Nov 10
2008

Antimatter

Posted by: Bruce Robinson

Tagged in: technology , speaker , Science , Ideas , energy

Bruce Robinson
Physicists know that anti-matter is the electrical opposite of the elements we know and use; but they don't know why there is more matter than anti-matter.

 

Dr. Helen Quinn is a researcher and professor of physics at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, where her studies have focused in particle interations and the behaviors of quarks.

 

Even though we may tend to think of the universe as being mostly vast expanses of empty space, Quinn says that's not really true, so there's no place any extra antimatter could be hiding.

 

Looping eruptions on the Sun, like this one (right)  on July 24, 1999, create antimatter. Earth is shown for size comparison.

 

Science fiction has long speculated about the possibility of using some kind of matter-antimatter reactor as a means of propulsion for spacecraft. Quinn says for that to become a reality, there is one huge problem that would have to be overcome first.

Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center developed the sketch (below) of a hypothetical antimatter rocket of the future. 

 

Antimatter

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