Antimatter + Antiparticles


October 27, 2014

It’s been general knowledge that everything around us all boils down to matter. Matter encompasses everything. Liquids, solids, gasses, all the way down to individual atoms. Corresponding to these kinds of particles, there is, however, an interesting piece of reality, which goes right along with the things that we take for granted merely being in existence. There is a rare concept of antimatter, or antiparticles, existing beyond what we see.

What is an antiparticle? It’s very close to the definition of what one can infer from the word. An antiparticle is a particle, with the same mass, but with an opposite charge. For example, the antiparticle of an electron is the positively charged electron, or a positron. One can find this in certain types of radioactive decay, but besides that, these don’t really occur anywhere else naturally.

So what is the point? So something else exists in the world. Plenty of things do that which we can’t see. What makes these so special? Particles and antiparticles have a very unique interaction if the two were to happen to meet. Instant annihilation. Both sides immediately fading out of existence. This was a very big shock in the science world, as it directly violates the Law of Conservation of Matter.

For those who do not know, the Law of Conservation of Matter states that matter cannot be created or destroyed. Later on, the law was changed from its classical definition of the past, and added ‘in an isolated system’ onto the end of it to fix the mistake made in the past.

Luckily, antiparticles are produced in very small amounts. Beta decay, and the interaction of cosmic rays in the Earth’s atmosphere are a few ways, which they come about, although nobody can notice it as the amounts are not big enough to actually be a problem to anything. The only method of making antimatter in a synthetic way is through a system called a particle accelerator. It doesn’t look like we have to worry about our world being instantly annihilated with a large blob of these particles anytime soon!

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1 thought on “Antimatter + Antiparticles

  1. Mr. Markley says:

    Great article Connor. Just goes to show that we all know less about existence than science can tell us. I’d like to see you write about dark matter or dark energy in order to further illustrate my point:-). By the way…science still rocks IMO.

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