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Creating an Anti-Matter Machine at Home

  1. Feb 23, 2013 #1
    I am an Australian High School student who enjoys studying mathematical and scientific phenomena. It is a mandatory requirement of all students my age that next year we complete a Personal Research Project. The project is designed in a way that allows students to pick their desired area of study before setting out to investigate the answer to a specific focus question.

    Personally, I am considering looking at how to make anti-matter at home, however, I consider myself to be quite ignorant in terms of how to set about achieving this without having to spend billions of dollars on a particle accelerator.

    After some research, I have started to gather a bit of an idea of how to create anti-matter. My idea was: To fire a laser beam of electrons at a target (this 'target' being an element with a heavy nucleus eg. gold). Theoretically, the relatively strong positive charge of the target's nuclei would attract the electrons and make them deviate from their original courses of direction. As this took place, the electrons would radiate some of their energy as a release of photons. When these highly energetic photons approach the nuclei, they may turn into electron-positron pairs. Then, a negatively-charged magnet could be used to attract the positrons into a vacuum-like space or cloud chamber where they could be observed very briefly.

    As I said, I believe I am quite ignorant in regards to the matter but would really appreciate some thoughts and suggestions in terms of whether my idea would work, how it could be improved and how to gather the necessary supplies.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2013 #2


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    What do you mean with "laser beam of electrons"?
    To produce gamma rays powerful enough for pair creation, those electrons would need at least 1 MeV of energy. In other words, you would need an accelerating voltage of 1 MV++ (the alternatives would be even more difficult). Not something you can build at home.

    If you want to study positrons, try to get a beta+-radiator. I am sure if that is a good idea, but at least it is possible.
  4. Apr 3, 2013 #3
    Sorry for the extremely late reply.

    It seems that I have wrongly slipped in 'laser' there. I was simply referring to a beam of accelerated electrons.

    After having a quick look on the Internet I couldn't find any useful information on beta+-radiators. Where can I find one of them?
  5. Apr 4, 2013 #4


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    I don't know where you can buy them, but they are used in commercial applications, so it has to be possible in some way. It is probably easier for institutes/hospitals...
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