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The Antiparticle

Episode 3 of 5

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 10 September 2008

Simon Singh looks at the stories behind the discovery of five of the universe's most significant subatomic particles. 3) The Antiparticle.

It appears to be the stuff of science fiction. Associated with every elementary particle is an antiparticle which has the same mass and opposite charge. Should the two meet and combine, the result is annihilation - and a flash of light. Thanks to mysterious processes that occurred after the Big Bang there are a vastly greater number of particles than anti-particles. So how could their elusive existence be proved? At CERN particle physicists are crashing together subatomic particles at incredibly high speeds to create antimatter, which they hope will finally reveal what happened at the precise moment of the Big Bang to create the repertoire of elementary particles and antiparticles in existence today.
Producer: Adrian Washbourne.


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