200,000 years for 1mg of antimatter?

In summary, the conversation discusses the production of antimatter and its potential uses. It is stated that even if Fermilab increases its output of antimatter, it would still take 200,000 years to obtain 1 milligram. It is suggested to build multiple labs around the world to speed up the production process, but the high cost makes it impractical. The conversation also mentions the immense amount of energy required to produce antimatter and doubts its usefulness.
  • #1

galoku

Ok, I've just been reading this http://www.cem.msu.edu/~cem181fp/antimatter/antimatter.html and it says that even if Fermilabs increases its production of antimatter to 5 times its current output then it would still take another 200,000 years to get 1 miligram of that stuff...
I know this might sound simple but can't they build lots of labs arround the world where they all produce the same amount of antimatter as the one they have now? that would reduce the amount of time we would have to wait for that darn 1mg, right?
 
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  • #2
Well, that's with current technology. Remember in those 200,000 years, the world population of scientists wouldn't be exactly just wasting time. That number should fall in time.

Notice that Fermilab isn't a dedicated Antimatter factory, but a laboratory. If we should ever wish to go into full industrial production of the stuff, then we can produce it at far better efficiencies than currently. But for the moment, we don't quite need all that much antimatter.

Remember, a little antimatter goes a long long way.
E = mc^2
= 0.001 * 9 * 10^16
= 90000000000 kJ in 1 miligram

This is equivalent to the amount of energy given out in the complete combustion of 1.6 *10^6 kg of Methane.
 
  • #3
Oh, and you need to double that because it's matter-antimatter annihliation, turning the reacted matter into energy too.
 
  • #4
re anti matter

and it costs a lot
 
  • #5
Originally posted by galoku
I know this might sound simple but can't they build lots of labs arround the world where they all produce the same amount of antimatter as the one they have now? that would reduce the amount of time we would have to wait for that darn 1mg, right?
Certainly, let's build 200,000 labs. Er, wait, if they cost $10 billion apiece (if we use Philadelphia building contractors) that would require the entire next hundred years of the US's GDP.

I don't think anti-matter will ever be a useful thing since it requires such a vast amount of energy to make a quantumitessimal (if that's not a word, it should be) quantity of it.
 

1. How is the 200,000-year estimate for 1mg of antimatter calculated?

The 200,000-year estimate for 1mg of antimatter is based on the current production rate of antimatter and its predicted decay rate. Antimatter is produced in very small quantities in particle accelerators, and its decay time is estimated to be around 100,000 years.

2. Why is antimatter so rare and difficult to produce?

Antimatter is rare because it is produced in very small quantities in high-energy collisions between particles. It is also difficult to produce because it requires a lot of energy and precise conditions to be created.

3. How is antimatter different from regular matter?

Antimatter is essentially the opposite of regular matter. It is made up of antiparticles, which have the same mass as regular particles but opposite charge. When matter and antimatter come into contact, they annihilate each other and release a large amount of energy.

4. What are the potential uses for antimatter?

Currently, there are limited practical uses for antimatter due to its rarity and difficulty to produce. However, it has been used in medical imaging and some research suggests it could potentially be used as a clean energy source in the future.

5. Is it possible to create larger amounts of antimatter in the future?

While it is currently difficult to produce large amounts of antimatter, advancements in technology and research may make it more feasible in the future. However, it will likely continue to be a challenging and expensive process due to the amount of energy and resources needed to create antimatter.

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