[Link] In 1993, NASA announced they were going to build a space station that would orbit the earth and allow astronauts to take very pretty pictures of space from really far away. The station would cost an extraordinary amount of money, and recieved a lot of criticism since it had no percieved purpose. The public view of the station was a combination of NASA’s vanity and science-fiction. We’d fly up into space, build a big station, and ya know, sit there, enjoy the view, whatever.
In 1995, a good deal of the criticism was relieved by Dr. Samuel Ting, who is a Nobel Prize winning particle physicist, which means he’s significantly smarter than anyone who reads or writes this blog. Doc Ting proposed building a big ole machine that would look for, and hopefully find, antimatter.
(A quick aside on antimatter: For those who are curious what antimatter is, well, no one at the Curious Mechanism is any sort of science major, but here’s the gist as I understand it: for every particle (proton, electron, etc) there is an antiparticle. Now, this antiparticle has the same properties as its particle [size, and, uh, I don’t know, color?] except that its charge is opposite. Now, particles make up matter, by extension, antiparticles make up (da-dada-DAA!) antimatter. We cool? Let’s move on.)