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E=mc2 and anti-particles

  1. Jun 15, 2012 #1
    I have been doing research in e=mc2, and to release the energy , you have to get an anti-particle to collide with the particle equivalent to a specific value of energy.
    Now i want to know where do you get this anti-particle, or is it just theoretically described?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2012 #2
    Fermilab (near Chicago) used to produce and store about 1 x 1011 antiprotons per hour before the Tevatron was shut down last year.
  4. Jun 15, 2012 #3


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    Positrons (anti-electrons) are produced all the time in hospitals.


    Also there are other processes which convert matter to energy, such as nuclear fission (reactors and bombs) and nuclear fusion (sun's energy).
  5. Jun 15, 2012 #4
    oh that's is pretty interesting, can anybody get an anti-proton if he had the equipment and knowledge?
  6. Jun 15, 2012 #5
  7. Jun 15, 2012 #6


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    Positrons are light and quite easy to produce. Antiprotons are much harder. You need an accelerator of significant size (won't fit in your home) to accelerate particles up to ~6 billion electronvolts. If you shoot these particles on a fixed target, some antiprotons are produced.
    If you want to catch and control them, it gets trickier. Few accelerator complexes are capable of doing this - I know of Fermilab (just acceleration) and CERN (traps antiprotons at rest), and the FAIR project is built to trap antiprotons, too.
  8. Jun 16, 2012 #7
    Well, i see that we can make a lot of anti-matter, why don't people use this for electrical energy by taking advantage of e=mc2 .
  9. Jun 16, 2012 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    How much energy is produced in annihilating 100 billion antiprotons? What is the power for doing this every hour?
  10. Jun 16, 2012 #9
    So you are saying that we would make less energy than the energy that we put?
  11. Jun 16, 2012 #10


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    You can get a lot of energy out of antimatter. But: You need at least the same amount of energy to produce the antimatter. This is a fundamental limit - even with 100% efficient production and annihilation, you could not use it as a power source.

    Theory would allow to use antimatter as a very compact energy storage. However, practical limitations forbid this: In real accelerators, the efficiency to generate antimatter is extremely bad. If you want to store it as neutral antimatter, the efficiency is lower than 0,01%, and I can give you this estimation without even looking up numbers because the efficiency is way lower than that.
  12. Jun 16, 2012 #11
    I see... It sounds unfortunate because if it had a high efficiency , it could make a huge impact in the industry.
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