What Is Antimatter And Why Does It Matter?

Antimatter is the opposite of normal matter. When two atoms of matter collide, they become an atom of antimatter.

This process creates a lot of energy. Scientists use this energy to make new elements. In our world, there are many types of antimatter, but the most common type is antihydrogen.

What is Antimatter and Why Does it Matter

Antihelium is the antimatter version of helium. Antiprotons are the antimatter counterparts to protons.

Antimatter is a particle made up of an antimatter counterpart of every known particle. Because of this, scientists have been able to measure the properties of both matter and antimatter with extreme accuracy.

This means that if there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter at the start of the universe, then all the matter and antimatter should have been annihilated on creation.

However, scientists have discovered that there is still some leftover matter out there.

Matter and antimatter annihilate each other when they come into contact. But, if there were more matter than antimatter in the early universe, then there should be some leftover matter.

This leftover matter could explain why we see stars, planets, and life.

Find out more about antimatter in this guide!

Antimatter Is A Lot Closer Than You Realize

Antimatter particles rain down on the earth at a constant rate. Thunderstorms produce antimatter particles. 

Our bodies emit positrons as well. These particles are extremely short-lived. When they come into contact with matter, they instantly annihilate each other. This causes them to disappear quickly.

Only A Small Amount Of Antimatter Is Created By Humans

Antimatter is very rare, but we’ve managed to make some. We’ve also found out how to use it to create a lot more than what we had before.

Antimatter is extremely dangerous because if you make too much of it, it could destroy everything around it. But making antimatter requires a lot of energy and money.

To make a single gram of antimatter would take about 25 million billion kilowatts of energy and cost more than a million billion dollars.

Antimatter Might Fall Up

Antimatter and matter particles behave similarly, but gravity affects them differently. This experiment is looking for a difference in how gravity acts on matter and antimatter.

Antimatter is a matter made up entirely of antiparticles. Experiments using antimatter require scientists to cool them to very low temperatures.

Gravity is weaker than electricity, so scientists must use neutral antimatter to prevent interference by the stronger electric force.

Particle Accelerators Are Used To Study Antimatter

Particle accelerators are used to speed up or slow down particles. A particle accelerator uses a magnetic field to accelerate charged particles.

A particle decelerator works by slowing down particles using electric fields. CERN houses a machine that slows down antiprotons.

What is Antimatter and Why Does it Matter

Neutrino Particles May Be Their Own Particles

Neutrino particles are very light and do not interact much with other particles. They are believed to be Majorana particles, but scientists haven’t found any evidence yet.

A project named Majorana Demonstrator aims to determine if neutrinos are Majoranas.

Antimatter Should Have Annihilated All The Matter In The Universe After The Big Bang

There is an imbalance between matter and antimatter. We shouldn’t be here. Matter and antimatter should have been destroyed by each other.

However, we’re still here. This means that there must be some explanation for why there is more matter than antimatter.

The Antimatter That Should Have Prevented Us From Existing Might Still Exist

Scientists are trying to solve the problem of why there is more matter than antimatter in our universe.

A machine called AMS (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer) is being used to detect any leftover antimatter from the Big Bang. This device uses magnets to deflect charged particles.

Antihelium atoms are produced by cosmic rays. Antimatter is created when matter meets antimatter. Antihelium atoms are rare because they need a lot of energy to create them.

Antimatter Spaceship?

Antimatter rockets are too expensive to use. A large spaceship plus its crew would be very expensive to launch.

NASA has looked at the possibility to use the energy produced by matter-antimatter collisions to send a spacecraft to Alpha Centauri.

This craft could accelerate to 10% the velocity of light and then slow down enough to explore Alpha Centauri for decades.

Is There A Difference Between Antimatter, Dark Matter, Dark Energy And Degenerate Matter?

Dark Matter is the invisible stuff that makes up most of the universe. Scientists think it exists because gravity pulls everything together.

When two galaxies collide, some of the stars and planets get flung away as the galaxies smash into each other. This happens even though there’s nothing visible to see what’s happening. 

What is Antimatter and Why Does it Matter

Astronomers use telescopes to study how light bends when passing near massive objects such as black holes or giant stars. By analyzing this bending, scientists can figure out how much mass is present.

In this picture, scientists used telescopes to measure how much mass was present in a cluster of galaxies called Abell 520. The result? Lots of dark matter!

Antimatter is real. It’s not made up or fictional. Antimatter is very similar to normal matter except that it destroys itself when coming into contact with regular matter.

Antimatter is a type of subatomic particle that is formed when normal matter (such as protons or electrons) collides together.

Antimatter particles are identical to ordinary matter except that they carry an opposite electric charge.

This means that when two antiparticles meet, they annihilate each other and produce energy.

Antimatter was first observed in 1932 by Carl Anderson, who found that positrons were emitted when he bombarded gold foil with alpha particles. 

In 1947, Enrico Fermi discovered that beta radiation could be converted into antineutrinos. Since then, scientists have studied antimatter extensively, and have learned how to create it artificially.

However, antimatter is extremely unstable and tends to disappear almost instantly once it is created. 

Scientists believe that this instability is due to the fact that antimatter is composed of the same fundamental building blocks as ordinary matter, but with opposite charges.

As a result, the strong force binds them together more tightly than usual, making it difficult for the particles to separate. Because of this, antimatter quickly loses its identity and disappears.

Dark matter is an invisible matter that doesn’t interact electromagnetically. We can’t use light to see it, but we know it exists because it interacts with gravity.

Because it interacts with gravity, we can manipulate it using gravitational forces. However, it takes massive amounts of mass to do this. So far, we’ve never been able to directly observe dark matter.

Dark energy is a mysterious force that pushes galaxies away from each other. Dark energy is very weak, and it doesn’t affect us on Earth because we’re too far away from it.

But if you were closer to dark energy, you’d feel its effects. Dark energy is thought of as being spread out evenly throughout the universe.

Degenerate matter is regular matter compressed until the atoms break apart. Degenerate matter behaves like gas because the particles are not bound together.

Degenerate matter is also similar to a solid because the particles are tightly packed together.

A white dwarf star consists of degenerate electrons. A neutron star is made up of degenerate neutrons, and further compression transforms it into a quark star.

Quark stars are stars made up of quarks in a highly compressed state.

The regular matter is made up of electrons, protons, neutrons, and other particles. Electrons reflect light, but protons do not.

Neutrons do not reflect light either. So dark matter must be made up of something else. Dark energy is responsible for driving the expansion of space.

Neutron stars form dense stars. They reflect light. They are formed by the collapse of massive stars.

Dark matter is an invisible substance that makes up most of the mass of the universe. Antimatter is made of particles that are the exact opposite of normal matter.

Degenerate matter is a matter that has lost its identity as a particle or atom. Exotic matter is a matter that doesn’t fit into our current understanding of physics.

Final Thoughts

Matter and antimatter are opposites. The matter is what you can touch, and antimatter is what you cannot.

Antimatter is a type that is made up of the same basic building blocks as ordinary matter.

The only difference between them is their electrical charge. When matter meets antimatter, they will annihilate each other and release energy.

Gordon Watts