Is there an intermediate material for matter/antimatter?

  • Thread starter some bloke
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96
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following on from the antimatter bomb thread on this forum, I was contemplating other means to cause damage using antimatter, and I was wondering if there was a way to create an explosive charge which contains antimatter suspended in a non-reactive material, and then have it explode outwards, reacting with anything it touches for a conflagration of gamma radiation and cooking anyone inside a vehicle instantly.

I have a limited knowledge of antimatter, but I recall that it requires the particles to meet their corresponding ones for an energy release - EG a positron meeting an electron, or a proton meeting an anti-proton.

Is there such a thing as an anti-neutron, or are they shared between matter & antimatter? Manufacturing techniques aside, if a container was made entirely of neutrons, could it contain antimatter and isolate it from surrounding matter until the detonation/impact? Is there anything which can survive contact with both matter & antimatter?
 

DaveC426913

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if a container was made entirely of neutrons, could it contain antimatter
No. The problem if course is that, since neutrons are neutral (not to mention being subatomic particles), you can't get them to stick together to form anything.

What can be used to contain antimatter is a magnetic bottle.
 

phinds

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Hm ... though I had already posted this but somehow didn't hit "post reply" and anyway, Dave has already beat me to it.

There is matter and there is anti-matter. There is no "intermediate" and neutrons and not "neutral" as far as antimatter is concerned. Antiprotons will annihilate with neutrons as will any other antimatter.
 

BWV

454
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Well there you go - the ultimate weapon, a cannon spewing anti-neutronium bullets, with each teaspoon-sized bullett having a mass of 10 million tons. So if we do the math: 10^7 tons * c^2 = one hellova bad day for anyone on the receiving end
 
96
23
There is matter and there is anti-matter. There is no "intermediate" and neutrons and not "neutral" as far as antimatter is concerned. Antiprotons will annihilate with neutrons as will any other antimatter.
Ah, there's my misunderstanding. I thought that an antimatter particle had to meet its corresponding matter particle to annihilate (EG proton needs an antiproton). I was speculating that there might be a constituent part of both matter & antimatter which could cope with contact with both. are there anti-particles all the way to the smallest?
 
96
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I had a read, and am likely just fuelling my own ignorance at this point, but I made it through the usual link-link-link of Wikipedia and ended up with Baryons & Mesons.

Apparently Mesons are made of a combination of Quarks & Antiquarks, held together with the strong force. Why don't they annihilate with themselves? it does state that they "decay", is this synonymous with self-annihilation in this case?

Do we know what causes the annihilation to occur? This is really piquing my interest in physics again...
 

phinds

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Sorry, you are now beyond my level of knowledge.
 

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