Science Questions

Are dark matter and anti matter the same?

Tue, 29th Sep 2015

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Joel Brauser asked:

Something I've been wondering about for a long time. Namely, that the famously missing antimatter in our universe is actually the same thing as the famously undetectable dark matter?


We put Joel's question to Andrew Pontzen...

Yin and YangAndrew - No. So, anti-matter is a stuff that we can actually create say, at CERN, this famous particle physics lab. You can actually create anti-matter. Itís like a kind of mirror image of normal matter which is the stuff that we are made out of. Dark matter is something else again. Although people at CERN are trying to make it, they're hoping for instance that the recently upgraded Large Hadron Collider might actually manufacture some of the stuff. So far, weíve had no luck with that.

Chris - Probably worth mentioning that we make anti-matter in many hospitals because the way at which positron emission tomography scans work is that you have a device that makes anti-matter, you feed anti-matter into the patient and then where it gets metabolised in the brain because the brain is Ė when you're doing a certain job with say, a certain part of your brain, that part of the brain is going to use more energy. So, itís going to burn more particular fuels like the sugar that youíve labelled with anti-matter. It will then spit out particles youíve labelled. It will then spit out particles that you can see in the scanner. As a result, you know basically how your brain works. Thanks to anti-matter.


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