Number 396 (Story #2), October 14, 1998 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein|
ELECTRON-POSITRON JETS FROM A QUASAR. Accelerators in Geneva and Stanford produce electron and positron beams, and so do quasars. Physicists at Brandeis University have apprently settled the issue of whether the jets seen spewing from some quasars consist of "normal" (electron-proton) plasmas or "pair" (electron-positron) plasmas. By detecting a circular polarization in light forming the radio image of quasar 3C279, the Brandeis observers deduce that positively-charged particles must be positrons. This knowledge will help those trying to model the stupedous production of energy at the cores of quasars and active galaxies. (Wardle et al., Nature, 1 October 1998).