An antihyperparticle, which contains the anti-matter equivalents of “strange” quarks, was produced by a team of scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
The team, which included nine members from UC Davis, created an “antihypertriton” at the U.S. Dept. of Energy facility. The particle was produced using the laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which collides gold atoms together at extremely high speeds and creates new particles in the process.
A triton is the nucleus of tritium — an isotope of hydrogen — and has neutrons containing two “down” quarks and one “up” quark.
A hypertriton, however, has at least one neutron containing one “up”, one “down” and one “strange” quark. The antihypertriton is the antimatter equivalent of a hypertriton.
The finding has significant implications in the field of nuclear physics, where the question of why the universe is made up mostly of matter rather than containing equal amounts of antimatter — also known as CP violation — still stands unanswered.
The paper on the finding was published in the April 2 edition of the journal Science.