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Anti-matter falls down, just like matter

The uncertainty of science: In a difficult particle physics experiment that carries large margins for error, scientists have determined that gravity appears to affect anti-matter the same as matter.

Quantitatively, the experiment indicates that antimatter experiences a pull from gravity that’s 75% as strong as that on ordinary matter, give or take 20%—a statistical agreement between the two. Hangst says 99.9% of physicists would have predicted the result. Still, he notes, “You have to do the experiment with an open mind.”

One must understand that, at atomic levels, the influence of gravity is practically nil. Extracting a measurment of its influence outside the other more powerful forces that dominate atomic particles, magnetism, the weak force, and the strong force, is difficult, to put it mildly.

The key is that the experiment result showed some influence of gravity, in the expected direction.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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  • Ferris

    Interesting . . .

    I cannot claim to have given all that much thought to antimatter. I had simply assumed, perhaps due to science fiction, that it was essentially a complete opposite to “ordinary” matter.

    Much of the article is over my head, but if I am surprised that antimatter reacts to gravity as described. I guess I would have assumed that it would react in EXACTLY the same way as does matter, or not react at all.

    Thank you, Bob!

  • pzatchok

    I question the theory that their was an almost equal amount of matter and anti-mater during the big boom.

    It almost pure speculation.

    As our detection equipment like telescopes gets better we are constantly correcting our old observations.

  • Lee S

    This is one of the big problems with the big bang theory… matter and anti matter should have been created in equal amounts .. perhaps some of the galaxies we see out there are entirely made of anti matter… ( And their inhabitants consider our matter to be anti matter! )

    Or perhaps the whole big bang theory is wrong ( more likely in my opinion )

  • David Ross

    This seems more an endorsement of the certainty of science.

  • Lee S observed (along with many, many, others):

    ” . . . matter and anti-matter should have been created in equal amounts . . .”


    We already know that the putative ‘Big Bang’ was an uneven event, viz Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation surveys. If the observed result is an uneven radiation distribution, why do we assume the event itself was evenly distributed, or even capable of such?

  • pzatchok

    Why do we think 95%+ of the universe is missing?

    What if only 5% is missing and the rest is just to far away to see yet?

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