comparable amounts of antihelium have already been produced also, be it at CERNs Large Hadron Collider by a team led by Ivan Vorobyev.


Anyway, the hurdle of assembly of basic anti-atoms now apparently having been taken, let's get back to the subject which was about ALPHA-g's experiment to find out whether antimatter reacts similarly to Earth's gravity as matter:






Via the CERNCOURIER:


"Ever since the discovery of antimatter 90 years ago, physicists have striven to measure its properties in new and more precise ways. Experiments at CERN’s Antimatter Factory represent the state of the art. In addition to enabling measurements of properties such as the antiproton charge-to-mass ratio with exquisite precision (recently shown by the BASE experiment to be equal to that of the proton within a remarkable 16 parts per trillion), the ability to trap and store large numbers of antihydrogen atoms for long periods by the ALPHA experiment has opened the era of antihydrogen spectroscopy. Such studies allow precise tests of fundamental symmetries such as CPT. Until now, however, the gravitational behaviour of antimatter has remained largely unknown.


Equivalence principle

Using a modified setup, the ALPHA collaboration recently clocked the freefall of antihydrogen, paving the way for precision studies of the magnitude of the gravitational acceleration between antiatoms and Earth. The goal is to test the weak equivalence principle of general relativity, which requires that all test masses must react identically to Earth’s gravity. While models have been built that suggest differences could exist between the freefall rates of matter and antimatter (for example due to the existence of new, long-range forces), the theoretical consensus is clear: they should fall to Earth at the same rate. In physics, however, you don’t really know something until you observe it, emphasises ALPHA spokesperson Jeffrey Hangst: “This is the first direct experiment to actually observe a gravitational effect on the motion of antimatter. It’s a milestone in the study of antimatter, which still mystifies us due to its apparent absence in the universe.”


The ALPHA collaboration creates antihydrogen by binding antiprotons produced and slowed down in the Antiproton Decelerator and ELENA rings with positrons accumulated from a sodium-22 source. It then confines the neutral, but slightly magnetic, antimatter atoms in a magnetic trap to prevent them from coming into contact with matter and annihilating. Until now, the team has concentrated on spectroscopic studies with the ALPHA-2 device. But it has also built an apparatus called ALPHA-g, which makes it possible to measure the vertical positions at which antihydrogen atoms annihilate with matter once the trap’s magnetic field is switched off, allowing the antiatoms to escape.


The ALPHA team trapped groups of about 100 antihydrogen atoms and then slowly released them over a period of 20 seconds by gradually ramping down the top and bottom magnets of the trap. Numerical simulations indicate that, for matter, this operation would result in about 20% of the atoms exiting through the top of the trap and 80% through the bottom – a difference caused by the downward force of gravity. By averaging the results of seven release trials, the ALPHA team found that the fractions of antiatoms exiting through the top and bottom were in line with simulations. Since vertical gradients in the magnetic field magnitude can mimic the effect of gravity, the team repeated the experiment several times for different values of an additional bias magnetic field, which could either enhance or counteract the force of gravity. By analysing the data from this bias scan, the team found that the local gravitational acceleration of antihydrogen is directed towards Earth and has magnitude ag = [0.75 ± 0.13 (stat. + syst.) ± 0.16 (sim.)]g, which is consistent with the attractive gravitational force between matter and Earth.


The next step, says Hangst, is to increase the precision of the measurements via laser-cooling of the antiatoms, which was first demonstrated in ALPHA-2 and will be implemented in ALPHA-g in 2024. Two other experiments at CERN’s Antimatter Factory, AEgIS and GBAR, are poised to measure ag  using complementary methods. AEgIS will measure the vertical deviation of a pulsed horizontal beam of cold antihydrogen atoms in an approximately 1 m-long flight tube, while GBAR will take advantage of new ion-cooling techniques to measure ultra-slow antihydrogen atoms as they fall from a height of 20 cm. All three experiments are targeting a measurement of ag  at the 1% level in the coming years.


Even higher levels of precision will be needed to test models of new physics, say theorists. “The role of antimatter in the ‘weight’ of antihydrogen is very little, since practically all the mass of a nucleon or antinucleon comes from binding gluons, not antiquarks,” says Diego Blas of Institut de Física d’Altes Energies and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. “Any new force that couples differently to matter and antimatter would therefore need to have a huge effect in antiquarks, which makes it difficult to build models that are consistent with existing observations and where the current measurements by ALPHA-g would be different.” Things start to get interesting when the precision reaches about one part in 10 million, he says. “This is the start of a new avenue of experimental exploration that pushes the development of trapping and other techniques. If you compare the situation with the sensitivity of the first prototypes of gravitational-wave detectors 50 years ago, which had to be improved by six or seven orders of magnitude before a detection could be made, anything is possible in principle.”



Notice what Prof Diego Blas says: “The role of antimatter in the ‘weight’ of antihydrogen is very little, since practically all the mass of a nucleon or antinucleon comes from binding gluons, not antiquarks”. But I assume this holds true for ordinary matter also. A proton e.g. is composed of two up quarks and one down quark (and an antiproton of two anti-upquarks and one anti-downquark. Yet: an up quark weighs some 2.01 +/- 0.14 megaelectron-volts, and a down quark 4.79 +/- 0.16 MeV. That's 0.214% and 0.510% of the mass of the proton (some 940 MeV), respectively. Or the two upquarks and the one down quark which 'make' a proton constitute about 2 + 2 + 5MeV = 9MeV or... somewhat less than one percent of a proton's mass!!! It was to be expected that the same would hold true for an antiproton.


Some more videos:








And be sure to check out this one:






I wonder whether, after antihydrogen and antihelium, Mankind will also be able to build progressively heavier anti-elements? Will we one day be able to see a block of, say, 1 kg of anti-iron suspended in a magnetic field? And what would happen if that magnetic field suddenly fell away and the block boinked against the glass and metal of the device containing it?


One thing is sure, exciting days in physics ahead!



MFBB.