FANDOM


WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

A classic staple of science fiction and superhero stories, anti-matter is matter composed of antiparticles, subatomic particles that have exactly the same properties (mass, intrinsic angular momentum, etc) as your everyday particles, but opposite charge: antiprotons are negative, antielectrons (also known as positrons) are positive, etc. In some cases (photons, neutral pions) the particle is its own antiparticle.

Antiparticles do exist naturally; however, antimatter normally only exists for brief moments before coming in contact with normal matter, and it can only be formed as a product of radioactive decay, or when particles collide at very high speeds. When electrons encounter positrons, both particles mutually annihilate and emit gamma radiation.[1] When protons and neutrons encounter antiprotons and antineutrons, they also annihilate, resulting in a star of pions shooting out. These ultimately decay into high-energy gamma radiation. The result is many times more powerful than nuclear fusion (relative to its mass; it's the purest example of Einstein's famous equation E = mc2). Antimatter is often used as either a fuel or a weapon in fiction, both cases due to its high energy potential.

How high energy? Remember that the speed of light in a vacuum (the 'c' in this equation) is 3.00*10^8 m/s. c^2 is 9.00*10^16 m^2/s^2. Converting 1 gram of matter to energy therefore produces 9.00*10^13 kg*m^2/s^2 = 9.00*10^13 N*m ~= 90 terajoules. "Little Boy", the nuclear weapon used against Hiroshima in 1945, was built from 64 kilograms of uranium and released only 63 terajoules.

As noted on the Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better page, you have to get something of mass m whipped up to .87 c to have the same amount of energy as a matter/antimatter reaction where both the matter and antimatter that you're annihilating have a combined mass of m.

One of the big mysteries concerning the Big Bang has been why there is so much matter in the universe but not nearly as much antimatter, since all known processes for creating massive particles create both in equal quantities. The weak interaction (that describes processes like beta radioactive decay and such -- it's also where the now famous Higgs mechanism takes place) explains how a there might be a small imbalance in the amounts of matter and antimatter, but that imbalance is not nearly enough to explain the existence of... nearly everything we care about. The strong interaction (that describes how protons can stick together in a nucleus even if they have positive charge) would be a nice candidate to do it, but that's much more easily said than done. So, yeah, we have no idea.

The explosive aspect of antimatter is also often explored, usually in the form of planet-destroying weapons. Alternatively, controlled matter/anti-matter reactions could be used as a source of power: given that it does not naturally occur in useful quantities, it would be something like an ultimate battery - with massed solar or nuclear power producing the energy needed to synthesize large quantities of antimatter for use as starship fuel, weapons, or any application needing very high energy/power density.

Don't hold your breath waiting for such marvelous feats of technology, however: antimatter is currently the most expensive stuff on Earth, priced at about $62.5 trillion a gram. Not that a gram of antimatter was ever produced -- in fact, so far we don't know how to effectively store it. Put it in any regular container and it would annihilate against its walls. No good. Electromagnetic traps for have been devised, but those can only store a billion antiprotons or so. That's one millionth of a billionth of a gram. Ish. More than this would be difficult because all these antiprotons have negative charge, and hate being close to each other. Alternatively, we could store antihydrogen atoms which are electrically neutral, but that also makes those electromagnetic traps much more difficult to use. Still, scientists have been able to store 309 antihydrogen atoms for more than 1000 seconds. Now all we need to do is store one trillion billion (ish) times more hydrogen. No small feat -- but Science Marches On.

Of course, instances in which a series gets the known properties of antimatter completely wrong are also not uncommon.

A common form of Unobtainium.

Examples of Antimatter include:


Anime and Manga

  • Perhaps the most famous depiction of antimatter in anime is that of Evangelion Unit 01 shooting down the Alien Geometry Angel Remiel with a giant positronic sniper rifle. The fact the beam should explode as soon as it hits the air is glossed over in the show, but supplementary materials suggest the positrons are "jacketed" with a neutrino field. This makes no sense at all, but let's all just go with it.
  • In Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water the engine powering the Nautilus runs on antimatter, in the show described as "particle annihilation." There is a dedication plaque in Atlantian language declaring the Nautilus is actually the starship Eritrium, recycled as a submarine.
  • Starships in Crest of the Stars use antimatter as fuel, much as in Star Trek.
  • The tendency of antimatter to annihilate air molecules it comes in contact with is actually used in Gundam Seed, where the Cool Ship fires its positron canons ahead of it when heading back into space to clear out air resistance. Called, "Positronic Interface."
  • The title Super Robot of Cannon God Exaxxion is powered by an antimatter reactor. According to the Backstory, the aliens who created it were said to have found an asteroid made of the stuff, which they harvested for fuel until its orbit decayed and it crashed into the nearest planet and practically wiped out their civilization.
  • Imperialdramon of Digimon Adventure 02 has an attack called "Positron Laser". Like in Evangelion, it's not explained how the beam doesn't blow up as soon as it leaves the cannon. Although in this case, it's more likely to be just a cool-sounding name and the beam has about as much to do with positrons as it does with lasers.
  • Antimatter warheads are one of the proposed explanations of the "reaction weaponry" in Macross. Authors stated that they initially wanted to use straight-up nukes, but due to the cultural conventions couldn't show the good guys nuking 'em right and left. So they thought up a fancy new name, and later proposed AM as an explanation (which is really the same, as antimatter annihilation is also a nuclear reaction, just other type than most well-known fusion and fission). Nowadays, as the taboo is weaker, they often just plain call them nukes.
  • Manga/DoubutsuNoKuni: When Juu return for his revenge against Giller, readers are wondering how someone using swastika-shaped bone spear could compete with his newest Chimera who can spit nuclear blast, regenerate from said blast, can detect even bacteria and having livespan of a star to boot? By giving him an antimatter weapon of course!
    • Giller: What is that?
    • Juu: Antimatter. 3 kg of them.
    • When Giller ask how he found that many antimatter, he replied that human's technology develop exponentially during war times, making it possible to gather such stellar amount of antimatter

Comic Books

  • The Justice League's Evil Counterpart, the Crime Syndicate, comes from an antimatter universe. (To travel into a positive universe and back, they must switch the polarities of their particles mid-course.)
  • Pre Crisis, the antimatter universe Earth was rather the planet Qward, as the Crime Syndicate lived in one of the matter universes. Post Crisis, both the Crime Syndicate Earth and Qward are worlds in the same antimatter universe.
  • In DC Comics' 1986 Crisis Crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths, an antimatter wave erased several universes from existence- without exploding or disintegrating itself in the process. It was brought about by another antimatter Evil Counterpart too.
  • The Marvel Universe has the "Negative Zone" dimension, which is made of antimatter (though there seems to be some positive matter in it as well.)


Film

  • Rocky Horror Picture Show: "Yes, Dr. Scott. A laser capable of emitting a beam of pure anti-matter."
  • The Giant Claw has an antimatter shield that destroys anything the military fires at it. Why it doesn't explode the air is never addressed.
    • The air molecules were probably too busy laughing at the ridiculous giant buzzard to notice the antimatter.
  • A blatant misuse of the term appears in the original 60s Batman film. The villains de-hydrate some of their mooks and smuggle them into the Batcave, where they are re-hydrated. A single punch from Batman or Robin makes them instantly disappear because of flaws in the re-hydration process (they had accidentally used heavy water from the atomic pile). Batman's scientific opinion? They were reduced to "anti matter".
  • The plot of Solar Crisis concerns the flinging of an anti-matter bomb to cause a pre-emptive solar flare.
  • Asimov's positronic robot brains are retained in some films based on his work (I Robot, Bicentennial Man).


Literature

  • Isaac Asimov's robots had "positronic" brains, something which Asimov himself would later admit was both ridiculous and impossible once positrons in particular and robotics in general began to become understood. His stories continued to use positronic-robots for years after his admissions, but solely because they were within the already-existing universe.
    • Given some of Asimov's descriptions of how positronic brains worked, it would have been entirely reasonable to Retcon these positrons as merely holes (in the semiconductor sense) — especially considering that Dirac's view of positrons as "holes in the sea of negative-energy electrons" was still pretty kosher when Asimov started writing his robot stories.
    • The initial point of "positronic" brains was that the matter-antimatter interactions would be so quick that they could mimic the speed and complexity of human brains. It's doesn't make sense these days, but it was passable at the time.
  • The primary MacGuffin in Dan Brown's Angels and Demons is an Antimatter bomb. Also, read CERN's commentary on the book, it's quite enlightening.
  • E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman universe had a rather early (late 1930s) example of antimatter bombs, but they worked a little differently than we'd expect. His "Negative Matter" was said to consist of Dirac positrons, had negative mass, and some other properties that perhaps hinted at negative energy. Later research has treated antimatter quite differently. It did still cause mutual annihilation with matter roughly as modern science would expect, however, producing copious amounts of hard radiation in the process.
    • Smith didn't think the implications through, though -- the gamma rays were treated as a nuisance side effect, not a far-more-deadly weapon in their own right.
  • The Nights Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton features antimatter as a crucial plot point. In the setting of the series, antimatter exists in a practical form, usable as an exceptionally high-yield fuel for propulsion, generating energy or blowing things up. Antimatter is so effective, however, that is has been outlawed and carrying, using or manufacturing antimatter is investigated and punished by the Confederation. The ban was put in place when antimatter bombs were demonstrated to be especially effective at destroying planets. Still, black market manufacturing stations produce and distribute antimatter.
  • Jack Williamson's Seetee stories were written around antimatter -- called "Contra-Terrene" (C.T.) in the stories. In Seetee Shock it is used to fuel a power station broadcasting free energy to the entire Solar System, breaking the back of the corrupt mega-corporation Interplanet. In Seetee Ship concentrations of antimatter (such as the titular spaceship, built by antimatter aliens) are found to have an unusual property; they move backwards through time![2]
  • Aside from occasional use in weapons and as a power source, Perry Rhodan once featured aliens from an antimatter universe as peaceful but explosive visitors. (The science was a bit dodgy at the time, with any given chemical element supposedly only reacting with its corresponding anti-element...but the destructive potential of unprotected contact was played to the hilt.)
  • One Choose Your Own Adventure book involved the Player Character meeting an "antimatter" version of themselves, created as a side effect of the Big Bad's actions. Most of the endings involved the PC and their anti-self touching each other and ending all existence through the violent release of energy.
  • In Mikhail Akhmanov's Arrivals From the Dark series, several advanced races use antimatter as their primary (in some cases, only) ship-to-ship weapon. The first novel, Invasion, shows just how superior antimatter is to weapons used up until then by humans: missiles (both conventional and nuclear), plasma cannons, and swarms (like mass drivers but shoot a spread of icicles at high velocity). This forces humans to use this Imported Alien Phlebotinum in later books, although the fourth book, Dark Skies, shows that even plasma can be effective if used in sufficient quantity (i.e. a fleet of plasma-armed ships obliterates a relatively small human battle-group armed with antimatter weapons).
    • The books also make it a point that antimatter is never used on a planet, as it would more likely kill you and everyone around you than the enemy.
    • The last novel of the series has humans bombarding planets from orbit using antimatter weapons. It takes an hour for a cruiser armed with two turret-mounted annihilators to turn an Earth-like world into a charred rock. The book specifically mentions that this is almost never done, though, as Earth-like worlds are rare, and nobody likes wasting them. The only reason this is done is in an attempt to stop a war with a race of Reptilians by destroying their leaders (they are hardwired from birth to obey a strict hierarchy).
    • Interestingly, the novels fail to explain how antimatter weapons can damage Deflector Shields. After all, they're not made of matter and, as such, would not interact in an explosive fashion with antimatter. Antimatter should be as harmless as space dust to shields. So much for an author with a physics background.
  • Antimatter is an extremely-dangerous weapon in Andrey Livadny's The History of the Galaxy series of novels. It is a WMD, as it can annihilate armadas, as well as small moons. Apparently, in the 1000 years of using the weapon (extremely sparingly), scientists have not figured out how to control the yield.
    • One of the novels, The Backup Spaceport, features new Stiletto-class Space Fighters powered by an antimatter reactor (all reactors before were fusion-based). The difference is that it does not use regular antimatter but the so-called "Vetletsky antiparticles", which only react with tritium. This ensures that, even if antimatter containment is lost during battle, the ship is not destroyed by matter/antimatter reaction.
  • In Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space (and its universe), antimatter weapons are small, hard to get, and extremely destructive; one character has the bombs implanted in his eyes (the eyes are artificial) and can destroy the planet. Since Reynolds is an astronomer and writes fairly hard science fiction (except for the Cosmic Horror Story elements), this is all pretty well justified.
  • One story in Larry Niven's Known Space universe concerns a visit to a planet that - unknown to the explorers - is made of antimatter. In a later book, it is discussed that the crew of a ship armed with antimatter weapons will expend their ammo at the first possible justified opportunity, for their own safety's sake.
  • In Dragonriders of Pern, the ships that brought the original colonists to Pern had antimatter-fueled drives, and remained in orbit after being stripped of anything useful. This comes into play in All the Weyrs of Pern, when those same two-thousand year old engines are deliberately detonated in an attempt to alter the Red Star's orbit.
  • In the Humanx Commonwealth novel The End of the Matter, a Lost Superweapon is used to eliminate the threat of a rogue black hole by summoning a "white hole" composed of antimatter from Another Dimension; the two then begin a process of mutual annihilation over hundreds of thousands of years. It is noted by one of the awed protagonists that it was a good thing they didn't try to set off the device inside the black hole, or the entire process would have occurred at once.

 Bran Tse-Mallory: "I've always wanted to see a quasar, but not from up close!" [3]

  • The Sten series has Anti-Matter Two, which is technically not antimatter as we know it but an alternate-universe equivalent with similar properties. It is used to power starship engines and as ammunition in weapons (ranging from the tiny amount in Willygun bullets to the large amount in planetbuster missiles).
  • The Uplift series features antimatter beams as merely one of a truly staggering variety of weapons employed by Galactic races. When you have weapons that alter probability or shunt you into another universe, mere antimatter seems tame by comparison.
  • The Culture uses CAM - compressed anti-matter AKA anti-neutronium
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's A Lord From Planet Earth trilogy, anti-sodium and anti-helium are used by the protagonist in the second book during a space battle. The enemy ship, however, figures out how to defend against each attack.
  • Martin Gardner's The Annotated Alice goes into a rather amusing digression over Alice's concerns about whether or not milk from the Looking Glass world is safe to drink. While much of it is devoted to the concept of Mirror Chemistry (and is indeed one of, if not the most familiar examples of the topic in the popular consciousness), Gardner also speculates that Looking Glass milk could be made of antimatter. Either way, Alice's worries are pretty well justified.
  • In The Killing Star, we detect incoming alien speceships by looking for the presence of 0.5 MeV gamma ray photons -- photons emitted when positrons and electrons annihilate each other in an antimatter rocket engine.
  • The ships in Tour of the Merrimack use antimatter reactors. This poses some tactical problems; you can't shoot down a ship in atmosphere without the risk of causing a massive antimatter explosion.
  • Antimatter is used as a power source in Infinity Beach, but it is carefully regulated. The novel begins with a massive explosion apparently caused by antimatter of unknown origin.
  • Dread Empires Fall has this as both fuel and warhead. In fact, missiles burn fuel until they reach their target, and whatever's left goes into exploding. It's one of the few justified cases of Arbitrary Maximum Range. It also one of the factors that contributes to the missiles having a very short tactically-viable range, in conjunction with point defense.
  • Antimatter rockets are a popular propulsion method in Robert Reed's Great Ship universe. Since it's so effective at pushing the ships, they need only a relatively tiny amount for interstellar voyages.
  • Some stories from the Star Wars Expanded Universe feature positronic processors (likely an Asimov Shout-Out).


Live Action TV

  • An episode of Lost in Space also had an evil counterpart of John Robinson (played by the same actor) from an antimatter universe, but no explosions.
  • The Doctor Who serial Planet of Evil also features antimatter treated more as a radioactive substance than an explosive one.
    • In another, the Doctor claims that an antimatter explosion will turn everyone into "un-people, un-doing un-things un-together." Which is almost certainly wrong, if only because it's very hard to figure out what it's supposed to mean.
    • Easy: It means they're dead.
    • Omega, in "The Three Doctors" is trapped in an antimatter universe on the other side of a black hole.
  • Antimatter is a common source of energy in Star Trek.
    • Typically, it is used as a fuel to power warp drives and other energy-intensive apparati aboard a starship (such as energy weapons, shields, base power load for the whole ship). According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, the warp drive is powered by colliding beams of deuterium[4] and anti-deuterium, regulated by a shaped dilithium crystal under extreme heat and pressure into an energy form that can be harnessed.
    • On occasion, it's used as explosive energy: 'photon' torpedoes are per canon loaded with this stuff and normal matter, sent over to another ship, and BOOM. Well, they're supposed to, anyway.
      • And in the episode "Obsession", it's used for a demolition charge. One ounce of antimatter reacting with matter supposedly produces an explosion that blows half the atmosphere off an Earth-like planet. While the basic idea of an antimatter bomb isn't too far off, the numbers certainly are; in reality, an ounce of antimatter annihilating an ounce of normal matter would, as a bomb, have a yield of only a couple of megatons. You'd need at least some millions of tonnes of antimatter to get the kind of effect they describe.
    • In Star Trek the Original Series episode "The Alternative Factor", there are two versions of Lazarus, one made of matter from our universe and one made of antimatter from a parallel universe. If they ever get together in either universe, both universes will be destroyed. This would not happen in real life, although you'd get a sizable explosion.
    • In another TOS episode, "The Doomsday Machine", the titular planet-eating menace fires a beam that Decker described as "Pure antiproton, absolutely pure!"
      • Which should not damage a starship with working Deflector Shields. Antiprotons would have no reason to interact explosively with an EM field (or a graviton field, depending on which fluff explanation you prefer), although they would certainly wreak havoc if they touched the hull underneath.
    • In Star Trek the Next Generation, android Data has a "positronic brain" in a deliberate homage to Asimov. Having Star Trek levels of technology still makes the concept no more plausible, though.
    • In "The Best of Both Worlds", Riker's plan to kidnap/rescue Locutus/Picard from the Borg ship involves lighting off an antimatter spread, which is essentially a giant fireworks display to give cover to the infiltration shuttle carrying Worf and Data.
  • In the season 2 premiere of Warehouse 13, antimatter is stolen from CERN to power one of the villain's inventions.
  • In an episode of Buck Rogers in The 25th Century, a character who can teleport is badly injured from contact with a single particle of antimatter.
  • In an episode of Eureka, a device is activated by the mere presence of contained antimatter nearby, when both are stored in a bank vault. Apparently a town full of geniuses can't figure out that antimatter by itself is not an energy source nor is it radioactive. It appears to be a greenish liquid stored in a test tube. Unless you want it to blow up, it should be stored in a vacuum environment kept away from the container walls by a magnetic field.


Music

  • In Brave Saint Saturn's Anti-Meridian (the third part of a sci-fi Rock Opera trilogy), the crew of the USS Gloria serendipitously discovers a relatively cheap means of producing antimatter. By the album's end, this discovery has solved Earth's energy woes and revolutionized space travel.


Tabletop Games

  • GURPS: Ultratech briefly discusses antimatter. One microgram is enough to vaporize a normal human and incredibly expensive. There are also stats for antimatter bullets.
  • A Cthulhu Tech supplement had a weapon fired antimatter at relativistic speeds after burning a vacuum in the air with a laser.
  • In Transhuman Space, antimatter is manufactured on Mercury, using solar energy to drive the particle accelerators, and used among other things to catalyse the most advanced fusion drives.
  • In Starfire, starship missiles can be fitted with ordinary nuclear warheads, or with antimatter warheads. Antimatter warheads are more powerful, but are also much more dangerous to the ship carrying them. If an enemy destroys a ship's missile hold, the unfired nuclear missiles stored in it will simply be destroyed and become useless, but the unfired antimatter missiles in it will detonate.
  • Mutants and Masterminds has Negator, a villain who first emerged when his Earth-Prime counterpart got forcibly merged with his counterpart from an antimatter universe (similar to the Crime Syndicate example above). Some scientific credence is given to the concept, noting that if the thin yet resilient force field that keeps the two halves separate yet functioning is ever nullified, bad things happen.
  • In one Paranoia mission, the PCs discover a long-forgotten antimatter bomb capable of destroying the entire Complex, and have to keep it away from fanatics who would actually detonate it.


Video Games

  • The Galactic Armory mod for Star Ruler adds antimatter generators, thrusters, and weapons. Antimatter has the advantage of needing tiny amounts of fuel storage, it has the most efficient and nearly most powerful thrusters, and the antimatter weapons are devastatingly powerful. However, the generators are extremely expensive, and very, very fragile. Ships carrying antimatter tend to explode violently when their armor is breached.
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl: Word of God states that the Legendary Pokémon Giratina is supposed to be the living personification of antimatter, and that it and its world are constructed of antimatter. Functionally, Giratina switches forms when in your world - Earth (or Poke-Earth, whatever) - and its original state only occurs in its own world, unless you go back into its world and bring back the Griseous Orb, which lets it retain its natural form.
  • Traditional capship power source, in the Wing Commander universe. Also used on the Excalibur and its descendant, the Dragon.
    • Several capital warships also use anti-matter guns to engage targets, occasionally to the player's chagrin given that only one or two blasts are required to destroy their fighter[5].
  • Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse has Sam and Max destroy the entire Penal Zone with an "antimatter bomb".
  • In Sword of the Stars, Antimatter is the final level of reactor technology development. Strangely, however, M/AM ships have very small explosions compared to normal ones, even though Antimatter is far more destructive when uncontained. There are also antimatter weapons. Developers have stated that they will not be inventing any new power source beyond Antimatter for the sequel, but instead have techs that optimise its use.
  • The aliens in UFO Alien Invasion use spacecraft powered by anti-matter.
  • In Metroid Prime 2, the Annihilator Beam, appropriately enough, is stated to fire an annihilation reaction of matter and antimatter.
  • In Shadow the Hedgehog, the "Diablo" mech has an attack called "antimatter cannon" which looks more like an expanding energy field.
  • In Mass Effect, military starships are propelled by matter-antimatter reactions created by combining antiprotons with hydrogen atoms. The stations that produce them are high-value targets in wartime. Antimatter is also used as a weapon similar to nukes, but are much rarer in comparison and strictly regulated.
  • Super Robot Wars W: The Earth Federation never gets the N-Jammer Canceler technology, which played an important role in the plot of Gundam Seed by allowing the Federation to use nuclear weapons. In the game, antimatter warheads are substituted for the nukes as needed.
  • In Star Ocean the Last Hope an alternate earth is destroyed by an unstable antimatter engine.
  • In Eve Online, hybrid weaponry such as blasters and railguns can be loaded with anti-matter charges, there are readily available anti-matter warheads for everything from dumbfire rockets to super-capital torpedos, and Gallentean spaceship technology uses anti-matter as a fuel source.
  • In Wing Commander, M/AM plants are the primary powerplant for capital ships, and also serve to power the Excalibur and Dragon superfighters in WC3 and WC4, respectively.
  • In X-COM: UFO Defense, the aliens use Antimatter as a power source for their weapons and UFOs. Said Antimatter is generated by an alien element called Elerium-115.
  • In Sins of a Solar Empire, ships that have special abilities use Antimatter as Mana.
  • Free Space has two missiles that use Antimatter warheads in the first and second games, called the Tsunami Bomb and Helios Torpedo, respectively.
  • A sign on the wall in Portal 2 advises you to:

  Know your allergens. Pollen. Animal Dander. Plastics. Antimatter.

  • In the two most recent games in the X-Universe series, the Terran corvette weapon is the matter/antimatter launcher, a coilgun that fires a bomb containing matter and antimatter separated by a force field. When the force field is compromised by impact or by reaching the end of its range, the matter and antimatter mix with the usual result. According to fluff, Terran ships also use matter/antimatter for power generation.
  • Protoss Scouts in Starcraft are armed with antimatter missiles for air-to-air combat.
  • In the Polaris questline in EV Nova, you can equip your ship with a matter/antimatter reactor. The Polaris are several centuries ahead of the rest of humanity technologically; everyone else uses fission (either traditional or liquid-thorium-fueled).


Web Comics

  • Antimatter is used in explosives in Schlock Mercenary, usually consisting of minuscule amounts of antimatter encased in fullerene molecules - breaking these up will cause a massive explosion. Most notably, a minor character once smuggled antimatter out of a facility in paper bags. Resident Mad Scientist Kevyn turned his uniform insignia into an antimatter grenade, which when used, destroyed an enemy base, and though indirectly, brought down a spaceship in orbit of the planet.


Web Original

  • Darwin's Soldiers has an Anti-matter universe. The ability of this universe to interact with our matter universe is dependent on plot necessity.
  • Antimatter in Orion's Arm is generated by massive orbital "farms" and usually used in engines.
  • Antimatter is central to The Pentagon War. Hyper Bombs require 250 kilograms of positrons, and the starship Mercurand carries 100 tonnes of antihydrogen as fuel.
  • Anti matter can be used magically in Chaos Fighters and they are coated with magic to prevent reaction with air molecules.
  • Tennyo from the Whateley Universe is half made of antimatter.


Western Animation

  • One Scooby Doo special has an antimatter-powered car explode.
  • The Mondays, the evil versions of The Secret Saturdays, supposedly come from an antimatter universe. "Mirror Universe" and causing the laws of physics to become corrupted describes it effectively. And this is a show that actually had some impressive sci-fi concepts.
    • They actually use the real effect of Antimatter when Argost absorbs the Antimatter powers of Zak Monday and the Matter powers of Zak Saturday, despite Zak's warnings not to do so. He should've listened.
  • The Specialists, of a series of shorts on MTV's Liquid Television, met their antimatter counterparts, who were chromatically opposite but otherwise identical. Typically, the short plays loose with the properties of antimatter.


Real Life

  • PET scans rely on antimatter to work. The subject is injected with a radioactive tracer substance that emits a positron when it decays. When the positrons annihilate nearby electrons in the body, gamma rays are released that the machine can detect.
  • According to this article, physicists at Lawrence Livermore Labs have developed a way to create large numbers of positrons by shining the lab's Titan laser at a gold target. They use one of the most powerful lasers ever built to make antimatter. From gold.
  • While pure antimatter weapons are still a pipe dream, there has been talk of using antimatter components as a trigger in more conventional nuclear weapon designs to greatly increase their power and/or compactness--perfectly sound as far as the theoretical side goes. Still expensive, but less so than a pure antimatter weapon due to the lesser amounts of antimatter required. Also because a pure antimatter weapon is necessarily fail-deadly, while such a nuclear hand grenade is not.
  • Antimatter in the form of antineutrinos is very common; it can be produced by many nuclear reactions. However, neutrinos tends to ignore normal matter. And when we say "ignore", consider this: The nuclear reactions taking place in the core of the sun produce both light and neutrinos. The light takes somewhere between 10,000 and 170,000 years to work its way to the sun's surface. The neutrinos, on the other hand, exit the sun at the speed of light without interacting with any of the material in the way at all.
    • A few centimeters of lead will block half of the incident gamma rays. It would take a few light-years of lead to absorb half the incident neutrinos. On the rare occasions they do interact with normal matter (and with enough of them, they eventually will) they induce a beta-decay in the target (even if it wouldn't normally be able to beta-decay). Neutrinos convert a neutron into a proton and an electron.
  • Electron - positron colliders were quite common in physics.
  • To study normal matter, physicists like to use particle accelerators. To study antimatter, physicists use an antiproton decelerator.

Notes

  1. At high energy, they can produce other stuff.
  2. This actually refers to the real-world Feynman-diagram interpretation of antimatter, where an antiparticle is equivalent to the normal particle moving backwards in time. That doesn't mean the C.T. ship would do that though -- while argument is still open, the "arrow of time" seems to be provided by the universe at large, rather than the objects within it.
  3. Science Marches On -- This is no longer the modern definition of a quasar, but the novel was written prior to the current definition.
  4. Deuterium is more commonly known as "heavy hydrogen"
  5. and the bombers who are the only ones to survive one hit often have their targeting computers destroyed, prohibiting them from using the torpedoes that are their entire reason to be employed
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.