When matter and anti-matter = explosion or not

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  • #1
Low-Q
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I have been told, and it has been written that matter and anti-matter destroys eachother if they happen to bump into eachother. The destruction is told to generate an energy burst beyond imaginary scales.
What I have a doubt about is this: If energy that is dense enough can produce elementary particles that later can create atoms such as hydrogen - as the big bang theory, how can it be possible for colliding matter and anti-matter to create an energyburst? It would be more logical that matter turns into energy, and anti-matter turns into anti-energy. Combind, those two matters cancel each other perfectly out with no boom, no trace at all - just turns silently into nothing.

What is your thought about this?

Br.

Vidar
 

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  • #2
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There is no such thing as anti-energy.
 
  • #3
phinds
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... The destruction is told to generate an energy burst beyond imaginary scales.
It is not clear what you mean by this but you SEEM to mean that the meeting of one particle with its anti-particle would produce an unimaginably large amount of energy. That is completely wrong.
 
  • #4
Low-Q
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It is not clear what you mean by this but you SEEM to mean that the meeting of one particle with its anti-particle would produce an unimaginably large amount of energy. That is completely wrong.
Sorry for not being clear - English is not my native language + I am not a scientist ;-))

So why do scientists say that anti-matter is a source of "endless energy"?
When a H-bomb blows up, a tiny fraction of the matter is converted to energy due to the fusion of hydrogen atoms that turns into helium.
However, when matter and anti-matter bumps into eachother, 100% of that total matter turns into energy, scientists says. One particle at the time might not produce much energy, but what about a few solar masses that collides with a few anti-solar masses? I have calculated that the energy of the mass in one grape, if its mass is converted 100% into useful energy, it should be enough to power 1500 average houesholds for one year (E=MC^2).

I am confused - maybe because of the word "anti" that I thought should also be applied to the energy that anti-matter is converted into when colliding with matter. A sort of negative energy that consumes the positive energy, and vica versa. Energy cannot occour from the nothing that has been left from the collision...

I am however quite sure that science does not have all the answers. Many assumtions, and calculations that are based on them...

Vidar
 
  • #5
Bill_K
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Another assumption I think you're making... Energy is not a separate thing, it's a property of matter. When a particle and antiparticle annihilate, other particles are always created.. maybe photons, maybe something else. The energy that's produced is the kinetic energy of these particles.
 
  • #6
phinds
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... So why do scientists say that anti-matter is a source of "endless energy"?
This is an exaggeration, based on the assumption that we could easily generate large amounts of anti-matter, which at present we cannot.
 
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So why do scientists say that anti-matter is a source of "endless energy"?
Who exactly said that?
 
  • #8
DrGreg
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The "anti" in anti-matter refers to electric charge.

Ordinary matter is mostly made of positively charged protons, negatively charged electrons, and uncharged neutrons.

Anti-matter is mostly made of negatively charged anti-protons, positively charged anti-electrons (positrons), and uncharged neutrons (there are no "anti-neutrons").

Energy isn't charged so there's no "anti-energy".
 
  • #9
K^2
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The "anti" in anti-matter refers to electric charge.
No, it does not. There are neutral particles that have a distinc anti-particle, and there are other charges besides electric charge that must be opposite for an anti-particle.

Low-Q said:
However, when matter and anti-matter bumps into eachother, 100% of that total matter turns into energy, scientists says. One particle at the time might not produce much energy, but what about a few solar masses that collides with a few anti-solar masses? I have calculated that the energy of the mass in one grape, if its mass is converted 100% into useful energy, it should be enough to power 1500 average houesholds for one year (E=MC^2).
Yes, the amount of energy released for any sizable amount of mass is quite significant. It's not "unlimited", however. Nor "unimaginable". We, physicists, tend to be picky about the words being used. (For good reasons.) So try to be a little more careful.

And yes, in matter-anti-matter reaction all this energy gets released. Both matter and anti-matter carry positive quantities of energy. They don't cancel each other out. They add up.
 
  • #10
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(there are no "anti-neutrons")
There are. And there are anti-neutrinos and antiparticles for other charged and uncharged particles, too.
Exceptions: The neutral pion, the Z boson, the photon and the Higgs boson are their own antiparticle (or do not have one, depending on the interpretation). Gluons are a bit special in that respect, too.

The "anti" in anti-matter refers to electric charge.
No. In addition to charge, many other quantum numbers are inversed, too.
 
  • #11
K^2
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Oh, I didn't even catch that. But neutrons are composite particles, so they don't really make a good example. Neutrino is basically the only interesting case.
 
  • #12
DrGreg
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Oops. I'll get my coat. :blushing:
 

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