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dirty_g
2007-Aug-09, 12:35 AM
First of all....... I know we have created a little ani matter in the LHC or one of the particle acelerators simlar to it. Though in tiny amounts. I presum nobody has been able to create it in such quantities to use it as a source of power??

I wondered how long do you think beofore we do manage to use it as power? Will we evr be able to use it as power? How dangerous is it? Would it destroy bigger areas than a Nuclear reactor would if it went up? Is it very dangerous??

Also I suppose how long till the military invents the anti matter bomb after it. Could you even make one though?

Mr Fawlty..... Me know NOTHING!!:shifty:

Tim Thompson
2007-Aug-09, 12:58 AM
How dangerous is it? Would it destroy bigger areas than a Nuclear reactor would if it went up?
A good approximation is that 1 gram of E=MC2 is equal to roughly 1 Hiroshima size atomic bomb explosion. So, 1/2 gram of matter meets 1/2 gram of antimatter, and if you manage to annihilate all of it, you get an atomic bomb blast. I think calling that "dangerous" is not an unreasonable idea.

I don't think we'll be using it as a fuel of power source anytime in the foreseeable future. Aside from the obvious technical problem of keeping the non-anti and anti matter apart, I don't even want to think about the liability insurance requirements.

Van Rijn
2007-Aug-09, 01:09 AM
First of all....... I know we have created a little ani matter in the LHC or one of the particle acelerators simlar to it. Though in tiny amounts. I presum nobody has been able to create it in such quantities to use it as a source of power??


No, production of anti-matter is insanely inefficient. Also, it is very difficult to slow down particles and store them (anti-protons and positrons). Even contact with an occasional air molecule in a good vacuum eats up the supply.



I wondered how long do you think beofore we do manage to use it as power? Will we evr be able to use it as power?


That depends on what you mean. It might be useful in advanced interplanetary or interstellar rockets. Relatively small amounts (micrograms) could be used in antimatter catalyzed nuclear pulse propulsion. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimatter_catalyzed_nuclear_pulse_propulsion) I could imagine something like that might be possible in 50 years or so, but understand that the anti-matter wouldn't be a source of power, it would just be a compact energy storage medium, and helpful for advanced rockets.



How dangerous is it?


For an amount that you could see? Very. All it needs is to come in contact with matter.



Would it destroy bigger areas than a Nuclear reactor would if it went up?


How much damage would be caused would depend on the amount of antimatter you happen to have. Significant amounts (grams) could cause immense damage. You don't want much of this stuff on the surface of the Earth.



Also I suppose how long till the military invents the anti matter bomb after it. Could you even make one though?


An antimatter bomb is unlikely for a few reasons:

One, it would be insanely difficult and expensive to make significant amounts of antimatter with known methods of production, even assuming serious improvements in the technology.

Second, it's difficult to actually make an explosion: Drop a ball of anti-hydrogen in the atmosphere, and the reaction of the anti-hydrogen and atmosphere will cause a great deal of radiation pressure, reducing the reaction rate. You would have immense radiation, but without really efficient mixing, not much of an explosion.

Third, it is hard to store antimatter long term, and if containment fails, even if you don't get a big explosion, any ship, aircraft, facility, etc. that it might be in is toast. Nearby cities would be pretty well gone too.

Delvo
2007-Aug-09, 01:18 AM
When we've created the stuff, it's been in particle reactions that we needed to put energy into in order to make them happen, and the energy input exceeds the energy output you'd get from the antimatter. It's like burning a gallon of gasoline in order to produce a pint of gasoline.

It would only make sense under one of two conditions that I can think of. One is for an application that could only do its thing if given that particular form of energy and no other form. Star Trek, for instance, uses antimatter for warp drive because the warp coils won't bend space using other kinds of energy sources, but uses fusion to power everything else because it has a net gain instead of a net loss. The other possible condition where using antimatter for energy would make sense is that you need the energy to be released at a particular rate (probably in a very fast burst rather than in a long, slow, sustained release) and other sources release their energy at the wrong speeds (whether too slow or too fast). That might also be related to the Star Trek warp engine thing, since those do seem to work in pulses.

So if one or both of those conditions (or some other I didn't think of) were met in some gadget somewhere, then antimatter would be useful, more as a type of battery than as a fuel. But in real life, no such applications are anywhere near being invented in either case, and they might never be.

RussT
2007-Aug-09, 04:37 AM
Wait just a minute here...

What is Anti-Matter?

Where does it come from?

Where did all of 'it' even go?

How can you be answering any of these questions when you/mainstream NO ONE knows any of the answers to the three questions above?

There is VERY little that can presently even be said about what can be 'inferred' by the current Big Bang baryogensis/nucleosynthesis!!!

How do the "Highest" Energy Gamma Radiation/photons even get created???

The are NOT 'colliding' Highest Energy Gamma "Photons" together in the Huge Colliders to create particles>>>electrons/protons!!!

They are colliding particles that already exist to try and piece together higher and higher energy correlations.

SO, let's be honest here about what CAN be said and what CANNOT.

Van Rijn
2007-Aug-09, 05:20 AM
Wait just a minute here...

What is Anti-Matter?


Antiparticles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiparticle):

Corresponding to most kinds of particle, there is an associated antiparticle with the same mass and opposite charges. (The exceptions are massless gauge bosons such as the photon.) Even electrically neutral particles, such as the neutron, are not identical to their antiparticle. In the example of the neutron, the 'ordinary' particle is made out of quarks and the antiparticle out of antiquarks.

For hypothetical rockets, usually positrons and antiprotons are discussed, or combined, antihydrogen.



Where does it come from?


For current experiments it comes from particle accelerators, which is why production is so inefficient. There are potentially ways to make it a bit more efficient using accelerators and associated hardware designed specifically for antimatter production, but still it would be very inefficient.



Where did all of 'it' even go?

How can you be answering any of these questions when you/mainstream NO ONE knows any of the answers to the three questions above?

There is VERY little that can presently even be said about what can be 'inferred' by the current Big Bang baryogensis/nucleosynthesis!!!

How do the "Highest" Energy Gamma Radiation/photons even get created???

The are NOT 'colliding' Highest Energy Gamma "Photons" together in the Huge Colliders to create particles>>>electrons/protons!!!

They are colliding particles that already exist to try and piece together higher and higher energy correlations.

SO, let's be honest here about what CAN be said and what CANNOT.

Well, we can make real antimatter with real hardware, so we can say quite a lot about the properties of antimatter when it contacts matter. As for questions about cosmology, CP-violation, and so forth, I'd suggest another thread be started.

mugaliens
2007-Aug-09, 05:25 PM
First of all....... I know we have created a little ani matter in the LHC or one of the particle acelerators simlar to it. Though in tiny amounts. I presum nobody has been able to create it in such quantities to use it as a source of power??

I wondered how long do you think beofore we do manage to use it as power? Will we evr be able to use it as power? How dangerous is it? Would it destroy bigger areas than a Nuclear reactor would if it went up? Is it very dangerous??

Also I suppose how long till the military invents the anti matter bomb after it. Could you even make one though?

Mr Fawlty..... Me know NOTHING!!:shifty:

The individual who invents a practical way to manufacture, contain, and utilize antimatter as a source of energy will have solved the world's energy crisis. We could re-located all nuclear power production (the only feasible, long-term source of power for the entire world) to heavily guarded, but remote, isolated areas, and simply transport the energy in the form of antimatter.

You'd be able to fuel your car when you first purchase it, and never have to fuel it again. Homeowners could pick up their annual energy thimble and never have to worry about ice storms causing power outages, or oil embargos jacking winter heating oil prices again. Given the economies of scale and the fact that the cost of nuclear energy is actually quite a bit less than the cost of mining, building plants, etc., the cost per equivalent gallon of gasoline could potentially drop to less than a dime a gallon (yes, you heard me right, although the energy fat cats would have you believe otherwise, the hard-harted money-grubbers...)

Sadly, this opens up a whole new can of worms because human nature will never change. We'll always have criminals, terrorists, bad guys, etc., and the possibility of accidents will always exist. Thus, a handful of antimatter is enough to anhiliate an entire city.

So - dangerous? You betcha. Potentially life-changing for the planet? You betcha.

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. I'm eagerly awaiting with much trepidation, hope, and fear to see what the US does as planetary oil supplies begin to dwindle.

korjik
2007-Aug-09, 05:30 PM
Wait just a minute here...

What is Anti-Matter?

Where does it come from?

Where did all of 'it' even go?

How can you be answering any of these questions when you/mainstream NO ONE knows any of the answers to the three questions above?

There is VERY little that can presently even be said about what can be 'inferred' by the current Big Bang baryogensis/nucleosynthesis!!!

How do the "Highest" Energy Gamma Radiation/photons even get created???

The are NOT 'colliding' Highest Energy Gamma "Photons" together in the Huge Colliders to create particles>>>electrons/protons!!!

They are colliding particles that already exist to try and piece together higher and higher energy correlations.

SO, let's be honest here about what CAN be said and what CANNOT.

Keep the ATM in ATM.

Anti- particles have well known and well defined properties. Making anti- particles is a well known if quite energy intensive process.

Why there is such a preponderance of matter in the universe is a question physics still hasnt answered yet, but that dosent mean that we dont know anything about anti-matter

Van Rijn
2007-Aug-09, 10:37 PM
Here's a recent blog post (not BA) that has some interesting bits on antimatter and propulsion closely related to the discussion in this thread:

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=1391

mugaliens
2007-Aug-10, 06:18 PM
Here's a recent blog post (not BA) that has some interesting bits on antimatter and propulsion closely related to the discussion in this thread:

http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=1391

Neat!

And I'm very glad that they mentioned the hydrogen required as reaction mass, as using the antimatter itself is insufficient to actually propel a starship.

Zachary
2007-Aug-10, 08:39 PM
<stuff>

I might be opening a can of worms here but in your sig does S refer to entropy and G the Gibb's free energy function?

Zachary
2007-Aug-10, 08:48 PM
First of all....... I know we have created a little ani matter in the LHC or one of the particle acelerators simlar to it. Though in tiny amounts. I presum nobody has been able to create it in such quantities to use it as a source of power??

I wondered how long do you think beofore we do manage to use it as power? Will we evr be able to use it as power? How dangerous is it? Would it destroy bigger areas than a Nuclear reactor would if it went up? Is it very dangerous??

Also I suppose how long till the military invents the anti matter bomb after it. Could you even make one though?

Mr Fawlty..... Me know NOTHING!!:shifty:

Antimatter is pretty useless as a power source because you have to put a LOT more energy into making the antimatter than you would get out of it. i guess it could be very useful as an energy storage device, like a battery, considering a microgram of the stuff could launch a spacecraft you could power a lunar colony for centuries with a clump of antimatter the size of my thumb.

Antimatter is incredibly dangerous as if it comes into contact with ANYTHING. Even if it comes into contact with air or the residual particles in some of our laboratories' finest vacuums it will react. If the containment failed on a gramme of the stuff it would wipe out a city. Naturally this means antimatter could be pretty useful as a bomb, in theory. If you ever wanted to do some planetary spacescaping antimatter would be your tool ;). If I remember correctly a hydrogen bomb converts less than 1% of its mass into explosive energy. With an antimatter bomb that yeild would be 200%.

It could also be used as a form of propulsion. The biggest problem with getting into space is the vast amount of fuel the rockets require (which makes the thing heavier so more fuel is needed, and the extra fuel adds to the rocket's weight so more fuel is needed etc). This wouldn't be a problem if you used antimatter as the energy source.

There are quite a few uses for antimatter but in the here and now they're all far off sci-fi. I have no doubt that as time marches on the sci-fi will turn into mere dreams, which will in turn become fashionable theory, which progresses to experiment and finally reality. But by that time I expect you and I will be long dead.

m1omg
2007-Aug-10, 09:32 PM
Neat!

And I'm very glad that they mentioned the hydrogen required as reaction mass, as using the antimatter itself is insufficient to actually propel a starship.

You are wrong.See http://www.orionsarm.com/ships/pion_drive.html .
Using hydrogen working fluid will produce too slow velocity to be useful for interstellar exploration, trough it has the advantage of not requiring enormous amounts of antimatter; http://www.orionsarm.com/ships/amat-thermal.html .
Pion amat drive require enermous amount of amat but it should achieve 3000 km/s and even 30000 km/s with much more fuel usage.
A good compromise between them is using antimatter catalysed fusion; http://www.orionsarm.com/ships/amat-pulse.html.