Energy of Antimatter

1. Aug 8, 2011

Allojubrious

I have been reading a book written by Leon Lederman and he says something about how much energy antimatter can produce. So knowing that, my question is HOW and WHY does antimatter generate so much energy???

Thanks.

2. Aug 8, 2011

JeffKoch

The "why" is because all the mass goes away when a particle and it's anti-particle annihilate each other - you get the full E = mc^2 conversion, far more efficiently than other nuclear interactions like fission and fusion. I'm not sure what exactly you mean by the "how", if that doesn't cover it.

3. Aug 8, 2011

Brainguy

I was amazed by this too, and even asked he site if energy was a state of matter. The conservation of energy says that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, just changed. So naturally you can change matter into energy. Einstein figured out that (I'm using random numbers here) if you have a block of wood with a mass of 100, you multiply it by the speed of light, and then square it, so if the speed of light is 10, (100x10)^2=1,000,000. a block of wood that equals 100 units, can be converted into energy that equals a million units. When an object is turned completely into energy, it is called total annihilation, and only happens when matter meets an equal amount of antimatter. The only problem is that antimatter isn't usually found naturally, so we can't make enough for "antimatter propulsion chambers" and antimatter bombs, and all that scifi stuff.

4. Aug 9, 2011

Allojubrious

Now I get it thanks very much, this actually and truly helped tremendously, thank you.