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In the simplest way possibly, what is anti-matter?

Why is it so important, and what does it mean for science?

Update:

Is there evidence that it exists?

18 Answers

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  • Otis F
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Antimatter is the atomic opposite of matter. Example: Hydrogen consists of a single proton "orbited" by a single electron. Anti-hydrogen consists of a single anti-proton "orbited" by a positron.

    An anti-proton has the same mass as a proton, but has a negative charge instead of a postive one.

    A positron has the same mass as an electron, but has a positive charge instead of a negative one.

    Antimatter does not occur in nature except for perhaps the the briefest possible interval before it is annihilated by matter.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well, for each and every type of particle in the universe, there is a corresponding anti-particle which has the same mass, but an opposite electric charge. In the case of a proton, there's the anti-proton, which has negative charge. And for the electron, there's the anti-electron (a.k.a. the positron) which has a positive charge.

    Each particle and anti-particle pair exhibit an intereseting property called mutual annihilation. This means when a proton comes into contact with an anti-proton, or an elelctron with a positron, both particles are destroyed and their mass is converted into energy (i.e. gamma rays.)

    Anti-matter is real. It has be observed in nature and recreated in the laboratory. It is important to scientists for a couple of reasons:

    One, if mutal annihilation could be controlled and anti-matter manufactured in quantity, it would prove to be the highest energy-denisty fuel ever, and solve all our energy problems for the next few millennia or so. (One gram of anti-matter could power a 60 W light buld for several hundred years.)

    Two, antimatter poses a mystery. You see, in lab exeriments in which high energy reactions produce minute quantities of anti-matter, an equal quantity of normal matter is also produced. As far as anyone can tell, matter and anti-matter are always made in like quantites. So, if all the matter in the universe was made in the Big Bang, an equal amount of anti-matter must also have been made. Which poses the question, where did all the anti-matter go?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Antimatter or contra-terrene matter is matter that is composed of the antiparticles of those that constitute normal matter. If a particle and its antiparticle come in contact with each other, the two annihilate, producing photons and possibly other particle/antiparticle pairs

    Antimatter is not found naturally on Earth, except very briefly and in vanishingly small quantities (as the result of radioactive decay or cosmic rays). This is because antimatter which came to exist on Earth outside the confines of a suitable physics laboratory would almost instantly meet the ordinary matter that Earth is made of, and be annihilated. Antiparticles and some stable antimatter (such as antihydrogen) can be made in miniscule amounts, but not in enough quantity to do more than test a few of its theoretical properties.

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  • 1 decade ago

    the particles making up normal matter have opposite versions of themselves. An electron has a negative charge and its anti-matter equivalent, the positron, is positive. Matter and anti-matter annihilate each other when they collide and their mass is converted into pure energy.

    its too expensive to produce and its not clean,it releases ENORMOUS amounts of gamma radiation which is harmful to everything on earth thats alive.and u cant contain it in anything made of matter or around matter cuz they dont mix i guess in lamens terms.it might change though but at the moment its too expensive to make even the tiniest bit,for instance,to make 1 gram would cost billions and billions of dollars and its just outright dangerous.

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  • 1 decade ago

    antimatter is a fundamental particle of regular matter with its electrical charge reversed. The common proton has an antimatter counterpart called the antiproton. It has the same mass but an opposite charge. The electron's counterpart is called a positron.

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  • 1 decade ago

    everything as an opposite. yin to yang, black to white, etc...

    anti-matter is the supposed opposite of matter and what it means for science... i don't know, i'm an english major. Read the book "angels & deamons" by Dan Brown. it's fiction but it may help with the anti-matter stuff

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  • 1 decade ago

    Anti-matter = (-1) * (Matter)

    It is really a misnomer......the matter is still the same, but its just the charge that is opposite.

    positron = (-1) * (electron)

    Meaning for science: A pair of "matter" and "anti-matter" particles can be created out of nothing !! (it has been found to happen in experiments)

    Great possibility is the whole universe could have been formed out of nothing with equal amount of "matter" and "anti-matter" getting created out of nothing :)

    Hope this helps.....

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  • 1 decade ago

    Have you ever heard of someone getting a PET scan in the hospital? PET stands for "positron emission tomography" Positrons are a form of antimatter. So hospitals use antimatter all the time to diagnose illness

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  • Cirric
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Hi. Anti-matter is simply matter with an opposite electric charge. Electron is normal, positron is anti-matter. Proton is normal, anti-proton is anti-mater. Positron in orbit about an anti-proton is anti-hydrogen.

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  • 1 decade ago

    anti-matter it is opposite force of gravity another words is to overcome gravity conditions and be free you loose effects of gravity when you about 3o kms out of atmosphere science can make space ships so they can take off easy without any afford to space but again what kind of technology they apply

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