Would an anti-matter magnet attract iron?

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Offline steelrat1

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Would an anti-matter magnet attract iron?
« on: 01/10/2010 17:30:02 »
Phil asked the Naked Scientists:
Assuming it was possible to create a magnet made of anti-matter, would it attract or repel anti-matter iron / normal Iron?

Would you have anti-magnetism or is magnetism the same in an antimatter universe as it is here if so why?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 01/10/2010 17:30:02 by _system »


Offline Ron Hughes

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Would an anti-matter magnet attract iron?
« Reply #1 on: 01/10/2010 19:03:50 »
It would attract both. In the case of iron, the iron atom is more positive on one side therefore the anti-matter magnet would attract it's negative side. In the ant-matter iron it would attract the anti-matter iron's positive side.
« Last Edit: 01/10/2010 19:09:51 by Ron Hughes »
From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. Sherlock Holmes.


Offline thedoc

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Would an anti-matter magnet attract iron?
« Reply #2 on: 10/12/2010 15:31:01 »
We discussed this question on our  show
 Dave -  It is a wonderful question. The main difference we know about antimatter is itís got the anti-electrons with the opposite charge to normal electrons, so a positron has the opposite charge to a normal electron, and magnetism is all about charge. Itís actually a sort of minor alteration, a minor tweak to the normal electric field which is due to relativity. So Einstein's specialty of relativity predicts magnetism, and itís actually part of the way he worked out the theory in the first place. And so, antimatter has got perfect normal charges. It behaves normally, just in the opposite direction. So, an antimatter magnet would behave Ė as far as I can work out, exactly the same as a normal magnet. So it would attract both antimatter iron and normal iron.
Chris -  The difference being of course if it touched the antimatter.
Dave -  Yeah. It would get immense amounts of energy released. Although the question which nobody knows the answer to is whether it would be attracted or repelled by gravity. So whether it would fall downwards or upwards, nobody knows. No one has been able to measure that yet.
Click to visit the show page for the podcast in which this question is answered. Alternatively, [chapter podcast=2819 track=10.10.03/Naked_Scientists_Show_10.10.03_7294.mp3] listen to the answer now[/chapter] or [download as MP3]
« Last Edit: 01/01/1970 01:00:00 by _system »