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Costliest physics material on earth?

  1. Apr 22, 2015 #1
    I have heard that AntiMatter is the costliest material on earth costing around $62 trillion per gram.
    How true is that and why?
    Who calculated this? What does antimatter do? Please shed some light.

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2015 #2

    ZapperZ

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    If this is true, then no one can afford a PET scan. After all, positrons are "antimatter", and according to what you have heard, they cost "$62 trillion per gram". So do you think those positrons that are used very often in this medical procedure are THAT expensive? Or do you think what you've heard was for a specific experiment and under a specific situation?

    As a quick, friendly advice, it is ALWAYS advisable in this forum that you include your sources when you want us to explain what you had heard or read. Otherwise, there is no way to tell if you've heard it wrong, or if your source was for a specific case or example, or if your source is credible or not.

    In addition, if you do a search for "antimatter", you can find a lot of educational information on that subject, some even better than what any of us here can explain to you in this medium.

    Zz.
     
  4. Apr 22, 2015 #3
    sooo....

    PET is typically done with ~ 5 mcuries of 18fluorodeoxyglucose. positron mass (=electron mass) is ~3x 10**-6 of the fluorodeoxyglucose mass. 18F has a half-life of ~2 h, so 5 mci ~2 x 10**12 atoms. Multiply by 1/(6*10**23) (Avogadro's number) * 180 g (1 mole of fluorodeoxyglucose) * 3 * 10**-6, and you end up with one dose of F-DG yielding ~ 5 * 10**-16 g of positrons, which dose costs (UK) ~$300. So yes, positrons are pretty darn expensive.
     
  5. Apr 22, 2015 #4

    ZapperZ

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    Actually, that is insignificantly cheap, even if you scale it up to 1g, when you compare to the equivalent cost of 1 gram of antiprotons at the Tevatron if you take into account the physical structure of producing those particles. Equivalently, the cost of producing the positrons for linear colliders from gamma rays generated by electron accelerators is also significantly more expensive when compare to the positrons produced for PET scans.

    Zz.
     
  6. Apr 22, 2015 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    Higgs bosons are much more expensive than antimatter. The LHC made about a million Higgs bosons, so they cost around $10,000 each. A gram would contain 5 x 10^21 of them, so that's $50 septillion per gram.

    That said, I am not sure what this tells anyone. It's like "what would a planet sized piece of gold be worth?" Gold is valuable at least partially because it is rare, and if the planet were made of it, it wouldn't be rare any more. So multiplying the price of gold by a big number doesn't produce any wisdom beyond "gosh, that's a big number". Same thing as above - if we could make a gram of Higgses, a gram would cost less than you get by extrapolating 21 orders of magnitude.
     
  7. Apr 22, 2015 #6

    sophiecentaur

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    I don't have the problem with my personal finances that I need to use standard form for my calculations. (or dB)
     
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