Antimatter Now and Later
Positron Emission Tomography uses positrons to look at the brain. Radioactive nuclei in a fluid are injected into the subject. The radioactive nuclei then emit positrons at low velocities and these then annihilate with nearby electrons. The positrons and electrons are moving slowly and don't have the energy required to create a new pair of particle and antiparticle. Instead, 2 gamma rays are emitted and these are used to actively scan the brain.
At present, antimatter costs $62.5 trillion per gram. Projected improvements could bring this cost down to $5 billion per gram and the production level up ten times from 1.5*10^-9 to 1.5*10^-8 grams (from 1.5 to 15 nanograms).
Antimatter could be the perfect fuel for a classic Newtonian rocket. Rather than those bulky hydrogen tanks what that the shuttle uses for launches, it would require a mere gram of antimatter to put the shuttle into orbit. The energy from matter-antimatter annihilation is 10,000,000,000 times as powerful as a conventional chemical combustion. More over, it is 10-100 times more efficient than nuclear fission and up to 10 times more efficient that nuclear fussion.
However, as related above, the technology does not yet exist to produce antimatter in an efficient, economical, and timely manner.
When matter and antimatter annihilate, they give off radiation. Future techniques may use this and avoid blasting large parts of the patient's body with radiation and chemicals.
...and these are just some of its potential uses. Antimatter is here, its uses and production are comming, and it will revolutionize the world and the way that the world works.
Title Page - What is Antimatter? - The History of Antimatter - The Big Bang - The Imbalance - Antimatter: Now and Later - Bibliography
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