Nuclear Explosions, Reversed

A team of 20 physicists from four institutions has literally made something from nothing, creating particles of matter from ordinary light for the first time. The experiment was carried out at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) by scientists and students from the University of Rochester, Princeton University, the University of Tennessee, and Stanford.

Scientists have long been able to convert matter to energy; the most spectacular example is a nuclear explosion, where a small amount of matter creates tremendous energy. Now physicists have succeeded in doing the opposite: converting energy in the form of light into matter -- in this experiment, electrons and their anti-matter equivalent, positrons.

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The team synchronized the two beams and sent the electrons head-on into the photons. Occasionally an electron barreled into a photon with immense energy, "like a speeding Mack truck colliding with a ping pong ball," says physicist Adrian Melissinos of the University of Rochester. That knocked the photon backward with such tremendous energy that it collided with several of the densely packed photons behind it and combined with them, creating an electron and a positron. In a series of experiments lasting several months the team studied thousands of collisions, leading to the production of more than 100 positrons.

The energy-to-matter conversion was made possible by the incredibly strong electromagnetic fields that the photon-photon collisions produced. Similar conditions are found only rarely in the universe; neutron stars, for instance, have incredibly strong magnetic fields, and some scientists believe that their surfaces are home to the same kind of light-to-matter interactions the team observed


A great day for science. We are closer than ever before to understanding the aetheric state underlying matter, energy and thoughts.


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