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coke

antimatter bombs ever work?

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When the subject of antimatter comes up, one of the things that also comes up is antimatter bombs. Since antimatter annhilates matter to create pure energy, it has the highest energy density than anything else ever could...

so maybe a grenade size bomb could have a nuclear size reaction (according to CERN, the 20 or so antimatter atoms they created can power a lightbulb for 1 minute!) 20 atoms! A grenade has like a thousand million trillion quadrillion atoms! That's like powering a city for 5 million years!

 

However, despite this great energy density, its not like nuclear weapons where you could already find this great amount of energy stored in the uranium mines or whatever...

 

So to create an antimatter bomb, first you'd need some type of nuclear reactor, to get the electricity to generate antimatter... and then you have to use a strong magnetic field to contain it...and given that the efficiency isn't perfect, the only positive over nuclear weapons is that the bomb won't have to weigh 5 million tons.

 

And given that nuclear weapons are thus going to be more efficient, I doubt any antimatter bombs would be put into use, except maybe some tested as a proof of concept. Although the idea is nice- unimaginable amount of pure energy, no radiation...

 

Although I doubt that nuclear weapons will ever be used again... at least till germany develops nuclear weapons... :)

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Just for a start

re "Although the idea is nice- unimaginable amount of pure energy, no radiation..."

What form do you think the energy comes out in.?

Don't you realise that anihilations give rise to nothing but radiation?

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I think the energy comes out as gamma rays, heat, light, etc. And gamma rays are extremely harmful but not radioactive.

 

The radiation from nuclear bombs I'm pretty sure comes from radioactive isotopes in the fallout.

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I think the energy comes out as gamma rays, heat, light, etc. And gamma rays are extremely harmful but not radioactive.

 

not radioactive, but they ARE radiation.

 

The radiation from nuclear bombs I'm pretty sure comes from radioactive isotopes in the fallout.

 

nuclear bombs are a bit different, they don't releas just one type of radiation(gamma) they release a whole bunch of different types.

 

from a usual nuclear blast you get a whole slew of:

alpha

beta

gamma(and the rest of the EM spectrum)

neutron

radiation.

 

and thats before you get to the radioactive paritcles left over.

 

i think what you meant to say at the start was there will be no FALLOUT.

 

although thats not strictly true as there will be some secondary radiation and perhaps some radioactive isotopes generated by the sheer energy density present.

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hey.. the main use for an antimatter grenade would be to lob it into large incoming celestial objects on their way to earth .. tjihi ;)

 

POOF.. nice light in the sky :P

 

and ps. coke... listen to insane alien on this one. he is accurate on this and you are as he states, mixing up your wording. :)

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yeah, thats what i meant... there will be no fallout... and I guess gamma radiation can cause cancer, so it will not be very clean...


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and ps. coke... listen to insane alien on this one. he is accurate on this and you are as he states, mixing up your wording. :)

 

yeah i know, i realized that gamma rays in itself were radiation a minute after i posted it but had to go somewhere so didn't have time to change it

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By rough calculation, a 1 kg antimatter grenade should yield around 210 megatons. :eek: For comparison, the largest nuclear weapon ever built (Tsar Bomba) had a yield of 50 megatons (although it was designed to achieve as much as 100 MT). When tested by the USSR, detonating at an altitude of 4 km, the seismic shock from the blast registered between 5.0 and 5.25. The Tsar Bomba weighed 27 tons, and measured 8 m long by 2 m in diameter -- too heavy to strap onto a missle. Even the plane used for the test had to be specially modified, and the bomb was dropped with a parachute, to slow it down long enough for the plane to get clear.

 

The grenade would theoretically be 4 times as powerful. Need a long fuse for that one...

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How would the grenade be made to contain the antimatter though? You'd need to have a perfect vacuum, an electromagnetic field, and then some way of releasing it on contact. The math shows that it would be devastatingly powerful, but it's almost impossible to do.

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i think you have to have a vaccuum and an electromagnetic field... right now they store them in an electromagnetic 'penning trap'.

 

Of course, this requires a lot of electricity, which can be supplied by an external battery... or maybe the antimatter itself can slowly drain to create electric potential to keep the electromagnetic field active... dont know if this is possible, or if by definition would require more energy than the antimatter provides...

 

But i think antimatter bombs and batteries could be created someday... an easier way to store antimatter would defiinitely be quite an advancement.

 

what I envision a millimeter of antimatter will do. But it will be less pretty because of no fallout...... :( Edited by coke

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With all the electricity generators, I imagine this would be much bulkier than the average grenade.

 

what I envision a milimeter of antimatter will do. But it will be less pretty because of no fallout...... :(

 

I was thinking something more along the lines of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDwgsZTQSyM

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antimatter.. to be honest.. it wasn't meant to be anything actual.. I just said it like a fun thing... discussing a topic 'how to contain antimatter of a considerable size' is a topic for itself. (was purely a statement out of boredom I guess).

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I was thinking something more along the lines of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDwgsZTQSyM

 

Lol yeah, i like that one...

 

ACtually instead of a millimeter, I suppose it has to be half a pound by Grant's calculations. It's not completely impossible, antimatter has been made. But its like trying to make an intel chip a millimeter wide- it will get there but not anytime soon

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Antimatter bombs are nice in theory, but not so much in practice. The biggest issue is that the process to create antimatter is insanely inefficient; you'd be lucky to get even close to 1% efficiency. Secondly, you have the problem of containment. An ideal weapon should not detonate until it is intentionally detonated, whereas an antimatter bomb would detonate if containment were breached, making it dangerous to carry. On the other hand, it would have about the most powerful explosion per unit weight, depending on the weight of the containment. Personally, I'd use a smaller antimatter bomb to ignite a hydrogen bomb.

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you're so skeptical, mr skeptic... yeah in practice right now antimatter isn't very good... but technology will develop... antimatter was only seriously proposed like what, 15 years ago?

 

actually I think antimatter batteries are an even better idea than bombs, because I think size and weight matter even more for them (plus I don't think antimatter or nuclear bombs will be used anytime soon).


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i just realized 'pseudoscience forums',

my name looks orange as if im an admin...

 

april fools!

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wow. I just noticed something...

 

You know what a PET scan is? It's done on people here in U.S., it's positron emission tomography- they inject a compound (i.e. fludeoxyglucose) which has an unstable isotope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorine-18) that emits a positron (with half-life 110 minutes). That small amount of positrons reacts with the matter in the body to produce a small amount of gamma rays. The gamma rays are tracked by a sensor...


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Antimatter bombs are nice in theory, but not so much in practice. The biggest issue is that the process to create antimatter is insanely inefficient; you'd be lucky to get even close to 1% efficiency. Secondly, you have the problem of containment. An ideal weapon should not detonate until it is intentionally detonated, whereas an antimatter bomb would detonate if containment were breached, making it dangerous to carry. On the other hand, it would have about the most powerful explosion per unit weight, depending on the weight of the containment. Personally, I'd use a smaller antimatter bomb to ignite a hydrogen bomb.

 

Actually, I've found they recently discovered an insanely efficient way of making positrons... it works on pair production

 

fire a high power laser (with sufficient energy photons) at a sheet of gold, and make a lot of positrons...see here

 

"The California researchers estimate that with every shot of their laser, which fires every 30 minutes, they create about 10 billion positrons, also called anti-electrons."

 

Then use an electromagnetic field to contain them. I'm going to take this off-topic in another thread.

Edited by coke
Consecutive posts merged.

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Actually, I've found they recently discovered an insanely efficient way of making positrons... it works on pair production

 

fire a high power laser (with sufficient energy photons) at a sheet of gold, and make a lot of positrons...see here

 

"The California researchers estimate that with every shot of their laser, which fires every 30 minutes, they create about 10 billion positrons, also called anti-electrons."

 

Then use an electromagnetic field to contain them. I'm going to take this off-topic in another thread.

 

 

Well, lets see. 10 billion positrons == 0.000818710414 joules worth of antimatter. See below, the laser produces "hundreds of Joules" per pulse, so lets call it 100 Joules, and 90% of the positrons are lost. Therefore this highly efficient method has an efficiency of 0.0001% (double that if you want to count the mass-energy of the electrons that are also produced.

 

As I said, when 0.0001% efficiency is considered "high" then what you have is an insanely inefficient process.

 

 

http://focus.aps.org/story/v23/st8

Antimatter source. Hui Chen of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory adjusts equipment inside a vacuum chamber at Livermore's Jupiter laser facility. She and her colleagues used Jupiter's
Titan laser
to produce the highest density of antimatter ever created in a lab.

 

Hui Chen and Scott Wilks of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and their colleagues now report that they have generated copious amounts of positrons with intermediate energies--in the range of a million electron-volts. They fired picosecond pulses with intensities of around 10
20
watts per square centimeter from the Titan laser at Livermore's Jupiter laser facility onto millimeter-thick gold targets. Positrons were produced via the "Bethe-Heitler" process, in which part of each laser pulse creates a plasma on the surface of the target, and the remaining part of the pulse then blasts electrons from the plasma into the solid. Next, the electrons are slowed down by gold nuclei, an interaction that generates gamma-ray photons. The gamma rays then interact with more gold nuclei and transform into electron-positron pairs.

 

Using the spectrometer data along with a theoretical model of the positron creation process, they worked out the density of positrons created within the solid target. Their figure of 10
16
positrons per cubic centimeter is the highest ever obtained in a laboratory.
90 percent of these positrons don't have enough energy to escape the solid
, but the positron output still far exceeded the two previous similar experiments, performed by others almost a decade ago. Chen, Wilks, and their colleagues had better target design and other equipment improvements.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Livermore_National_Laboratory

* Titan Laser. Titan is a combined nanosecond-long pulse and ultrashort-pulse (subpicosecond) laser, with hundreds of joules of energy in each beam. This petawatt-class laser is used for a range of high-energy-density physics experiments, including the science of fast ignition for inertial confinement fusion energy.

 

 

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Ok, ok, skeptic point is that it can be made very purely now, not that positron emission natural decay... all you need is a laser and some gold foil that you never have to replace...

 

Ok so its not insanely efficient. Still I think that's a great achievement.

 

Well, lets see. 10 billion positrons == 0.000818710414 joules worth of antimatter.

To my surprise your calculations are correct...

 

But still, it has the highest energy density next to pure energy itself... and that is something to prize...

 

Wow lol. I edited the post and calculated using google calculator plus had to find out a bunch of constants :(, and when I posted I find you already showed it...

Edited by coke

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Ok, ok, skeptic point is that it can be made very purely now, not that positron emission natural decay... all you need is a laser and some gold foil that you never have to replace...

 

Ok so its not insanely efficient. Still I think that's a great achievement.

 

Btw, are you sure about this calculation?

 

Yes

so says google calculator

 

Of course it is "pure", any bit of contamination with matter would result in annihilation of particle pairs until it is pure again.

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Ok so its not insanely efficient. Still I think that's a great achievement.

 

 

But still, it has the highest energy density next to pure energy itself... and that is something to prize...

 

coke, what exactly do you envision or mean by next to pure energy itself? What is pure energy?In which density does that energy manifest itself in?

 

Pure energy is a somewhat conceptual idea... we only know pure energy density through actual things.. eg. energy contained in antimatter... or in matter or in steam, etc. etc. We know 'pure' energy as radiation for example.. but then what is the highest value of frequency? infinity? a finite number? again, your wording is a bit off.

 

Still, sorry, this was ages ago and somewhat off topic.

 

To get back, why does one have to imagine this and necessarily having to be a bomb.. sigh.. humans....

 

Anyway, thebomb thing is an engineering problem alongwith the physicists. A containment is certainly possible. Efficiency is of essence; this was always known. So is tit even of any point to create a bomb.. which is so volatile it could even annihilate a portion of wherever you are?

 

God forbid (to use a classic wording). But rather , can someone come up with alternative ideas of 'actual'meaningful scientific use like say, well, how about if... (then of coursesomeone mentions rather using it as the detonator for a nuclear bomb, making me sigh even more but ok).

 

The gravitational force works in all ways the same with antimatter? nn

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coke, what exactly do you envision or mean by next to pure energy itself? What is pure energy?In which density does that energy manifest itself in?

 

Pure energy is a somewhat conceptual idea... we only know pure energy density through actual things.. eg. energy contained in antimatter... or in matter or in steam, etc. etc. We know 'pure' energy as radiation for example.. but then what is the highest value of frequency? infinity? a finite number? again, your wording is a bit off.

 

Still, sorry, this was ages ago and somewhat off topic.

 

To get back, why does one have to imagine this and necessarily having to be a bomb.. sigh.. humans....

 

Anyway, thebomb thing is an engineering problem alongwith the physicists. A containment is certainly possible. Efficiency is of essence; this was always known. So is tit even of any point to create a bomb.. which is so volatile it could even annihilate a portion of wherever you are?

 

God forbid (to use a classic wording). But rather , can someone come up with alternative ideas of 'actual'meaningful scientific use like say, well, how about if... (then of coursesomeone mentions rather using it as the detonator for a nuclear bomb, making me sigh even more but ok).

 

The gravitational force works in all ways the same with antimatter? nn

 

i was actually just thinking about inertial forces acting on antimater. technically it should still have mass since mass as we know it is calculated as an absolute value. so gravity and inertia should affect a coherent mass of antimatter as it does matter.

 

as far as containment goes, the only thing i could think of would be to use super conductors to generate a strong enough magnetic field, but then we would need to have ambient temperature super conductors, and that's a whole nother topic. the ideal situation for containing and utilizing antimater would be in space. as a weapon, there would be less likelihood of a contamination, and as an energy source.. well... you could get rid of it fairly easily should containment fail. the most ideal containment method would a series of hyper-magnetic materials that required little to no electric current to maintain a stable field arranged to create a bubble around the antimater. a detenator would be a moot point in my opinion... just point the damn thing at whatever you want to destroy and fire... impact will take care of mixing it with the correct amount of matter to release it's destructive potential.

 

and just because i love to do it, it is theoretically possible to have an entire solar system.... or galaxy for that matter (no pun intended) created out of nothing but antimater. since it should theoretically behave exactly as normal matter, fusion should still occur just as it does in the sun and give of exactly the same amount of energy. i wonder if there would be any real way to detect such an existence without finding out the hard way.

 

another question that should be posed imho, is how much energy do you think spacetime could technically support before something funky happens? honestly, 270 megatons is a really big number, especially from a 1kg catalyst... what would happen if you used, say, a 1 metric ton catalyst? 100 tons? how high could the energy release go before the normal laws of physics would begin to skew... till the fabric of spacetime begins to warp? eventually something would have to happen that would be interesting.

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Shure they have one its called ( The Hadron Accelerator ) to create a Black hole called the start of another universe within our universe. Mite take us all with it. Like we never were her in the begining.

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* * *

another question that should be posed imho, is how much energy do you think spacetime could technically support before something funky happens? honestly, 270 megatons is a really big number, especially from a 1kg catalyst... what would happen if you used, say, a 1 metric ton catalyst? 100 tons? how high could the energy release go before the normal laws of physics would begin to skew... till the fabric of spacetime begins to warp? eventually something would have to happen that would be interesting.

 

Spacetime already supports that much energy. Consider that E = mc^2 does not apply only to antimatter: all of the matter around you is tightly bundled energy. If you anhilate matter and anti-matter, you're really just spreading the energy density out thinner.

 

As for warping the fabric of spacetime, I think we call that "gravity." ;)

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The antimatter bomb can totally work. All we need is a way to mass produce it cheaply and efficiently, and a way to contain the antimatter. Otherwise, it is probably better if they are dropped from orbit, rather than on the ground...

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