Antimatter: What should you know about it?


The rarest and potentially most dangerous material on earth. A gram of it will cost you $2700 trillion (that’s 14 zero’s after that $27). So obviously it’s the most expensive material on earth. It is Antimatter which shouldn’t be called ‘material’ since it’s not made of regular matters around us.

So questions arise, what antimatter is? What makes it rarest? Why it’s most dangerous? How it’s made? Why are they important? And why are they still making them (since no one can afford it and it’s most dangerous)? We should certainly look forward to finding answers to these questions.
Antimatter is the rarest substance on earth. Actually, it’s the rarest substance in the universe which it shouldn’t be because scientists theorize Big-Bang created an equal amount of matter and antimatter. Yet if you look around you can’t see any of it. Why is that? We don’t know actually it is the greatest unsolved problem in physics.

Antimatter can only be produced in CERN the most impressive scientific facility on earth located in Switzerland. They are making it daily in LHC: large hadron collider ( A ring-like accelerating structure of 27km circumference beneath 100m of the surface to make high energy speeding particle and collide them) by colliding particles in near light speed. This collision makes several byproducts of particles and a minuscule amount of antimatter. Actually the difficulty in the process of making and handling is what makes it the world’s rarest and most expensive material. Just consider a $13.1 billion property of CERN (according to Forbes) is daily making it, yet the total production has been only a few nanograms.

The idea of antimatter came a lot earlier. Just like we know for each quadratic equation there is actually a pair of opposite possible solutions. In 1928 physicist Paul Dirac came up with two solutions while working with an equation (called Dirac equation) predicting the behavior of an electron, these two opposite solution means two oppositely energized electron. Paul Dirac didn’t omit the alternate solution and argued what if there is actually a positively charged electron (electron is actually negatively charged). And there could be chances of particles having the same mass and other properties but opposite charge and magnetic moment; which we are calling antimatter now.

In 1932 Carl Anderson discovered this positively charged particle and named it positron (positively charged electron hence positron). And this was the initiation of the antimatter epoch. But synthesizing of first antimatter was accomplished in September 1995. The answer of the question what took us so long resides with the idea of why antimatter is so dangerous.

Actually it is the most dangerous material in the universe. When antimatter comes in contact with a regular matter (can be anything a piece of paper, your body, air; literally anything) they annihilate; they disappear and convert them into pure light energy (according to E=mc^2 ) and one teaspoon of antimatter can cause an explosion of 10 nuclear bombs. But since CERN is making it in a really tiny amount (that’s what we are capable of with currently available technology) which is nowhere near dangerous.

To simply put what antimatter is, it is the opposite pairing part of the matter. To each matter, there is opposite antimatter. Just like an electron has antimatter named positron (positively charged) and a proton has an antimatter antiproton (negatively charged). And since there actually antimatter exists for every matter we could have had materials and stuffs similar to materials we have in our universe but made of antimatter. How would they look like? Exactly the same. And since Big-Bang produced an equal amount of matter and antimatter we ought to have had a similar universe of material made of antimatter but looked similar to us. But that didn’t happen. Why? That’s what scientists are trying to find out by making them at CERN.
Now, why are they important? Laboratory experiment shows effective use of antiprotons in the treatment of cancer, cyclotron, and positron emission tomography (PET) have already been used in medical imaging. Let those put aside, just consider the energy output we can get from antimatter. If we could master antimatter technology we don’t really have to think about any more source of energy, it is the ultimate source of infinite energy ( a several Kg can run a country for years). And we would just upgrade to a higher civilization.

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