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Indexed under : Physics / Cosmology

Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown

Antimatter and gravity

It's currently not known whether antimatter reacts to gravity in the same way as 'conventional' matter.

Most physicists seem to be inclined to think that matter and antimatter must have identical gravitational properties, in the sense that gravity is always attractive. This position is supported by the fact that the physical properties distinguishing matter from antimatter (electric charge, internal quantum numbers, magnetic moment) do not affect the gravitational behavior. The obvious quantity that could make the difference, i.e. the mass, is requested to be positive (and equal) for both particles and antiparticles by several experimental and theoretical arguments.

Source : Europhysics Letters,open access Volume 94, Number 2

Several experiments - both cosmological and laboratory based - have attempted to determine if antimatter is attracted by, or repulsed by gravity. And also whether large accumulations of antimatter would create a gravitational field as matter does.

So far, the results are unclear - though the majority of cosmologists assume that antimatter behaves gravitationally in the same way as matter does.

If it's found that antimatter can create 'repulsive' gravitational fields, it would have huge implications for theories regarding the expansion of the universseplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigExpansion of the universe

Note: This item belongs to a special case - Known Unknowables

Current cosmological theory, backed up by many diverse observations, suggests that the universe is not only expanding, but that the speed of expansion is accelerating
. The current majority view is that this is not the case.

See : Wikipedia

Also see : The Antimatter Problemplugin-autotooltip__plain plugin-autotooltip_bigThe Antimatter Problem

According to Big Bang Theory, matter and anti-matter should have been created in equal amounts. And, in experiments with high-energy particle accelerators, that is exactly what happens. Baryons (i.e. 'heavy' particles such as neutrons, protons, a…

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