What is antimatter? Explained

Everything in this universe sun, planets, dark matter, and black holes everything is made of matter, but there are also some little things out there called antimatter. If you want to know what is antimatter, this article is for you. In this article, you will know

1. What is antimatter?
2. Discovery of antimatter
3. Why we don't see antimatter?
4. How antimatter is created?
5. How powerful is the antimatter?
6. Problems with making antimatter

What is antimatter? 

Antimatter is defined as the matter which is composed of antiparticles. For example - Hydrogen atom is made of proton and electron where the antihydrogen is made of antiproton and positron.

What is antimatter

This type of matter shares the same properties as the other forms of matter, only with a reversed charge. Here the positron of antihydrogen shares all the properties of an electron of hydrogen, but with a positive charge instead of a negative one. 

Discovery of antimatter

Around the turn of the last century, Einstein was working on the theory of relativity. Other physicists were trying to figure out how the tiny parts of our universe work, called the quantum theory

This is was all done with math, lots, and lots of math. And at one point physicist named Paul Dirac realized that x squared is equal to 4 has two answers +2 and -2. This means if say the matter is the +2 then there must be some kind of opposite to fit into the -2. Physicists called this opposite things as antimatter

Why we don't see antimatter?

The reason we don't see antimatter around us is that the matter and the antimatter cancel each other and disappear in a spectacular vast of energy. This process is called annihilation

You probably know that all matter is made of protons and electrons. Where the antimatter is made of anti-protons and positrons. Protons are positive heavy particles and anti-protons are negative heavy particles. Electrons are light and negatively charged where positrons are light but positively charged. 

Since they are opposite in nature if they come in touch then they cancel each other and disappear. Or another way because in their oppositeness if they do touch then they explode. 

According to physicists, an equal amount of matter and antimatter was created after the Big Bang. But there is really no antimatter around us because in the first second after the big bang all the matter and antimatter annihilate each other and gone. They disappeared in the vast energy. 

How antimatter is created?

When sufficient energy is dispersed in very small space, such as during the collision of high-energy particles in CERN, the particle-antiparticle pair is spontaneously produced. When the energy is converted to mass, both matters and antimatters are created in equal quantities.

Since the antiparticle is disappeared upon contact with the particle, it is difficult to store antiparticles. But scientists used a magnetic field to hold the antihydrogen inside a trap. Antihydrogen is stored by exploiting its magnetic properties.

One of the biggest problems with storing antimatter is the high energy and velocity they are generally created at.  Antiparticles are easier to store when they are low energetic. It helps to slow them down. For instance, Antiprotons are made to pass through a dense electron gas, which slows them down. 

But It is much more technical and difficult to create heavier atoms (like - antihelium). The maximum amount of time antihydrogen has been stored on earth (June 2011, ALPHA at CERN.) is 16 minutes. 

How powerful is the antimatter?

In the process of annihilations, antimatter has the potential to release huge amounts of energy. One gram of antimatter can produce explosions in the form of a nuclear bomb. Although, humans have only made small amounts of antimatter.

Problem with making antimatter

The problem lies in the efficiency and cost of antimatter production and storage. Creating one gram of antimatter requires about 25 million billion kilowatt-hours of energy and will cost over one million billion dollars.

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