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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Antimatter: Why is important?


When you want to do something, it takes energy. Where does that energy come from? From the ATOMS!! and Molecules.

The Sun, rather than use chemical energy, relies on nuclear energy! [...]
How much more efficient? If I had a million pounds of hydrogen, and I fused the entire million pounds into helium, how much would turn into energy, and how much would turn into (helium) waste? I'd get about 7,000 poundsworth of energy (which, by E=mc2, is a lot, but I'd still get 993,000 pounds of waste. 0.7% efficiency isn't so great, all things considered.
But that's where antimatter comes in. [...] if I brought a million pounds of fuel on board -- 500,000 pounds of hydrogen and 500,000 pounds of antihydrogen -- I'd get perfect efficiency: 1,000,000 pounds worth of energy and no waste.
And that's why creating and trapping neutral anti-hydrogen is such a big deal!
[...], we can store an arbitrarily large amount of it for as long as we want.

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