Every major scientist on this globe is engaged in experiments that could make the mission Mars an easy task. Antimatter is the key component that can help achieving the dream of reaching Mars. A team of researchers from the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IAP RAS) have recently come up with a way to produce antimatter from light using lasers.
The production of a milligram of antimatter costs up to a quadrillion dollars. The recent discovery made by the researchers from IAP RAS have revealed a way of producing antimatter with relatively less cost. The researchers have announced that they managed to calculate how to create matter and antimatter using lasers.
The researchers believe that by focusing high-powered laser pulses, it is possible to create matter and antimatter using light in the near future.
Light consists of high energy photons. As the strong electric fields are passed through the high- energy photons, they lose radiations and become gamma rays. Thereafter they create electron- positron pairs which in turn create a new state of matter.
Igor Kostyukov of IAP RAS with regard to the concept of quantum electrodynamics (QED) explained, “A strong electric field can, generally speaking, ‘boil the vacuum,’ which is full of ‘virtual particles,’ such as electron-positron pairs. The field can convert these types of particles from a virtual state, in which the particles aren’t directly observable, to a real one.”
A QED cascade is series of process that begins with the acceleration of electrons and positrons within a laser field. With the decay of high energy photons electron- positrons are produced. This theory is yet to be carefully analysed under lab conditions.
This experiment reveals the possible interaction between intense laser pulses and foil via numerical simulations. To much astonishment, the researchers have discovered that there are more high energy photons produced by the positrons versus the electrons produced of the foil. The researchers concluded from the experiment that the most positrons were produced through QED cascade.
Provided the cost required to produce antimatter, needed for spaceships, this experiment proves to be helpful. It has revealed a procedure where antimatter can be produced using light.
The researchers further added, “Next, we’re exploring the nonlinear stage when the self-generated electron-positron plasma strongly modifies the interaction.” “And we’ll also try to expand our results to more general configurations of the laser–matter interactions and other regimes of interactions — taking a wider range of parameters into consideration.”