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Thread: Questions on using Anti-matter
December 16th, 2006, 07:22 PM #1
Questions on using Anti-matter
I have a short story I'm currently outlining that involoves mutant characters that can somehow generate high enough levels of it to be truly dangerous. Now, after reading several sources on antimatter, I found that it is impossible to create enouh of it to be so destructive, and that it is an extremely difficult thing to create and even contain.
So my qestion is, how do I work all these things out enough to be believable? Wuld it be a new form of antimatter, since it came from a highly evolved human? How would the mutants themselves be able to control it? ~Angela
December 16th, 2006, 08:19 PM #2
I see no reason why it'd be impossible to create enough to be destructive. Sure, under normal conditions it'll react (quite violently) with regular matter and turn into energy but if you made a perfect vacuum (Or even a near-perfect vacuum and then threw some antimatter in the chamber to "clear out" the rest of the atoms) I see no reason why you couldn't "create" your antimatter in the container and then when you have enough release it and create a fairly big boom.
Now, as to it being extremely difficult to create and contain... Yes, that's true. I actually don't know what all goes into creating antimatter, but we have created a bit, so it is possible. I've outlined how to contain it above, so it's not all that much of a stretch to assume that the means of creating and containig it will become easier as the level of technology rises.
As a reader, I'd personally have no problem accepting that they could create and contain it, if you as the writer told me so.
I don't know what you mean by "control" it. Just keep it out of contact from regular matter and you're fine. You could make up a "force field" or perhaps use magnets to suspend the matter. Just remember, if you wave your hands hard enough, and there's a good reason for it, people will believe pretty much anything you tell them
December 16th, 2006, 10:34 PM #3
Well Dan Brown managed to convince enough people that it was possible in Angels & Demons - so I wouldn't worry too much about it.
I'm not sure what you mean by a "new form" of anti-matter. Essentially you can think of it as regular matter with opposite charge. To that end, if you had a way of producing it, you could contain it electromagnetically. To produce it, you would need either a large amout of an isotope that gives off anti-matter by natural decay, or some kind of particle accelerator that could induce reactions that would have anti-matter as by products. The technical trick, I think, would be gathering it together. In fiction you can get around that issue by avoidance or slipping in some kind of techincal jargon, ie. use your trusty matter anti-matter separation matrix.
December 17th, 2006, 10:34 AM #4
Check out the stringtheory and set the story in a different dimension.
Everything is possible with that.
December 17th, 2006, 03:25 PM #5
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
- Auckland, New Zealand
Given it's a writing thread, I thought it was about how to end sentences with a bang.
December 17th, 2006, 05:23 PM #6
What I meant by 'new form' of antimatter; That it would be generated by a living being it may have some different properties than that of the kind found in space.
On controlling it; Since these characters will be weilding this power with their hands or other limbs, what counter-active affect will they need to be able to contain it until release? Well, from the above posts, I can gather that they may have the ability to control it by some supernatural magnetism of the mind. Or a magnetic field generated by their own body and then bending it to contain the anitmatter.
I also have another issue to solve. Since one of the two characters with this power will be captured, how would his volitility be subdued? Drugs? Or some other means?
BTW, Thanx to everyone who replied. I have read Angels & Demons, and it was a decent book, because I couldn't put it down.
December 19th, 2006, 01:19 PM #7
I would say that anti-matter per se would be unlikely - they'd also need to be able to manipulate magnetic fields like Magneto, and even then they're probably going to blow themselves up before perfecting their control.
What about a new kind of super-powerful chemical? Something like - they secrete a catalyst that causes water and oxygen to combust in a chain reaction, thus turning all the oceans of the world into a huge explosion.
Orson Scott Card used a similar device in "Ender's Game," the M.D. that caused all dense matter to explode. A new secreted chemical would be a little more plausible but still could be a world-ending threat.
Just another suggestion. Good luck!