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Offline thedoc

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Discuss: Analysing Antimatter
« on: 25/01/2011 18:17:24 »
We're analysing the matter of antimatter this week to find out what is antimatter, how is it made and why's it so rare in the Universe? We talk to researchers at CERN who are capturing anti-hydrogen so scientists can study it properly for the first time, and Dave and Meera call in to the hospital to hear how antimatter holds the key to better body scans. Diana discovers how gravity bends a beam of light and there's also news of a novel way to neutralise HIV, researchers uncover how brains gauge the passage of time, and agriculture on the microscale: scientists have found the world's smallest farmers, they're just one cell wide...
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« Last Edit: 25/01/2011 18:17:24 by _system »


 

Offline thedoc

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Discuss: Analysing Antimatter
« Reply #1 on: 25/01/2011 18:17:24 »
« Last Edit: 25/01/2011 18:17:24 by _system »
 

Gregg Abramovich

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« Reply #2 on: 23/01/2011 18:12:28 »
Can you please explain how antimatter is used in medical imaging equipment?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Discuss: Analysing Antimatter
« Reply #3 on: 23/01/2011 23:46:30 »
Can you please explain how antimatter is used in medical imaging equipment?

Wikipedia has a good description of Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positron_emission_tomography

Certain radioactive elements (carbon-11, nitrogen-13, oxygen-15, and fluorine-18) and others undergo what is called beta-plus decay in which a high energy photon is released, along with a positron.  The Positron travels a very short distance, about 1mm or less before it is destroyed and release two high energy gamma (x-rays) travelling in opposite directions which can be detected.

Older systems would just detect the line where the disintegration occurred, then compare multiple "events" to localize it.  Newer systems are able to use timing to localize the point on the line.

Substances such as glucose are labelled with radioactive carbon or oxygen, so the uptake of these substances can be monitored which gives an indication of activity within an area.

The competing technology is Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) which can look at the sizes of arteries to determine local activity without the need for injecting radioactive tracers.
 

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Discuss: Analysing Antimatter
« Reply #3 on: 23/01/2011 23:46:30 »

 

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