Latest in Science

Image credit:

Newly discovered particle is both matter and antimatter at the same time

Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

You probably think of matter and antimatter as mortal enemies, since their equivalent particles (such as protons and antiprotons) normally destroy each other on contact. However, there are now hints that the two might get along just fine in the right circumstances. Researchers claim to have successfully imaged a Majorana particle, which exists as both matter and antimatter at the same time. The team created it by placing a string of iron atoms on top of a lead superconductor, forming pairs of electrons and antielectrons -- except for one lone electron at the end of the chain, which exhibited properties of both.

The finding isn't changing physics overnight. More testing is needed to prove that the Majorana particle is really different, and not just another take on either matter or antimatter. Also, it can't exist outside of a superconductor; the finding isn't proof that Majoranas normally occur in nature. If the experiment holds up, though, it could introduce a third kind of particle and challenge the scientific status quo. Many physicists believe that neutrinos are really Majorana particles, and proving that this is possible would go a long way toward supporting their theory.

[Image credit: Yazdani Lab, Princeton University]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

NASA successfully deploys the James Webb Telescope's enormous mirror

NASA successfully deploys the James Webb Telescope's enormous mirror

View
Nikon is streaming online photography courses for free this month

Nikon is streaming online photography courses for free this month

View
Sony's latest true wireless earbuds have more bass and a lower price

Sony's latest true wireless earbuds have more bass and a lower price

View
Sony indefinitely delays ‘The Last of Us Part II’

Sony indefinitely delays ‘The Last of Us Part II’

View
Amazon's latest Blink camera costs just $35

Amazon's latest Blink camera costs just $35

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr