(Submitted May 16, 1997)
How serious is the hypothesis about anti-stars?
(Are there some experiments, theories, etc.?)
I study physics and a year ago I did a kind of homework
concerning CAPRICE experiment (balloon flight) who's
aim is to measure the flux of positrons, antiprotons
and possibly, search for lighter anti-nuclei. As far as
I understood, one of the
reasons for this kind of experiments is the fact that
previous data of the flux of antiparticles showed higher
flux than predicted from several models. There was a hint,
that antistars may exist which emit anti-protons
and positrons as Sun emits solar wind. Well, when I
mentioned this to my professor, he smiled and acted as
it was an astrology I was talking about, not astrophysics.
Are the results of CAPRICE experiments already known?
We don't know for sure that we live in a matter Universe, only that
individual superclusters of galaxies are each made of either matter
or antimatter. (Otherwise anti-matter atoms in the gas that pervades
a supercluster would interact with the matter parts of it, or
vice-versa, giving an easily identifiable energy emission).
We may live in a matter supercluster within a segregated matter-antimatter
Universe. (Most people don't think that it's likely, but we don't have
enough data to rule it out. That's why people are still looking.) If we
find any anti-atoms, they must come from anti-stars from a antimatter
supercluster a long way away.
Your can find information and results from CAPRICE on a number
of web sites:
- has references to papers
- describes the next generation CAPRICE
David Palmer, Jim Lochner, and Karen Smale
for the Ask an Astrophysicist