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Physicists Build Bigger 'Bottles' For Antimatter

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the go-big-or-go-home dept.

News 119

intellitech writes "Once regarded as the stuff of science fiction, antimatter — the mirror image of the ordinary matter in our observable universe — is now the focus of laboratory studies around the world. While physicists routinely produce antimatter with radioisotopes and particle colliders, cooling these antiparticles and containing them for any length of time is another story. Clifford Surko, a professor of physics at UC San Diego, who is constructing what he hopes will be the world's largest antimatter container, said physicists have recently developed new methods to make special states of antimatter in which they can create large clouds of antiparticles, compress them and make specially tailored beams for a variety of uses."

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119 comments

Last! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272248)

Anti first!

Re:Last! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35273088)

You just won first place in a retard contest.

Pure antiproton (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272262)

Can they be pure antiproton? Absolutely pure?

Re:Pure antiproton (0)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272276)

it better be absolutely pure. because if even one atom is normal matter the whole thing goes bang, and maybe big bang.

Re:Pure antiproton (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272494)

Not really, if only one atom is normal matter then it will annihilate with one atom of anti-matter - the rest of the anti-matter will continue to exist without posing a mortal threat to anyone nearby.

the energy could disrupt nearby atoms (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272636)

Anti-proton wanders through normal matter and hits a proton. Boom, 2 anti-protons gone, lots of energy created. The atom the proton was in not only lost a proton but its nucleus may be shattered as well. Depending on the atom, this may result in a net release or absorption of energy.

In any case, I wouldn't want to be a nearby atom.

Re:the energy could disrupt nearby atoms (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273210)

What energy must an antiproton have to get past the repulsion caused by the electrons of the target atom(s)? I imagine it would eventually annihilate with someone on its way through normal matter, but how far would it get?

Re:the energy could disrupt nearby atoms (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273236)

Oops, that should say something .

Interesting question. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274226)

I'm sure there's a temperature below which a mixture of matter and antimatter would be stable, but I haven't a clue as to what it is (other than that it is likely to be low).

Might be some really interesting chemistry here...

Re:Interesting question. (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274354)

Not really as the system would nevertheless be in an excited state, and would thus have a finite rate of decay.

Re:Interesting question. (1)

Mt._Honkey (514673) | more than 3 years ago | (#35275374)

There is not, they will annihilate at any temperature. For specific arrangements there can be states that live longer than other states. For example, positronium, the bound state of an electron and a positron (basically hydrogen but with the protron replaced by a positron), lives much longer before annihilation when it is in a higher energy state. The ground state has an annihilation lifetime of only 125 ps, compared to 1.1 us for the 2S state.

Why doesn't slashdot display the mu ascii character?

Re:the energy could disrupt nearby atoms (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35277556)

Your forgetting that we really are talking about a *single* proton (~1GeV of rest mass) or even a million protons, its nothing compared to us. All the antimatter ever produced in the history of mankind is not enough energy to light a light bulb for more than a few minutes. We are around high energy events like this all the time from background radiation, especially if you live in Denver or spend a lot of time at the top of mountains or in airliners.

Re:Pure antiproton (4, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272512)

it better be absolutely pure. because if even one atom is normal matter the whole thing goes bang, and maybe big bang.

Unless I've done the math wrong, annihilation of one hydrogen/anti-hydrogen pair yields about 3*10^-9 joules. Not much of a bang.

Re:Pure antiproton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35273066)

You're off by an order of magnitude ( 2*(1.673 x 10^-27 kg)(3 x 10^8 m/s)^2 = 3 x 10^-10 J). Coincidentally, your argument has increased in validity by one order of magnitude.

Re:Pure antiproton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35274078)

3^10^-9 Joules is 500 MeV. For comparison, your off-the-shelf dynamite gives you 2eV per molecule, and nuclear bomb gives out 2MeV per atom. One atom may not be much, but the whole container may be worth a lot.

Re:Pure antiproton (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274368)

Yes, you're wrong. It's 3*10^-10 Joules.

Re:Pure antiproton (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274668)

Doh! Damn slide rule makes me keep track of the decimals myself. There's gotta be a better way...

Re:Pure antiproton (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35276486)

Kinda reminds me of the whole Ghostbusters "Don't Cross the Streams (or the Universe will end)" bit. I dunno, maybe it's just because I'm such a fan of Carl Sagan, but things like antimatter and matter colliding will cause space to warp in on itself or something like that just seem patently riduculous. I think a lot of these things where we say absurd scenarios like that are just from a poor understanding of the subject in general, so we greatly highball our estimations, we exaggerate, we dream.

Re:Pure antiproton (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272742)

A bit of whoosing going on here, eh commodore?

Re:Pure antiproton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35274430)

Maybe but some of the comments are quite interesting.

Re:Pure antiproton (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273332)

They say there's no devil...

'science fiction'? (1)

fractalrock (662410) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272290)

Antimatter has been known and studied since the 1930s or so. I suspect that any science fiction that included antimatter as a subject was written during or after that time. I hate stupid /. headlines.

Re:'science fiction'? (1)

eobanb (823187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272310)

Tell that to Dan Brown.

Re:'science fiction'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272358)

I think the science fiction there wasn't about antimatter per se. It was about building a container to contain antimatter. If my recollection serves me right the novel "Angels and Daemons" included an antimatter container as one of the plot line's core components.

Re:'science fiction'? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272524)

... the novel "Angels and Daemons"...

I see someone's posting from work :)

Re:'science fiction'? (0)

wurp (51446) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272540)

While positrons were experimentally confirmed in 1932, I don't think that qualifies as "antimatter". When people speak of matter they're typically talking about atoms. Antiprotons were not confirmed by experiment until 1955, and there were no reliable reports of anti-atoms until 1995.

I would say until we have millions or billions of anti-atoms to play with, we can't say we have really studied antimatter. Most of the high level properties of atoms we see day-to-day are emergent from millions of atoms interacting, and can't really be tested on one atom at a time.

What we have studied so far are various anti-particles, and some anti-atoms.

Bigger bottles are great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272294)

I got me a couple a 40's.

Re:Bigger bottles are great (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272538)

Forties are gooood.

But I had to give them up after they gave me insatiable urges to watch Kung-fu movies, eat fried chicken and watermelon, leer at overweight Caucasian women, steal things, decorate my house with animal prints, install subwoofers and gold rims on my Geo Metro and crank'em 'till the trunk and doors rattled off, sue my employer for discrimination, dance (very well), buckle my pants below my buttcheeks, develop great muscle tone, grow a big dick, play ball for the NFL and the NBA, watch BET, join NAACP, and braid my hair...

...to name a few.

Re:Bigger bottles are great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272662)

Forties are gooood.

But I had to give them up after they gave me insatiable urges to watch Kung-fu movies, eat fried chicken and watermelon, leer at overweight Caucasian women, steal things, decorate my house with animal prints, install subwoofers and gold rims on my Geo Metro and crank'em 'till the trunk and doors rattled off, sue my employer for discrimination,dance (very well), buckle my pants below my buttcheeks, develop great muscle tone, grow a big dick, play ball for the NFL and the NBA, watch BET, join NAACP, and braid my hair... ...to name a few.

Running to the store to get a case of 40s right after I hit submit....

Rocky Horror Predicted it first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272304)

Beams of Pure Anti Matter!

Using antimatter... (2)

Codex_of_Wisdom (1222836) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272342)

"...make specially tailored beams for a variety of uses."
Read: blowing stuff up.
I love science!

Re:Using antimatter... (2)

Strider- (39683) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272370)

Hey now.. this isn't Mythbusters.

Re:Using antimatter... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273242)

It wont blow up anything. Or will it? Sounds like a myth that needs busting to me.

Re:Using antimatter... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272378)

If it weren't so damn expensive, it'd probably give those crazy kids over in high-density rocket fuels something to chew on, as well...

Re:Using antimatter... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272440)

Blowing stuff up in a highly precise way. I'm thinking of ultra-precise machining of mirrors or lenses. Ion streams are already used for this, but they are very slow and don't work on most materials. A positron beam would be faster, and could cut through anything with electrons in. Which means anything.

anything? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272696)

Will it a positron beam cut through my pile of neutron-star matter?

More seriously, will it cut through muonic atoms that have no electrons?

Re:anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272796)

He specifically said "with electrons in"

Re:anything? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272892)

Hmm... given that the neutrons can decay into protons and electrons, I suppose... ask a physicist. Positon-neutron annihilation might be possible, but it's beyond my knowledge of the field.

Re:Using antimatter... (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272716)

A trillion positrons is still a very microscopic amount of particles and mass when macro phenomenons (i.e. blow things up) are concerned. You probably wouldn't feel anything if all that was dumped onto your tongue.

Re:Using antimatter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35275064)

I probably wouldn't feel anything either if a stick of dynamite was exploded on my tongue ;)

Idiots. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272346)

Idiots are going to blow us all to Kingdom Come. You know this is just the first step in making a planet buster bomb.

Re:Idiots. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272414)

Hey, competition is important. You don't think that the LHC guys are going to get off their asses and deliver that planet-devouring black hole that they've been holding out on us about if they don't know that the UCSD antimatter team has a competing PhDed existential threat in the works, do you?

The Perils of Modern Living (3, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273376)

Well up above the tropostrata
  There is a region stark and stellar
  Where, on a streak of anti-matter
  Lived Dr. Edward Anti-Teller.

  Remote from Fusion's origin,
  He lived unguessed and unawares
  With all his antikith and kin,
  And kept macassars on his chairs.

  One morning, idling by the sea,
  He spied a tin of monstrous girth
  That bore three letters: A. E. C.
  Out stepped a visitor from Earth.

  Then, shouting gladly o'er the sands,
  Met two who in their alien ways
  Were like as lentils. Their right hands
  Clasped, and the rest was gamma rays.
-- Harold P Furth

Re:Idiots. (5, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272458)

Idiots are going to blow us all to Kingdom Come. You know this is just the first step in making a planet buster bomb.

To produce enough anti-matter to match the destructive potential of the Tsar Bomba hydrogen bomb, you would need the energy output of a gigawatt power station for 6.6 years. And that is assuming perfect production and storage which we are no where close to achieving. In reality, it takes orders of magnitude more energy to crate anti-matter than can get out of the annihilation of that anti-matter, so the actual length of time would be closer to 600 years than 6.

So, sorry, no earth shattering kaboom just yet.

Re:Idiots. (1)

Konster (252488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272528)

You'd only need a bit over 1kg of matter and a bit over a kg of antimatter to equal the output of Tsar Bomba.

Re:Idiots. (3, Funny)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272594)

I have a bag of sugar - we're half way there!

Re:Idiots. (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273060)

Honestly this is the first post to make me genuinely laugh in a long time.

Re:Idiots. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273244)

Is salt anti-sugar? Cause I have a kilo of that.

Re:Idiots. (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273506)

Now all you need is a bottle of lemon juice (anti sweet).

Re:Idiots. (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274110)

First you get the sugar...

Re:Idiots. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272704)

Idiots are going to blow us all to Kingdom Come. You know this is just the first step in making a planet buster bomb.

To produce enough anti-matter to match the destructive potential of the Tsar Bomba hydrogen bomb, you would need the energy output of a gigawatt power station for 6.6 years. And that is assuming perfect production and storage which we are no where close to achieving. In reality, it takes orders of magnitude more energy to crate anti-matter than can get out of the annihilation of that anti-matter, so the actual length of time would be closer to 600 years than 6.

So, sorry, no earth shattering kaboom just yet.

You've answered the total energy problem, but not the power problem. For example a stick of dynamite and a piece of cake have about the same total energy content, its just dynamite releases it at a literally supersonic rate, whereas it takes hour (years?) to use the chemical energy from a piece of cake in my tummy.

Its entirely possible a Tsar Bomba sized antimatter bomb would slowly "burn" like the worlds scariest refinery fire. Might take "a long time" to fully react as a tiny bit blows a very clean vacuum around itself by the gammas heating the air, repeat as an oscillator. Oh it would be very destructive, but probably take many orders of magnitude longer than a nuke to react.

Re:Idiots. (1)

KozmoStevnNaut (630146) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272936)

So perhaps an antimatter bomb would work sort of like the nuclear weapons envisioned by H. G. Wells in The World Set Free. He imagined nuclear weapons as no more powerful that ordinary explosives, but they continued to explode for days.

So the total amount of energy released would be similar to a nuclear weapon as we know them, but not instantaneous. It would be a very effective device for some creative tactical uses, imagine a fire that burns with the power of a conventional bomb for days on end that you can't put out.

Re:Idiots. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273032)

I imagine it would depend on the state of the antimatter and the surface area in contact with ordinary matter. But fast - enough heat and you'd get antimatter vapor, which would rapidly expand from the heat produced and intermix with a large volume of air.

Re:Idiots. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273574)

As far as I know H-bombs are made using a traditional atom bomb as trigger. Use the H-bomb as trigger to the antimatter bomb, I figure a multi-megaton blast will mix matter and anti-matter and set off a ton of reactions at the same time. I'm guessing gigaton range...

LEAVE THE ANITMATTER ALONE... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272388)

IT WANTS TO BE FREE!!

Re:LEAVE THE ANITMATTER ALONE... (1)

Unkyjar (1148699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274506)

Well, regardless of moderation. I thought this was funny.

Cleaning up nuclear waste and other stuff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272422)

So could you make anti-nuclear waste, and combine it with nuclear waste, end up with lots of energy and no mess? I suppose it could be any anti-matter, just use nuclear waste and any other undesirable stuff for the "matter" side of the equation.

Re:Cleaning up nuclear waste and other stuff... (5, Informative)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272606)

Yes but I think the antimatter annihilation reaction would cause side reactions that would release neutrons and create more nuclear waste...

In practice, though, the reason highly radioactive nuclear waste even exists as a problem is because it ISN'T waste - it's unburned fuel. More than 99% of the energy in the nuclear fuel is still remaining, which is why the waste can emit dangerous levels of radiation for thousands of years.

Re:Cleaning up nuclear waste and other stuff... (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273472)

Why don't they, y'know, USE it?

politics (1)

postermmxvicom (1130737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274608)

This has been discussed many times here. It goes something like this: Carter [or whoever] made an executive order that says we can't use the stuff, because, in doing so, we would be able to make more nuclear weapons material or something. So, the stuff is really useful, but we aren't legally allowed to use it. So it is only waste in a legal sense. tl;dr if this was China [or some other developing country or France probably] we would be using it. Also, all of the above was reconstructed from my memory of barely read posts about this, so don't take it as gospel, but it should be enough to help you find the real answer on google or something.

Re:politics (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274748)

Ah thanks anyway. Damned politics, always getting in the way of science and engineering.

Re:Cleaning up nuclear waste and other stuff... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273050)

Sure. But the energy cost of manufacturing antimatter would be more than the energy produced.

UCSD (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272460)

Woot, go UCSD!

Ushering in the apocalypse since 1960!

We did a lot of nuke and miltech stuff, especially during the Vietnam War era. I didn't get to do much cool stuff when I was there, just an interference resistant videoconferencing system for soldiers in the field, and some work with severed rabbit hearts kept alive and beating in a vitrious solution...

The Red Shoe was apparently the 4th sign of the Apocalypse, and the Stuart Art collection is rumoured to have another piece as well, though gazing upon it is rumoured to induce permanent insanity.

1212 is coming? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272720)

Ushering in the apocalypse since 1960!

The first 50+ years were just for practice!

So easy (0)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272478)

This is sooo easy actually. You just use tachyons and Geordi's visor with a quantum entaglement garage door opener.

Deathrays (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272506)

...they can create large clouds of antiparticles, compress them and make specially tailored beams for a variety of uses."

And mad scientists all over the world rejoice at the thought of building their first orbital, antimatter death ray.

On a less sinister note, if they can guide an anti- beam in a controlled manner to impact a regular beam they could take the first steps towards some sort of epic anti-matter based propulsion system.

DON'T CROSS THE BEAMS! (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272750)

if they can guide an anti- beam in a controlled manner to impact a regular beam

Don't cross the beams. Trust me. It will be bad.*

*Blatant copyright violation.

Re:DON'T CROSS THE BEAMS! (1)

illumastorm (172101) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273632)

Don't forget to tell them about the Twinkie.

Re:Deathrays (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274916)

On a less sinister note, if they can guide an anti- beam in a controlled manner to impact a regular beam they could take the first steps towards some sort of epic anti-matter based propulsion system.

The Tevatron has been doing that for years. So far, the earth has not moved.

The vatican... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272516)

... will be pissed.

Dilithium ? (1)

arbies (1222718) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272584)

I assume this means that they've also perfected the use of di-lithium? and, I can't believe that I'm the first one in this bunch to mention dilithium..

Re:Dilithium ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272876)

Dilithium tends to form into crystals. Who wants that? You really nead Trilithium. Its slightly less stable, but infinitely more useful. Imagine powering an entire fleet of space/time bending interstellar craft with a few ounces of Trilithium. The difference between Lithium, Dilithium and Trilithium, is as big a difference as the difference between three Tylenol 1's and one Tylenol 3. Trilithium Baby! Its a Blast!(tm)

Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (2)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272612)

How much antimatter do you need to make a bomb that will, say, take down an medium-to-high-rise apartment complex?

Once the technology to create and contain antimatter indefinitely is available AND is small enough to fit on a tabletop, how long before some terrorists buys a condo and sets up a "slow bomb" that will detonate in 10 or 20 years, after it's created and stored enough antimatter to take out the building when it goes boom?

OK, maybe he's okay if it doesn't take out the building, he just wants to scare people, so he buys 10 condos around town and 10 years later there's 10 explosions and 10 severely damaged buildings staggered seemingly randomly over the course of a month, and everyone is wondering "OMG, does my neighbor have a bomb in the basement?"

Of course, by then we won't be saying OMG, but I digress.

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272646)

creating and storing are completely different. You still need a particle accelerator to create antimatter. Nobody is doing that in their living room anytime soon, if ever.

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272712)

So, I should have RTFA (it is /., do you blame me?) and they talk about positrons from radioactive sources. Still, according to [link="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TNT_equivalent"]wikipedia[/link], 43MT = 1kg Antimatter. Also according to wikipedia, strontium-90 is most commonly used for positron creation. it's half life is 28.90 years. I think more damage could be done by just using the strontium you collected.

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273110)

1.02MeV, if I recall correctly, to make positrons. Doable in the living room. But containing them isn't, so all you could do is irradiate samples with a positron beam and see what happens. Potentially fun, but not explodey fun.

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35275320)

What would happen if you fired a high-powered positron beam at a slight angle to an electron beam with both firing in the same general direction? Something on the order of 5,000,000,000 watts continuous for each beam? I think it'd be a lot of gamma radiation, but it would also be heat and thrust - impulse drive anyone?

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272866)

How much antimatter do you need to make a bomb that will, say, take down an medium-to-high-rise apartment complex?ll

Well, given the definition of matter and antimatter, I guess you would need a medium-to-high-rise load of antimatter to take care of the matter stuff.

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35273072)

To completely remove the building from existence, yes. But each positron/electron collision releases a pair of gamma rays, which will go on to collide with other atoms... Suffice it to say that the energy released by a small annihilation is comparable to a massive conventional explosion.

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35274004)

Wrong. Follow the Equation E=MC^2 So, if you want a fun exercise, take 1Kg of matter times 299 792 458 m/s^2
works out to about 9*10^16 Joules, or about 21 Megatons of TNT , (Hiroshima was about 20 Kilotons)

IANAPP (I am not a particle physicist)

So remember E=MC^2 Next time you see the transporter in Star Trek "beam" a 70 Kg person,
or "replicate" (uses same tech as transporters) a 1kg plate of food and drink (about 2lbs )

Captcha: anodes

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35275666)

How much antimatter do you need to make a bomb that will, say, take down an medium-to-high-rise apartment complex?ll

Well, given the definition of matter and antimatter, I guess you would need a medium-to-high-rise load of antimatter to take care of the matter stuff.

It depends on what you mean by take down. The Hiroshima bomb released about 1.5 mg of mass for enough kilotons to flatten a building.

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35275866)

How much mass do you think is converted into energy when a 'standard' A-bomb goes off? (Hint: it's a damn sight less than the mass of the shit that gets obliterated in the blast)

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35276234)

Of course, when really annihilating the apartment complex in such a way you would create such an explosion (a fuckton of gamma rays, absorbed by the earth, this absorption heats the rock so it evaporates) you would at least dislodge our dear planet from it's orbit and probably rip it to shreds completely. While an interesting science project not something you'd get funding for.
May be combined with sharks with frikking lasers on their heads of course.

Re:Long-term build-your-own e+ bomb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35274324)

No self-respecting terrorist believes that in a decade's time he'll still be fighting for his cause. They think that blowing stuff up will result in rapid political change. Seriously - that's what they think. This time next year Islam will rule the world, thinks Osama. And God bless him, he never gets disheartened. You'd think after all this time with so little success, he might get a bit down - maybe even suicidal. But no, he soldiers on...

Landfill Problem Solved (1)

Nukedoom (1776114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272626)

Get a vat of antimatter, and throw it at a landfill. Storage problem solved. Who cares about "logistics." It's science motherfucka's.

Re:Landfill Problem Solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35272668)

Great, we can turn ordinary waste into radioactive waste.

Message from the "Other" matter. (3, Funny)

rocker_wannabe (673157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272856)

Speaking for the antimatter, I believe that there is a misconception. We don't appreciate being called the "anti" matter. We are the other-matter to you. From our perspective, you are the antimatter! You don't like it very much when someone calls YOU antimatter do you. I wish we could all just get along but it was not meant to be. We will continue to annihilate any of you that try to contact us. Please! Just leave us alone!!!!

Thank You

Re:Message from the "Other" matter. (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273390)

Seriously dude, you're pretty damn negative. What's the matter, want your positrons back?

Re:Message from the "Other" matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35273794)

There are more positrons where those came from. Don't mess with us or you'll have more gamma radiation than you know what to do with!. I'm telling you now, this universe isn't big enough for the both of us. We are the only matter that matters! Death to all electrons!

Re:Message from the "Other" matter. (1)

Billlagr (931034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273966)

Maybe we should be referring to 'Matter A or Matter B'. Or the Fighting Mongooses. That's a cool team name.

Re:Message from the "Other" matter. (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35276250)

I propose Matter A and Matter One [wikipedia.org] , or we will have the same problem with deciding which matter is matter B.

sharks (2)

mevets (322601) | more than 3 years ago | (#35272956)

Can they mount the anti-matter beam emitters on sharks? That would be awesome.

Re:sharks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35276344)

they could mount them on anti-sharks

Re:sharks (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35276552)

This sounds interesting:
>and the creation of much larger bursts of positrons which could eventually enable the creation of an annihilation gamma ray laser.

Been done before.... (1)

twebb72 (903169) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273158)

I witness this first hand; the first one was built in the 1980s in NYC. Quite simple really. Load a trap here, open, unlock the system. Insert the trap, release, close, lock the system. Set your entry grid, neutralize your field and... the light is green, the trap is clean..

Re:Been done before.... (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274702)

You saw the Ghost busters in action, first hand? And I thought it was just a movie.

Is it just me...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35273240)

58 comments on the topic of anti-matter and not one Star Trek reference. Suddenly I feel very old.

annihilation gamma ray laser! (1)

DamnStupidElf (649844) | more than 3 years ago | (#35273922)

What could possibly go wrong?

Physicists win! (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35274662)

Russians down bottles of vodka, lone jocks in the wilderness down bottles of Solo, but physicists down bottles of antimatter. Now who's da man, eh?

A nice guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35274958)

I met Cliff at a conference last year, he's really friendly and down-to-earth, perfectly happy to answer questions from a foolish young PhD student. I ended up writing a simulation that seems to work perfectly for one of the earlier versions of his 'bottles'.

The 'Surko trap' is very common in the positron scattering experiment world, by the way. We use them here [positron.edu.au] , for example. He's a household name in this particular niche.

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