Antimatter in relativistic jets

In summary, the relativistic jets emitted by black holes are thought to contain a mixture of matter and antimatter including positrons and electrons. The jets are composed of hot, high-energy plasma that has been flung from the center of the galaxy by the black hole.
  • #1
metastable
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TL;DR Summary
Can black holes separate matter and antimatter via relativistic jets?
I have read that relativistic jets emitted by black holes are thought to contain a mixture of matter and antimatter including positrons and electrons. Is there any mechanism known that would lead to matter or electron concentration in one of the two relativistic jets, and antimatter or positron concentration in the other?
 
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  • #2
Positron-electron pairs typically result for high energy gamma rays. In the lab they can be separated, but in the jets you describe there is no way.
 
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  • #3
metastable said:
Is there any mechanism known that would lead to matter or electron concentration in one of the two relativistic jets, and antimatter or positron concentration in the other?

mathman said:
In the lab they can be separated, but in the jets you describe there is no way.

The reason I ask is in pair production I believe we get 2 particles of opposite spin and in the Stern Gerlach experiment we get "discrete points of accumulation."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pair_production"However, all other conserved quantum numbers (angular momentum, electric charge, lepton number) of the produced particles must sum to zero – thus the created particles shall have opposite values of each other."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stern–Gerlach_experiment"The Stern–Gerlach experiment demonstrated that the spatial orientation of angular momentum is quantized. Thus an atomic-scale system was shown to have intrinsically quantum properties. In the original experiment, silver atoms were sent through a spatially varying magnetic field, which deflected them before they struck a detector screen, such as a glass slide. Particles with non-zero magnetic moment are deflected, due to the magnetic field gradient, from a straight path. The screen reveals discrete points of accumulation, rather than a continuous distribution,[1] owing to their quantized spin."

https://journals.aps.org/pr/abstract/10.1103/PhysRev.126.310"The asymmetry ratio, defined as the ratio of the number of pairs emitted parallel to the photon polarization plane to the number of pairs emitted perpendicular to this plane, is plotted as a function of Δφ for the cases of no screening and complete screening. It is shown that for very small Δφ the cross section is a very rapidly varying function of Δφ, such that the pairs emitted within the angular region 2Δφ are predominantly perpendicular to the polarization plane for Δφ<Δφ0 [Δφ0=1.23(Z13111) for complete screening, for example] and predominantly parallel to this plane for Δφ>Δφ0."
 
  • #4
Metsatable, if you aren't going to accept the answer, why did you ask the question?
 
  • #5
Vanadium 50 said:
Metsatable, if you aren't going to accept the answer, why did you ask the question?

I wasn’t sure if the meaning of “no way” in his answer was:

a) it is known that relativistic jets are unable to concentrate matter or antimatter in different regions

or

b) it could be possible, but since no proof of such a mechanism has previously been published, there is no “known” way
 
  • #6
Can we say a) or b) above is a closer description of present understanding?

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2015/11/A_supermassive_black_hole_in_action
"The yellow-hued object at the centre of the frame is an elliptical galaxy known as Hercules A, seen by the Earth-orbiting NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. In normal light, an observer would only see http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2012/47/image/c/ floating in the inky blackness of space.

However, view Hercules A with a radio telescope, and the entire region is completely transformed. Stunning red–pink jets of material can be seen billowing outwards from the galaxy – jets that are completely invisible in visible light. They are shown here as seen by the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array radio observatory in New Mexico, USA. These radio observations were combined with the Hubble visible-light data obtained with the Wide Field Camera 3 to create this striking composite.

The two jets are composed of hot, high-energy plasma that has been flung from the centre of Hercules A, a process that is driven by a supermassive black hole lurking at the galaxy’s heart. This black hole is some 2.5 billion times the mass of the Sun, and around a thousand times more massive than the black hole at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy."

upermassive_black_hole_in_action_node_full_image_2.jpg
 

1. What is antimatter and how is it different from regular matter?

Antimatter is a type of matter that has the same mass as regular matter, but with opposite charge. This means that the particles that make up antimatter have the opposite electrical charge as their regular matter counterparts. For example, the antiparticle of an electron is a positron, which has a positive charge instead of a negative charge. When matter and antimatter particles come into contact, they annihilate each other, releasing a large amount of energy in the process.

2. How are relativistic jets formed and what role does antimatter play in their creation?

Relativistic jets are narrow streams of particles that are ejected from the poles of certain astrophysical objects, such as black holes and neutron stars. These jets are formed through a process called magnetic reconnection, where magnetic fields become twisted and release a burst of energy. Antimatter is believed to play a role in the acceleration of these jets, as it can produce a strong burst of energy when it comes into contact with regular matter.

3. What are the potential applications of studying antimatter in relativistic jets?

Studying antimatter in relativistic jets can provide valuable insights into the fundamental laws of physics, as well as the processes that occur in extreme environments such as black holes. It can also help us better understand the origins and evolution of the universe. Additionally, the energy released from matter-antimatter annihilation could potentially be harnessed for use in propulsion systems for space travel.

4. Can antimatter be created or observed on Earth?

Yes, antimatter can be created and observed on Earth through particle accelerators. These machines accelerate particles to near the speed of light, causing them to collide and produce antimatter particles. However, antimatter is very unstable and will quickly annihilate when it comes into contact with regular matter, making it difficult to study in large quantities.

5. Are there any potential dangers associated with studying antimatter in relativistic jets?

While there are no known dangers associated with studying antimatter in relativistic jets, it is important for scientists to take precautions when working with antimatter. The annihilation of antimatter and matter can release a large amount of energy, so proper safety protocols must be followed. Additionally, the creation of antimatter in large quantities could potentially have destructive consequences if not carefully controlled.

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