When debating about energysources for the future we should consider antimatter.
Antimatter can be seen as the twin of matter but with oppsite elektric charge. During the big bang an equal amount of matter and antimatter was produced but only matter is now to be found.
Everything we see is made up by particles referred to as matter, forming 4% of our universe. Dark energy and dark matter make up the remaining part. So this means that antimatter is nowhere to be found. But research lead to the making of antiparticles.

The importance of these antiparticles is that when matter meets with antimatter they annihalate each other converting into high energy photons. The rest mass can be converted to kinetic energy. The energy produces during this collision is about 4 times greater than nuclear energy.

The company CERN has succesfully produced antihydrogen and this yield has risen exponentially over the years. projects such as ATRAP and ATHENA consist of producing low energy antihydrogen particles and slowing them down. An antiparticle consist of  an antiproton and a positron. The antiproton has a great energy equal to the speed of light. During the years they were able to slow the antiparticle down and study his properties.

At this point antimatter-matter collision is only considered as fuel for interplanetary travel as the energy input is larger than its output.
In theory when antimatter annihilates with matter a mass twice the size of the antimatter mass is set free so energy storage in the form of antimatter could be 100% efficient.

As technology advances, the production of antimatter can be made more efficient and alternative sources of energy become more scarce, we should think of antimatter as the energysource of the future.


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One Response to Antimatter

  1. tristanbruggeman says:


    First of all I would like to add that antimatter is already being used in the medical sciences. In a PET scan (technique which produces a three-dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body) a positron travels in a tissue until it is slowed down enough to react with an electron, annihilating both and creating energy that can be picked up by a detector. The positron only travels approximately 1mm, this shows how reactive antimatter is.

    It does show however that the technology of antimatter can already be used, and might be commercial sooner than we imagine.

    Elaborating on the figure of 4% matter, everything around us is made up of matter. If there were equal amounts of antimatter we would not be here because the antimatter would have annihilated us. That is why scientists believe there was an imbalance in matter/antimatter.

    Other scientists believe that during the big bang matter and antimatter was created in equal amounts. This antimatter cannot be found here, but maybe in another universe, an anti-universe. This is why some people thought that when antimatter was created at CERN, life as we know it would end.

    The fact that so little is known about antimatter shows us that using it and knowing the long-term effects shows us that it might be a few decades before it can be used commercially.


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