Science Questions

Can antimatter make antimolecules?

Sun, 23rd Jan 2011

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Analysing Antimatter

Question

Joseph Mzigo asked:

Can antimatter combine with other matter chemicals, just in the same way matter does? So if you took hydrogen and reacted it with hydrogen to make H20, water for instance?

 

Answer

We posed this question to Jeffrey Hangst from CERN...

Jeffrey - Theoretically, yes.  The problem there is ever making any antimatter atom other than anti-hydrogen.  That's just not on the cards.  That’s so improbable that we don't even talk about doing that.

Chris -   Why is it so difficult?  Why couldn’t you do that?

Jeffrey -   You need a lot of energy to create your anti-matter in the first place.  The anti-proton is the lightest nuclear antimatter particle to go to even anti-helium takes much more energy and is much more unlikely.  So, that's just not in the cards for the way that we do things today.

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