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Air Force Researching Antimatter Weapons

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the build-a-bigger-gun dept.

Science 1062

mlmitton writes "The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the Air Force is actively pursuing antimatter weapons. Such weapons would easy eclipse nuclear weapons in power, e.g., 1 gram of antimatter would equal 23 space shuttle fuel tanks of energy. Perhaps more interesting, after an initial inquiry by the Chronicle in the summer, the Air Force issued a gag order that prohibits any Air Force employee from discussing antimatter research or funding."

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Energy Conversion (5, Funny)

tntguy (516721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432579)

e.g., 1 gram of antimatter would equal 23 space shuttle fuel tanks of energy

How much energy is that in Burning Libraries of Congress? I'm not entirely up to speed on these new-fangled measurements. Rods an' hogsheads, for me!

Re:Energy Conversion (2, Funny)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432647)

I think that is properly measured in exploding Volkswagen units.

Re:Energy Conversion (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432672)

Note to moderators: the parent is not +5, Funny.

Re:Energy Conversion (5, Funny)

crayz (1056) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432695)

I'd like to get football fields of destruction if possible. It would be nice to have a conversion utility

Re:Energy Conversion (1)

peculiarmethod (301094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432710)

Forget about it.. what you don't know won't kill you.

Wait.. but what you're not made of might!

Weapon research == Power plant research. (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432745)

So yea, woo hoo anti-matter power!

Sure, it's radioactive, just like fission, but hey antimatter is cheap at $62.5 trillion per gram, and it's 10-100 times more powerful!

Not sure what the point would be in antimatter weapons, besides serious coolness. Nukes are at least stable at room temperature, and if you drop a ball of plutonium on your foot, all you get is broken toes. Wouldn't want to have a power failure anywhere NEAR antimatter.

So when... (1)

Dagny Taggert (785517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432582)

...do we get to see the dilithium crystals?

Re:So when... (4, Funny)

Bowling Moses (591924) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432670)

No no you're thinking of naquadria.

The important questions: (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432755)

What of Lazarus?

And what of Lazarus?

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432584)

woooT

Relative Measurements (0, Redundant)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432586)

"1 gram of antimatter would equal 23 space shuttle fuel tanks of energy."

But what I really want to know is how many Libraries of Congress it could contain.

Yeah, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432587)

How many libraries of congress is that?

I, for one welcome our new Antimatter weapon overlords!

In Soviet Russia, antimatter weapons research YOU!

BLA BLA STANDARD SLASHDOT JOKES NOT FUNNY, FUCK YOU

Re:Yeah, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432623)

This is so pathetic, two of these are already in the fucking thread. SOME FUCKING IMAGINATION, PEOPLE, FUCK SLASHDOT IS BECOMING SUCH A PARODY OF ITSELF

Don't use so many caps. Don't use so many caps. Don't use so many caps.

Love,
The poster of the parent

Space Shuttle Fuel Tanks? (3, Funny)

Wizzy Wig (618399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432588)

SSFTs are now units of energy?

Re:Space Shuttle Fuel Tanks? (1)

FienX (463880) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432620)

Sure, it can join the ranks of LOCs and VWBFOT (VW Beatles Full Of Tapes)

Re:Space Shuttle Fuel Tanks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432676)

In my day, we measured our weapons' power in megarods-drams, and that's the way we liked it!

Antimatter (1, Funny)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432590)

All your Dilithium are belong to us.

antimatter (-1, Redundant)

iocat (572367) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432593)

i for one welcome our new anti matter overlords.

Oh my word.... (1, Funny)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432594)

...people, we are actually making progress towards making Star Trek: Voyager a reality. I say we petition the Air Force to stop work immediately.

Why, cause nuclear bombs aren't sCary enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432596)

NT

Re:Why, cause nuclear bombs aren't sCary enough? (3, Interesting)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432650)

Good question. I'm curious if these will be radioactive like nukes. If you got the 'bang' without having the radioactivity, wouldn't that be _less_ scary than a nuke? I'm obviously not a quantum physicist, and I dont even play one on /.
Perhaps one of you big-brained types could enlighten me? Thanks.

Re:Why, cause nuclear bombs aren't sCary enough? (4, Interesting)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432706)

That kind of depends on what scares you more... a higher propensity to use these weapons due to low radiation or a great fear of using these weapons due to high radiation.

I'm scared shitless either way.

The only problem is..... (1)

TREETOP (614689) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432598)

We dont HAVE any antimatter. And we cannot get any. Check back tommorrow.

Re:The only problem is..... (2, Funny)

NReitzel (77941) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432680)

Not entirely true, we just don't have much. We can make antiprotons and antielectrons, which gives us antihydrogen. Now, if we can scale up our production by something like 20 orders of magnitude...

Mole problems? Call Avagadro, 602-1023

Da Vinci (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432601)

Sounds like the novel precursor to the Da Vinci Code...

Re:Da Vinci (1)

sevenmonkey (594053) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432729)

You're thinking of _Angels and Demons_ by Dan Brown

Oooops (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432604)

In other news... The air force research center suddenly dissappeared along with 200.000 square kilometers of land. Nobody from the research center was available for comment.

How about research them... (1, Insightful)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432605)

as an energy source.

But destructe research wins over constructive alternatives hands down.

Re:How about research them... (1)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432666)

Yup, I mean think of how good an energy source that nuclear energy could be! But NOOOOO, they had to go make a BOMB out of it!!

Wait, you mean to say we have nuclear energy today largely because of prior nuclear weapons research?

Re:How about research them... (1)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432681)

As correct as you are, that particular argument "template" you use is quite cliche and tiresome.

Re:How about research them... (4, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432716)

But destructe research wins over constructive alternatives hands down.

Given that matter + anti-matter is a purely destructive process to begin with, it isn't surprising that this is a key area of military research. On the brighter side, tons of everyday inventions funnel down from military funded projects, so it's not all doom and gloom.

Re:How about research them... (1)

dupper (470576) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432726)

Weapons come first: it's far easier to create the energy than control it. Massive amounts of uncontrolled energy = weapon. Control = energy source, can only come afterwards. Case in point: Fusion.

Re:How about research them... (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432727)

The problem with antimatter is it either provides too little energy or too much of it.

If you keep enough of it around to use as fuel for a power plant then you have a chance of the magnetic containment field failing and your facility converted to component atoms.

Re:How about research them... (1)

YetAnotherAnonymousC (594097) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432733)

Gee, do you think maybe it's because it would take WAY MORE energy to create the antimatter in the first place? Antimatter doesn't grow on trees, you know (and thank god for that).
This is the same reason your power plant runs on gas or coal rather than smokeless gun powder. It takes more energy to make the powder than you get back out.
When you need a weapon with quick energy release, however, you care less about wasting energy in the process.

Re:How about research them... (4, Informative)

koreth (409849) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432760)

As energy storage, maybe. But right now it takes millions of times more energy [wikipedia.org] to produce a unit of antimatter than you get by annihilating that unit afterwards.

Non-standard units (1)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432606)

space shuttle tanks?

Come on, everyone knows that the standard units for explosive power are pounds of TNT and "times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima"

Re:Non-standard units (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432673)

Pounds of TNT? That'd be a big number. The typical reference given is in kilotons of TNT, not individual pounds.

So why are we talking about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432610)

I am glad it is posted here so that those that make a living on this type of research will have to wonder tonight if their funding is going to be cut due to the outing of this secret information. Sweet!

Now, how can this be used to generate steam for a power plant?

Units (-1, Redundant)

mattkime (8466) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432615)

1 gram of antimatter would equal 23 space shuttle fuel tanks of energy

Yes, but how many Libraries of Congress is that?

Really... (5, Insightful)

jsoffron (718739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432617)

isn't this a tremendous waste of money? I'm generally pretty high on national defense, but is our biggest national security threat really that nuclear bombs aren't powerful enough?

We can not afford a mine shaft gap!

Re:Really... (4, Funny)

Mr. Bad Example (31092) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432715)

> I'm generally pretty high on national defense

Careful...it's a gateway policy. Before you know it, you'll be mainlining the hard stuff like trade agreements.

Probably useless (4, Interesting)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432728)

It's probably a big waste of money. The efficiencies in creating antimatter are incredibly low. Nuclear power is far cheaper for virtually all applications. From the article:

With present techniques, the price tag for 100-billionths of a gram of antimatter would be $6 billion

The only reason I could see it being useful is if you needed an extremely high energy density. "Bullets" with a magnetically suspended speck of antimatter might be handy. They would be virtually undetectable by radar and pack a huge punch. Perhaps the low weights would be useful for space warfare?

Re:Really... (2, Insightful)

harks (534599) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432741)

Agreed... nukes are too powerful as it is, for practical use. Why would we need anything MORE powerful?

Re:Really... (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432743)

I don't know much about antimatter, but I'd guess that they'd be smaller (great! more application as terror weapons), safer to store, safer to detonate, and more precise.

All else being equal, I'd say that no fallout is a good thing.

'Course, everything I know about antimatter I learned from Scotty and Spock.

-Peter

Units of Measurement (0, Redundant)

CraigoFL (201165) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432621)

Such weapons would easy eclipse nuclear weapons in power, e.g., 1 gram of antimatter would equal 23 space shuttle fuel tanks of energy

How many Libraries of Congress would that power?

Seriously, why use such a esoteric unit of measurement, especially when you're going to compare it to nuclear weapons? Would describing it in terms of megatons be too much to ask?

Wrong department (1)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432622)

Should Starfleet be the one researching this? We all know they'll be using it in the future for their spacecrafts.

Re:Wrong department (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432701)

Should Starfleet be the one researching this? We all know they'll be using it in the future for their spacecrafts.

Look for a patent infringement suit.

A bigger bomb isn't the answer. Guerilla warefare has shown you have to fight door-to-door. Daisy-cutters, as impressive as they were and 'Shock and awe' seem, upon reflection, to be greatly overrated in their effectiveness. People fear nuclear weapons, not just because they can kill so many, but because they can poison the land for years to come.

How to detonate it? (3, Insightful)

FTL (112112) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432628)

One of the potential problems with antimatter is how to use it. If one just removes it from its isolation container, it may just glow, spit and fizzle for an extended period of time, rather than explode properly. As the first particles of matter comes in contact with it, that matter (and the corresponding amount of anti-matter) will annihilate, causing a blast that may separate the two objects for a while. So to detonate properly one might need some very fancy geometries or implosion schemes that make an atomic bomb look like child's play.

Alternatively antimatter may blow up just fine without any assistance. It's all theory just now. We'll have to drop a gram of it to be sure.

Darn! (1)

ziani (255157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432629)

Now I have to trash my photon torpedo grant application.

Antimanner proliferation (0, Troll)

robotoil (627969) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432630)

Just so long as North Korea does not get it!

Re:Antimanner proliferation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432686)

Just so long as North Korea does not get it!

Or Bush for that matter, so vote Kerry!

This is meant as a joke. Well. No it isn't really. I mean.. argh. my head!

(-_-*) (2, Funny)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432633)

Of course the moment antimatter comes in contact with matter you get a violent reaction, so firing antimatter without a ridiculous amount of shielding which itself would be matter, and thus set off the antimatter, would result it you dying in a spectacular display of one of the best PEBKAC's ever to grace military science. Of course this should be expected from the branch of USM that actually has their top pilots landing with the parking brakes on... "Landing sequence checklist: 1.Engage primary reasoning 2.Load common sense 3.Boot up Situational Awareness drivers 4.Begin primary thinking process"

Schweet! (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432636)

F-22 Raptors with photon torpedoes on multiple-ejector racks.

How many megatons yield per aircraft?

OK, now I'm scared.

Quick, hide Lazarus! (1, Funny)

Genjurosan (601032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432637)

If he meets his new anti-Lazarus, then the universe will explode!

1 gram of anti matter? (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432640)

Shouldn't that be -1 gram of anti matter?

Re:1 gram of anti matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432723)

NO

Re:1 gram of anti matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432731)

maybe -1 gram of matter. but not -1 gram of anti matter.

Re:1 gram of anti matter? (1)

pipacs (179230) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432764)

-1 gram of matter?

Since we can never stop fighting with each other (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432644)

and war is part of the human psyche, we may as well develop weapons that just kill cheap humans and don't fuck up the planet or start nuclear winters.

Re:Since we can never stop fighting with each othe (1)

thedarkstorm (468783) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432748)

The "Govt" already had that, it was called Bio-warfare and disease manufacturing. Problem is, stupid people keep migrating places and spreading the disease.

[little john] WHAT? [/little john] (4, Interesting)

kippy (416183) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432645)

This is insane. A gram of antimatter would cost almost more money than exists on earth if I recall. You thought nukes were expensive? wait till you see the military budget if this gets taken seriously.

I'd love to see their containment schemes so that the anti matter doesn't bump the bomb casing wall and annihilate in storage or in transit.

On a funny note this nut [antimatterenergy.com] whom I've met in person, claims that comets are made of pure antimatter. Riiiight. That should bring production costs down :)

It's no surprise.... (1)

thewiz (24994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432652)

That the military is looking for smaller and more powerful weapons. Of course, this is still a long way from happening. As the article states, they are still having problems with producing antimatter and storing it.

My concern is that we use wisdom in the race to build bigger and better weapons. Do we REALLY need a weapon like this?

Re:It's no surprise.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432709)

Of course we need it! The key to winning the "war on terrorism" is *obviously* the ability to obliterate whole cities in a single shot!

oh... wait...

thank you bush (-1, Flamebait)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432653)

It's nice to see that the bloated millitary budget is being spent on things that will help the world in the future... I guesse it was worth cutting the education budget way down for things such as this...

I look forward to a world of uneducated americans and anti-matter explosion craters... Thank you republicans!

Re:thank you bush (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432752)

Is it your opinion that the average American was more educated under the Clinton administration?

1gm antimatter = 39 kT TNT (4, Informative)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432658)

units
1948 units, 71 prefixes, 28 functions

You have: grams*c^2
You want: tonnes-tnt
* 19487.022
/ 5.1316205e-05

So 1 gram antimatter + 1 gram matter is about 39 kT of TNT. Hiroshima was about 20 kT, Nagasaki was 13 kT, so one gram antimatter would release just a scosh more than both devices.

So let us use a bit more sensible units than "shuttle fuel tanks".

However, the costs of manufacturing the antimatter, and the size of the containment system, and the fail-null mode of antimatter vs. the fail-safe mode of a nuke (a nuke may leak, but it will not detonate without everything going just right), would lead me to wonder about the utility of an antimatter weapon.

Re:1gm antimatter = 39 kT TNT (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432730)

What is the fail-null mode of antimatter?

You seem to imply that once it set up, its easy to detonate.

Thus... (0, Troll)

Xierox (805009) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432659)

...thus enabling the U.S. to finally complete its goal and take over all of the known world and become the Global Police agent it has worked hard to become these past twenty years.

Another Fed tax transfer program (0, Flamebait)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432661)

We already have too many very dangerous world-obliterating weapons...so much so that we are afraid of proliferation to very bad people. We also know that the key to safety in the future will be about killing key individuals, not entire nations.

Hence this is yet another technique for transferring your tax dollars away from real security projects to the Boeing and TRW country club funds.

Re:Another Fed tax transfer program (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432697)

When aliens from a parallel anti-universe invade our planet, you'll be glad our government wasted, er... I mean spent our tax dollars so wisely.

Containment energy and stuff (1)

HermesHuang (606596) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432664)

Antimatter-matter reaction might release vast amounts of energy, but how much energy does it take to create/store/transport/control the antimatter? Last I checked it takes a rather large particle accelerator to make antimatter. It's probably the ultimate in energy density, but it may not be all that efficient (with technology realizable in the near-future, at least).

Some things I don't understand about anti-matter.. (3, Interesting)

halivar (535827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432665)

- Would you have to store the anti-matter, or create it as you need it? The first seems impossible, unless you has some kind of containment where the anti-matter doesn't actually touch anything. The other requires a massive amount of energy. Is this even plausible?

- What about the radiation involved? We've measured the rays that result from minor, single-atom collisions, but what happens when the collision is actually big enough to damage something?

- How do you propel something like this? Magnets? Or am I wrong in assuming anti-matter can't touch anything?

Anyways, maybe some smarter /.'ers than I can tell me where to find this info (it's hard to filter reliable sources out of Google).

Re:Some things I don't understand about anti-matte (4, Funny)

Mr. Bad Example (31092) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432753)

> The first seems impossible, unless you has some kind of containment where the anti-matter doesn't actually touch anything.

Clearly our containment systems must be made of antimatter cats with pieces of antimatter buttered toast strapped to their backs.

Re:Some things I don't understand about anti-matte (3, Informative)

Trespass (225077) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432766)

The most common sci-fi containment system is holding the antimatter in a vacuum while suspending it in a powerful magnetic field to keep it from contacting the walls of vessel holding it. I understand something similiar is done with plasma in experimental fusion reactors. It doesn't sound very portable.

Antimatter weapons? How bad could they be? (1)

LMCBoy (185365) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432667)

"Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously, and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light."

Ok, so that's bad. That's Egon-bad.

Re:Antimatter weapons? How bad could they be? (1)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432761)

Go ahead and tell them about the twinkie.

terrorists.. (-1, Troll)

deego (587575) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432668)

Oh great. We did our nuclear research and dropped our bombs. Others are terrorists if they research them. (Or even if they don't -- ref: Iraq).

But *we* are free to pursue something far more dangerous..

Funny the way the article is worded... (5, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432675)

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the Air Force is actively pursuing antimatter weapons. Such weapons would easy eclipse nuclear weapons in power, e.g., 1 gram of antimatter would equal 23 space shuttle fuel tanks of energy.

Are we sure they're pursuing weapons? We are talking about the Air Force, and it's funny how they'd compare the relative energy to a spaceship fuel tank, of all things...

question for you (1)

pyro101 (564166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432677)

Should we work at developing antimatter weapons in the future? Do we need antimatter arms to keep MAD going or should we not open pandora's box and hope nobody else does? Keep in mind that if we don't know what the weapons are like we won't know how to spot them or screen the effectively.

Uh oh (1)

secretsquirel (805445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432678)

So how long till we hear about a gigantic gamma-ray explosion on some small island in the south pacific that gets blamed on a meteor.

I guess this is it (1, Insightful)

robogun (466062) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432683)

Paraphrasing the article:
"Oh, they're safer, there'll be no fallout..."
A couple pounds of antimatter, combined with matter, and there'll be no earth to fall to.
If they succeed, this is it.
In 10 billion years, some future race will detect a gamma ray burst from the Milky Way Galaxy...

"23 space shuttle fuel tanks" and the "gag order" (4, Informative)

sczimme (603413) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432687)


1 gram of antimatter would equal 23 space shuttle fuel tanks of energy.

I thought the standard unit of explosive power was the ton of dynamite...

Perhaps more interesting, after an initial inquiry by the Chronicle in the summer, the Air Force issued a gag order that prohibits any Air Force employee from discussing antimatter research or funding

This isn't really that interesting or even unusual: Uncle Sam frequently limits what military folks can say about ongoing projects. There is a classification called "Sensitive But Unclassified", or SBU, whcih means the info is not classified as such (Secret, TS, etc.) but it is still not for public disclosure. (Years ago SBU was called "For Official Use Only" or FOUO.) Budgets are generally considered at least SBU, so it should be no suprise that the budget is not publicized.

/spent six years in the Air Force

What's the point? (1)

Shaiken (743878) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432688)

I'm sure we're all very happy that the real world is a little more like Star-Trek, but what's the point of this? Don't the have big enough bombs already? Do they want a bomb that can blow up the entire planet in one go? Or is this just an attempt to get nuclear like destruction without the stigma of real nuclear weapons?

CERN already figured this out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432689)

I just read about this. SOmething about blowing up the Pope...

Just imagine.. (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432690)

a beowulf clust.... oh never mind

Oh yeah... (1)

Blue-Footed Boobie (799209) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432692)

This is a brilliant idea. Remember, it's all wonderfull until the "other side" has their own.

Not as spectacular as you think. (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432694)

During a panel at LACon II in '84, Dr. Forward mentioned that calculations showed that an anti-matter bowling ball wouldn't go up in a blaze of light and gamma, it'd sit on the floor sizzling like a drop of water on a griddle for several minutes. From what I gathered, the matter and anti-matter only interact as they come into contact with each other, and even in a normal Earth atmosphere there's a limit as to how many particles touch at any given time. Also, of course, the reaction heats the air up, causing convection currents that lower the pressure. Thinking about it, I guess you'd get the fastest reaction with an anti-dust so that there's as much surface as possible.

Other needed research (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432703)

Okay rate me off-topic, but is anyone researching the "Anti-weapons matter"?

Weapon powered by Mass Destruction (1)

raider_red (156642) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432707)

Does this mean we're going to start invading countries which build large particle accelerators? I'm not sure invading Switzerland would be such a hot idea.

is it just me or is this ridiculous? (0)

xutopia (469129) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432724)

It sounds like total hogwash to me.

you have to love the closing comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432736)

The last person interviewed essentially says, we need to develop this energy source for space transportation as well as for making the next generation of weapons, because eventually we are going to destroy the earth.

Not sure. (1)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432737)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I've been under the impression that directly exposing matter and anti-matter, while resulting in annihilation, wouldn't directly result in an explosion in the traditional sense. I thought that it would only result in the annihilation of local matter (on a 1:1 ratio) and the release of excess energy in the form of heat, light, and/or radiation.

Good to hear... (1)

Ionizer7 (814098) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432738)

Nukes are so last year... Would these be considered a WMD?

Slush fund. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432740)

>Air Force employee from discussing antimatter research or funding."

|official $$$|--->|"anti-matter research"|.-.-.-.->black ops/parties with hookers/government and industry bribes/etc

Nice to know (1)

Madcapjack (635982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432750)

Nice to know that we're spending our defense budget wisely. With the development of these new WMD's, in thirty years we won't have to be worrying about just the proliferation of nuclear weapons, but of anti-matter weapons as well.

Please, some one tell me that they are not missing the irony of the US developing new WMDs?

change the department (5, Funny)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432751)

this should be "from the stuff-that-antimatters dept."

ecplises nukes? (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432758)

I was under the impression that an antimatter-matter reaction followed the same law as nukes, i.e.
E=MC^2... so, for the same price, how much plutonium could you get? (bearing in mind that antimatter is the most expensive subsatance available & that the matter to react with it is effectively free & doubles the total ammount of stuff reacting) So, if you can get more than double the ammount of plutonium for the same price (assuming that you can get a 100% efficient reaction), how is it any better bang-per-buck than a conventional nuke?
Oh, yeah, what do they propose to store the antimatter in? sandwich tubs?

Why both spending all that time & money developing a totally redundant weapon, when they'd do better to use proven technology and build big H-bombs, or are they planning on dealing with a threat from outer space? like the goa'uld? or the klingons? or the vogons?

If they've got money to burn they can buy me a new computer...

Rocky Horror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10432762)

When they can focus pure antimatter into a beam and fire it from a raygun, I will finally be impressed!

Great! (1)

natron 2.0 (615149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432763)

There goes the planet!

How many VWs? (1)

Spackler (223562) | more than 9 years ago | (#10432765)


Big deal, I have been working on the same thing in my basement.

I will let you know when I succeed.
Actually, it's like baking a cake. Trust me, you'll just know.

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