The Mystery of Antimatter: Why is it so Expensive and Hard to Find?

TLDR Antimatter, the elusive substance with opposite electrical charges to matter, is incredibly difficult and expensive to create and contain. Despite its challenges, scientists are exploring more efficient ways to harvest and utilize antimatter, with potential applications in medicine and beyond.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Antimatter, the most expensive substance in the world, is a fundamental part of the universe that can't be found anywhere, and physicists are unsure why.
02:16 In the 19th century, the structure of atoms and the concept of matter were not understood, but the term "antimatter" was first used in 1898 by Arthur Schuster, who speculated about its existence and its potential effects on gravity and annihilation with regular matter.
04:16 Antimatter and matter have opposite electrical charges and other quantum properties, but they have the same mass and behave in the same way; antimatter is created all the time around us, but when matter and antimatter come into contact, they annihilate each other, which raises the question of why we exist in a world made up of matter.
06:17 The question of why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe after the Big Bang is still unanswered, but studying antimatter is difficult due to the challenge of preventing it from interacting with regular matter.
08:25 Creating and containing antimatter is incredibly difficult and expensive, with the current rate of production estimated to take 10 billion years to make just one gram of anti-hydrogen.
10:38 Despite the difficulty and expense of creating antimatter, there are plans to find more efficient ways to create or harvest it, such as using a craft with a magnetic bottle to capture antiparticles in the Earth's magnetic field, and there could be practical uses for antimatter, although creating a bomb out of it would be incredibly dangerous and impractical.
12:45 Antimatter is used in PET scans, which are a common tool in medicine for creating three-dimensional images that reveal the distribution of tracers and provide insights into cellular and metabolic processes.
Categories: History Education

Browse more History