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Antimatter (in relation to earth)

  1. Dec 6, 2009 #1
    In penning traps ,the small quantities of antimatter that has been synthesized on earth, is suspended by magnetism and optical "tweezers", i have read that there are two radiation belts ,possibly 3, that surround earth (the Van allen belts), i'm wondering to if antimatter can be suspended in these belts much like the penning traps, and if it is limited to just earth, is there small quantities trapped say within saturn's rings, or jupiter's, neptune's etc, that has not interacted or been annihilated....?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2009 #2


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    There certainly are electronically charged particles trapped in these belts (most of them come from the sun). They oscillate back and forth between our two poles. The thing with anti-matter is that 1) there appears to be very little to none of it left in the natural universe, and 2) it annihilates with regular matter upon contact.

    So, even if there were ( a very small amount of) anti-matter that gets trapped in there, it would quickly annihilate with the other regular particles.
  4. Dec 7, 2009 #3


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    Well, yes, sort of: magnetic field lines trap charged particles. But those particles will tend to move along those field lines.

    The reason why the Earth's magnetic field can't trap charged particles for very long is simply that those field lines intersect the Earth at the poles. So what happens is a particle comes in, gets trapped by the field lines, then drifts towards one or the other pole, depending upon its initial velocity.
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