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Author Topic: Could we use antimatter to generate electricity?  (Read 6848 times)

abu abu

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Could we use antimatter to generate electricity?
« on: 01/08/2008 12:18:10 »
abu abu  asked the Naked Scientists:

dear scientists

i have a question for you and i require your brilliant science knowledge for the answer.  i found out that antimatter can be used for light speed space travel to get to other habitable planets. but when anti matter comes into contact with other atoms the anti matter destroys it hence antimatter. with this energy is released hat energy is this and could it be turned into electricity?

regards anthony budd

What do you think?


 

lyner

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Could we use antimatter to generate electricity?
« Reply #1 on: 01/08/2008 14:25:59 »
abu abu  asked the Naked Scientists:

dear scientists

i have a question for you and i require your brilliant science knowledge for the answer.  i found out that antimatter can be used for light speed space travel to get to other habitable planets. but when anti matter comes into contact with other atoms the anti matter destroys it hence antimatter. with this energy is released hat energy is this and could it be turned into electricity?

regards anthony budd

What do you think?
Hello abu abu
Where did you find that out?
That is more Science Fiction than Science Fact, I'm afraid.

Our experience with antimatter is limited to what we see on the scale of particles in an accelerator, not in the context of a propulsion system.
When you observe the result of some particle collisions, you can see a record of antiparticles being present for the brief instant before they are annihilated.
It is unlikely that we will be able to get a 'bucket full' and to keep it under control.
 

Offline syhprum

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Could we use antimatter to generate electricity?
« Reply #2 on: 01/08/2008 19:51:55 »
Enter AEGIS into google a lot of recent thinking about anti-matter there
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Could we use antimatter to generate electricity?
« Reply #3 on: 02/08/2008 07:55:45 »
syhprum - some interesting experiments lined up there. Thanks for that.
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Could we use antimatter to generate electricity?
« Reply #4 on: 02/08/2008 08:49:23 »
Our universe is made out of matter.  Antimatter exists only for short periods when it is briefly created in high energy particle interactions and is destroyed immediately it comes into contact with matter.  It rquires very large inputs of energy to create any significant numbers of particles of antimatter and extreme care and more energy to keep it away from matter before you make use of it.  Mankind has managed to do this in large particle accelerators and has used the collisions between matter and antimatter particles at very high energies to gain more information about the physical laws that applied when the universe was very young and hot.

However there is absolutely no practical possibility for antimeatter to be used as an energy source because it takes many times more energy than it will release to make a small quantity of it and requires continuing large amounts of energy to store it isolated from matter before its use.
 

Offline syhprum

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Could we use antimatter to generate electricity?
« Reply #5 on: 07/08/2008 20:35:50 »
I have studied various methods as to how antimatter can be used to generate electricity, the most practical seems to be to use a radio isotope that emits positrons in a thermoelectric generator of the type that normally uses PU238 (half life 87 years).
unfortunately most positron emitters seem to have a very short half life making this approach difficult.
 

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Could we use antimatter to generate electricity?
« Reply #5 on: 07/08/2008 20:35:50 »

 

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