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Thread: Antimatter generation

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    I wonder if the universe itself may have done that.

    True, during the Big Bang--it was both space and matter that exploded everywhere, but space and matter decoupled, with the result being that the early physical universe did have a shape--the after-image we see as the cosmic background perhaps.

    Well, I've seen supernovae that seem to have lobes.

    Maybe the anti-matter universe is a lobe beyond our light horizon?

    If so, maybe cosmology itself may solve anti-matter separation--or vice versa.
    An interesting suggestion. But how would we ever test it?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    how would we ever test it?
    Wait for a front of isotropic 0.511 MeV photons to hit us? Given dark energy, we're unlikely to ever see that.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    Maybe we could even convince normal matter to self-annihilate. Who needs Mr. Fusion?
    Probably for the best that we can't. The human race gets into enough trouble with just nuclear fission weapons. Imagine if we had conversion bombs...
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Probably for the best that we can't. The human race gets into enough trouble with just nuclear fission weapons. Imagine if we had conversion bombs...
    I don't know. I absolutely do not want to trivialize the horrible things that happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, because they were real tragedies, but actually fission weapons seem to be one area where we have been somewhat successful in avoiding trouble. With poison gas, to a lesser extent. It may be with conventional weapons that we're really gotten into trouble.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I don't know. I absolutely do not want to trivialize the horrible things that happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, because they were real tragedies, but actually fission weapons seem to be one area where we have been somewhat successful in avoiding trouble. With poison gas, to a lesser extent. It may be with conventional weapons that we're really gotten into trouble.
    If nuclear weapons had not been invented I'd have had a much less fearful childhood. We avoided the end of us, but we didn't avoid trouble.

    Poison gas is still in use, so I can't comment without politics.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    If nuclear weapons had not been invented I'd have had a much less fearful childhood. We avoided the end of us, but we didn't avoid trouble.
    It's interesting that you mention that. I myself don't remember any particular trauma because of that, but I do remember some trauma due to nerve gas. It terrified me as a kid because it could be dropped and you wouldn't know anything until it was too late. But that is not the weapon itself, it's people taking advantage of the weapon to terrorize little kids!
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    It's interesting that you mention that. I myself don't remember any particular trauma because of that, but I do remember some trauma due to nerve gas. It terrified me as a kid because it could be dropped and you wouldn't know anything until it was too late. But that is not the weapon itself, it's people taking advantage of the weapon to terrorize little kids!
    Well, we did use nuclear weapons in war, and they warped our international relations for decades and arguably still do. Plus we had a lot of close calls like the Cuban Missile Crisis. So I'm not at all confident that we as a species could safely handle having significant quantities of antimatter available.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Well, we did use nuclear weapons in war, and they warped our international relations for decades and arguably still do. Plus we had a lot of close calls like the Cuban Missile Crisis. So I'm not at all confident that we as a species could safely handle having significant quantities of antimatter available.
    Just to be clear, I wasn't saying that I thought we could handle antimatter weapons, and I am not confident that we could either. I am happy, as you are, that we don't have them. Somehow you seem to have gotten the impression that that was what I was saying, but it most certainly was not.
    As above, so below

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Just to be clear, I wasn't saying that I thought we could handle antimatter weapons, and I am not confident that we could either. I am happy, as you are, that we don't have them. Somehow you seem to have gotten the impression that that was what I was saying, but it most certainly was not.
    Understood.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  10. #40
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    It's probably worth noting that any technology that can be used to store large amounts of energy in a small space, and that can be released as we wish, can also be used just as well to create a huge explosion as it can be to make a compact power source. (That's just a variation on the "Kzinti Lesson", from Larry Niven's works, that any interstellar drive makes an effective weapon.)
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    It's probably worth noting that any technology that can be used to store large amounts of energy in a small space, and that can be released as we wish, can also be used just as well to create a huge explosion as it can be to make a compact power source. (That's just a variation on the "Kzinti Lesson", from Larry Niven's works, that any interstellar drive makes an effective weapon.)
    Speaker-To-Animals converted "guaranteed safe" Puppeteer power cells into makeshift grenades in Ringworld.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  12. #42
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    The train is making a lot of rattling noising and I expect complete derailment at any second.

    Let's drop the discussion about nuclear and chemical weapons.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  13. #43
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    Once you can generate or collect significant quantities of AM, you have to find a safe way to store it. A fairly foolproof way, in fact. AM is automatically fail-deadly.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Once you can generate or collect significant quantities of AM, you have to find a safe way to store it. A fairly foolproof way, in fact. AM is automatically fail-deadly.
    One thing that Star Trek has pointed out on numerous occasions.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  15. #45
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    I know the latest Penning-Malmberg trap can hold a few anti-atoms for a few minutes. That's about it.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I know the latest Penning-Malmberg trap can hold a few anti-atoms for a few minutes. That's about it.
    Just as a caveat, and I might be wrong but I think I'm correct about this, I don't think that the basic limitation is the capability of the trap itself. I think it's more that the traps are designed to only hold a few anti-atoms, the reason being that there is no intention to actually collect a large number of them. Rather, the point at this time is to do precision measurements on the anti-atoms to see if they are equivalent to their matter counterparts, though spectroscopy for example, and to do this you need to have just a small number. In fact, a friend of mine who studies antimatter told me about the trouble he had to go to to ensure that there was only one, and not several, antiprotons in his trap when he was measuring its magnetic moment. I think there are also limitations due to the density of the antiproton beam, but even if that is increased I think it will be used to make more experiments rather than to collect antimatter. So for example, I'm sure they will want to try to create antihelium (well, more of it, since it has been observed) to see if it is the same as helium, and antilithium, etc.
    As above, so below

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