Meet Antimatter, The Oppositely Charged Twin of Matter

While browsing through CERN’s website, I came across this video I thought was worth sharing. The audio quality is not the best, but the content is good if you’re looking to get an insight into what antimatter is, how it’s important for our existence, etc…

Here’s a shorter video explaining antimatter and it’s mirror reflection matter

Here’s a brief introduction to antimatter:

In 1930, Paul Dirac developed the first description of the electron that was consistent with both quantum mechanics and special relativity. One of the remarkable predictions of this theory was that an anti-particle of the electron should exist. This antielectron would be expected to have the same mass as the electron, but opposite electric charge and magnetic moment. In 1932, Carl Anderson, was examining tracks produced by cosmic rays in a cloud chamber. One particle made a track like an electron, but the curvature of its path in the magnetic field showed that it was positively charged. He named this positive electron a positron. We know that the particle Anderson detected was the anti-electron predicted by Dirac. In the 1950’s, physicists at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory used the Bevatron accelerator to produce the anti-proton, that is a particle with the same mass and spin as the proton, but with negative charge and opposite magnetic moment to that of the proton. In order to create the anti-proton, protons were accelerated to very high energy and then smashed into a target containing other protons. Occasionally, the energy brought into the collision would produce a proton-antiproton pair in addition to the original two protons. This result gave credibility to the idea that for every particle there is a corresponding antiparticle.

A particle and its antimatter particle annihilate when they meet: they disappear and their kinetic plus rest-mass energy is converted into other particles (E = mc2). For example, when an electron and a positron annihilate at rest, two gamma rays, each with energy 511 keV, are produced. These gamma rays go off in opposite directions because both energy and momentum must be conserved. The annihilation of positrons and electrons is the basis of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) discussed in the section on Applications (Chapter 14). When a proton and an antiproton annihilate at rest, other particles are usually produced, but the total kinetic plus rest mass energies of these products adds up to twice the rest mass energy of the proton (2 x 938 MeV).

Antimatter is also produced in some radioactive decays. When 14C decays, a neutron decays to a proton plus an electron and an electron antineutrino, . When 19Ne decays, a proton decays to a neutron plus a positron, e+, and an electron neutrino, .



In order to read more on antimatter, visit CERN’s tutorial/educational page:


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One Response to Meet Antimatter, The Oppositely Charged Twin of Matter

  1. Hanna says:

    I tried to read this but didn’t quite get the formulas… but thanks for the second video, it helps for ‘dummies’ (I mean someone who is new in this–like me :P). Well, it does make sense from the Quran perspective that God created of everything pairs (51: 49), so even until the tiniest thing in the universe would also have a pair?

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