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Gamma-ray laser moves a step closer to reality: Calculations by UC Riverside's Allen Mills predict metastable positronium bubbles in liquid helium -- ScienceDaily

Science News from research organizationsGamma-ray laser moves a step closer to reality. Calculations by UC Riverside's Allen Mills predict metastable positronium bubbles in liquid helium. Date: December 6, 2019 Source: University of California - Riverside Summary: A physicist has performed calculations showing hollow spherical bubbles filled with a gas of positronium atoms are stable in liquid helium. The calculations take scientists a step closer to realizing a gamma-ray laser. Share:FULL STORY A physicist at the University of California, Riverside, has performed calculations showing hollow spherical bubbles filled with a gas of positronium atoms are stable in liquid helium.advertisement The calculations take scientists a step closer to realizing a gamma-ray laser, which may have applications in medical imaging, spacecraft propulsion, and cancer treatment. Extremely short-lived and only briefly stable, positronium is a hydrogen-like atom and a mixture of matter and antimatter -- specifically, bound states of electrons and their antiparticles called positrons. To create a gamma-ray laser beam, positronium needs to be in a state called a Bose-Einstein condensate -- a collection of positronium atoms in the same quantum state, allowing for more interactions and gamma radiation. Such a condensate is the key ingredient of a gamma-ray laser. "My calculations show that a bubble in liquid helium containing a million atoms of positronium would have a number density six times that of ordinary air and would exist as a matter-antimatter Bose-Einstein condensate," said Allen Mills, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and sole author of the study that appears today in Physical Review A. Helium, the second-most abundant element in the universe, exists in liquid form only at extremely low temperatures. Mills explained helium has a negative affinity for positronium; bubbles form in liquid helium because helium repels positronium. Positronium's long lifetime in liquid helium was first reported in 1957. When an electron meets a positron, their mutual annihilation could be one outcome, accompanied by the production of a powerful and energetic type of electromagnetic radiation called gamma radiation. A second outcome is the formation of positronium. Mills, who directs the Positron Laboratory at UC Riverside, said the lab is configuring an antimatter beam in a quest to produce the exotic bubbles in liquid helium that Mills' calculations predict. Such bubbles could serve as a source of positronium Bose-Einstein condensates. "Near term results of our experiments could be the observation of positronium tunneling through a graphene sheet, which is impervious to all ordinary matter atoms, including helium, as well as the formation of a positronium atom laser beam with possible quantum computing applications," Mills said. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation. make a difference: sponsored opportunity Story Source: Materials provided by University of California - Riverside. Original written by Iqbal Pittalwala. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Journal Reference: A. P. Mills. Positronium Bose-Einstein condensation in liquid He4 bubbles. Physical Review A, 2019; 100 (6) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.100.063615 . Cite This Page:MLA. APA. Chicago.University of California - Riverside. "Gamma-ray laser moves a step closer to reality: Calculations by UC Riverside's Allen Mills predict metastable positronium bubbles in liquid helium." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2019. . University of California - Riverside. (2019, December 6). Gamma-ray laser moves a step closer to reality: Calculations by UC Riverside's Allen Mills predict metastable positronium bubbles in liquid helium. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 7, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191206152937.htm University of California - Riverside. "Gamma-ray laser moves a step closer to reality: Calculations by UC Riverside's Allen Mills predict metastable positronium bubbles in liquid helium." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191206152937.htm (accessed December 7, 2019). RELATED TOPICSMatter & EnergyPhysics . Nature of Water . Quantum Physics . Graphene . Computers & MathQuantum Computers . Computer Science . Math Puzzles . Information Technology . advertisement RELATED TERMSSoap bubble . Computer . Xenon . Boiling point . Trigonometry . Computing . 3D computer graphics . Noble gas . RELATED STORIESHelium Plays a 'Nanny' Role in Forming Chemical Compounds Under Pressure. Mar. 19, 2018 ? Helium, a noble gas, was long believed to be 'too aloof' to react with the other elements on the periodic table. Now, however, scientists have provided a theoretical explanation of how helium may be ... read moreIncompressible Electrons. Nov. 2, 2015 ? Helium usually reminds people of colorful gas balloons. However, helium is much more than the filling for these children’s treats. ?It also helps quantum physicists to study the most exotic and ... read moreHow Do Atoms Alter During a Supernova Explosion?. Sep. 29, 2015 ? A research group has successfully realized in laboratory the world of exotic atoms under extreme state through high -- brightness X-ray sources, typically realized in supernova explosions. A world ... read moreCode Speedup Strengthens Researchers’ Grasp of Neutrons. Aug. 18, 2015 ? Scientists have simulated clusters of neutrons called "neutron drops" to understand their properties better. The ab initio calculations, or calculations based on fundamental forces and principles, ... read more FROM AROUND THE WEB Below are relevant articles that may interest you. ScienceDaily shares links with scholarly publications in the TrendMD network and earns revenue from third-party advertisers, where indicated.