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Author Topic: What happens when matter and antimatter of different sizes meet?  (Read 2383 times)

Offline chris

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One question I wanted to ask Jeffrey Hangst during the show on antimatter was, if a particle of antihydrogen meets a much more massive particle say - iron or copper - made of normal matter, what happens? How does the atomic size disparity affect the outcome?

Chris
« Last Edit: 26/01/2011 22:55:34 by chris »


 

Offline Soul Surfer

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When you are considering fundamental particle interactions, particles always interact individually so in an atom of anti-hydrogen there are four individual particles one electron and three quarks.  They will all individually and in their own time find and annihilate their own antiparticles.  This will probably result in a sequence of intermediate particles and or excited and/or unstable atoms.

This is also true of the LHC when the protons  "collide"  at an extremely high energy it is really just one of the quarks in each of the protons that have hit each other
 

Offline JP

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So if I had a jar full of positrons (assuming that's possible) and I dipped my hand into it, it would destroy the electrons in my hand and release lots of energy, correct?  Aside from the huge amount of energy produced, would the result to my hand would be similar to dipping it in acid, which (if I recall correctly from high school chemistry) works by stripping electrons out of matter?
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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It would be a good deal more violent than that because the anihilation would result in a lot of 500Kv gamma rays so you would suffer from radiation damage as well.
 

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