I thought that the Antimatter-Matter reaction occurs inside a chamber, and the heat released heat up in some way a gas which is ultimately exhausted by a nozzle. But I am not sure.russ_watters said:Well, I'm not exactly sure what a matter-antimatter explosion looks like - an extremely high energy black-body? Just plain gamma rays?
Basically, you just make the explosion happen outside the ship and use a shield to reflect the energy away from the ship, driving it forward.
The energy release rate (power) depends on the rate of antimatter-matter annihilations. By controlling the release (current or flow rate) of anti-protons from whatever trap (storage system) which contains the Bose-Einstein Condensate (which is discussed in the paper), the reaction rate is controlled. Afterall, the title of the paper is "Controlled Antihydrogen Propulsion . . . ".plum said:How could the explosion (re: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0410511 ) be contained/ funneled out (without blowing up the actual spacecraft)?
That's what some fusion experts said about fusion.We estimate that, starting with the present level of knowledge and multi-agency support, the goal of using antihydrogen for propulsion purposes may be accomplished in ~50 years.
It's pretty much the only practical means of interstellar travel if you want any significant thrust. (Ion propulsion is far more efficient, but gives a very low impetus. It's still a better bet in the long-run, though.)plum said:barring miraculous technological breakthroughs for creating and then storing tons of antimatter, using it for manned interstellar travel will be impractical for the foreseeable future.
Yes, I do. At a speed of .1c, approximately 250,000 kg of antimatter would be required to get to the nearest star, at a cost of $625 trillion. Total Kinetic energy: 2.26 X 10~22 Joules. Do some more research before you disagree.Danger said:As for the amount of antimatter needed, do you really have any concept of how powerful this stuff is?
Nothing in my arsenal can read the link that you posted, but I would certainly suggest that you study up on 'Ion Compressed Antimatter Nuclear' propulsion as is being developed at the Pennsylvania State University Center for Space Propulsion Engineering in association with the Marshall Space Flight Center. You'll see that the proposed mission requires less than 10mg of antiprotons for a trip to Barnard's Star.plum said:Do some more research before you disagree.