"Positrons are Another Matter: Working with Anti-Matter"

David Schoepf, Bucknell University

Abstract

David Schoepf, Associate Professor of Physics will present:

Positrons are Another Matter: Working with Anti-Matter

Star Trek’s Chief Engineer Scotty uses frozen anti-hydrogen as the primary fuel for the propulsion of the Starship Enterprise. Physicists in Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons manage to create and contain enough antimatter in an attempt to blow up the Vatican. Are there any less intimidating uses for antimatter? Why is antimatter even necessary in modern fundamental theories of physics?

Professor Schoepf will offer a historical survey of how the concept of antimatter resulted as a necessary byproduct of modern fundamental theories of particles and their interactions. He will explain how positrons (antimatter electrons) were first discovered and used in fundamental research. We will witness a demonstration that will actually detect the presence of positrons--which may work to convince us of their existence! Don't miss this exciting presentation, which combines the mysteries of outer space, the imaginative realms of science fiction, and the immediacy of today's headlines.