Antimatter— A Whimsical Enigma

    You Must Be Curious— What Is Antimatter?

    Before we understand antimatter, we should understand the matter. The matter is anything that has mass and occupies volume. Everything around us is made up of matter. But the integral parts of matter are fundamental particles, which are six leptons and six quarks. Every particle has its anti-self. So every quark has antiquark and every lepton, an anti-lepton. These antiparticles, which comprise the antimatter, have similar properties to normal particles but have opposite charges and quantum spin. 

    Have You Ever Pondered About Your Doppelgänger? 

    Any way you slice it, most of us scroll through the social media feeds, looking for celebrities like us. It is found that humans tend to admire people who resemble them. But, as Stephen Hawking wrote in one of his books,” However if you meet your anti-self, don’t shake hands! You would both vanish in a great flash of light.” 

    Why Would He Write So? Let’s Dig Into It

    Now, you all must be curious - what is antimatter?
    Source: Owlcation

    We are very familiar with the equation E=mc² by Einstein, and you must have heard that this equation states that energy can be converted to matter and vice versa but, there is one thing you probably would have skipped. If energy is converted to matter, it must emit an equal number of antimatter particles as well. And similarly, if matter and antimatter combine, they will turn into energy. 

    Anti-you is made up of antimatter. So if matter-you combines with antimatter-you, I do not have to specify what proceedings will take place.

    The Big Bang

    Big Bang
    Source: wikipedia

    The concept of antimatter arises from the Big Bang theory; it is thought that when the Big Bang happened, matter and antimatter annihilated to form photons of light, which again formed matter and antimatter. They combined to annihilate and, this continued till the universe expanded and cooled to the extent that there was no energy left to make more matter and antimatter. 

    What remains to be answered is where is antimatter now, and why are we made up of it? 

    Some scientists think that there is a very tiny difference in the amount of matter and antimatter we are made up of. But, no one has been able to find the tiny difference between matter and antimatter and how did this asymmetry arise between them. That is the mystery. 

    Even so, that gives us no right to question its existence. Because Paul Dirac discovered antiproton in 1928, thereby confirming the presence of antimatter in our universe. 

    So, If It Exists —Where Is It? 

    It’s simple; it is even in a banana. They release antiprotons and react with protons around us, but the amount is too meager to give a catastrophic outcome. Some scientists thought the antimatter could be in cosmic rays. So AMS, Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer was made to detect the matter and antimatter from the rays passing through it. Later on, we could detect their source, but there hasn’t been any major antimatter analyzed by it.

    However, scientists have created anti-helium and anti-hydrogen in the lab. Still, it isn’t sufficient to fulfill this world of energy or create a spaceship that can travel the universe by using antimatter and matter reaction because the cost of producing it is 100 billion dollars for 1 mg. One day we may create or stumble upon an anti universe that could have anti-me or anti-you. It has to be millions of light-years away from us, or now you know the repercussions we might have to face. These ideas are unquestionably bewitching, and scientists are constantly in search of your doppelgänger. 

    Also Check Out: Are You The Only ‘You’ Present In The Universe?


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