• Researchers from Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bengaluru, an autonomous institution of Department of Science and Technology have resolved mystery of ‘positron excess’ phenomenon.
• The positron is called the anti-particle of the electron.
• Also known as anti-electron, it has the same properties as the electron with the exception of electric charge.
• Electron has a negative charge while the positron has a positive charge.
• Over the years, astronomers have observed an excess of positrons having energy of more than 10 giga-electronvolts, or 10 GeV. Positrons with energy more than 300 GeV, however, are lower in comparison to what astronomers expect.
• This behaviour of positrons between 10 and 300 GeV is what astronomers call the ‘positron excess’.
• Their study proposed that cosmic rays while propagating through the Milky Way galaxy interact with matter producing other cosmic rays, primarily electrons and positrons.
• Cosmic rays are high energy particles that move through space at nearly the speed of light. They provide one of our few direct samples of matter from outside the solar system.
• These new cosmic rays are the origin of the ‘positron excess’ phenomenon.
Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech
Prelims level: Anti-particle of the electron
Mains level: Read the newsfeed