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alfa015
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3 facts maybe you don't know about antimatter

12 Apr 2019 18:14

Hi! 

I would like to share with you guys some facts you might not know about antimatter:

1º - Recent studies suggest that an antimatter spacecraft could achieve up to 70% the speed of light, reaching Proxima b in just about 6 years.

2º - The maximum time that antimatter has been stored is 405 days.

3º - According to the former Fermilab physicist Gerald Jackson, antimatter rockets could become a reality by 2050.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIgpTrmKUZs&list=PL3RiFKfZj3ptaxqH3te_eKz1ge_CxQxjw&index=1

What are your thoughts about antimatter propulsion?
 
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midtskogen
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3 facts maybe you don't know about antimatter

13 Apr 2019 13:36

My thoughts are that concepts taken from science fiction movies, whilst loosely based on scientific knowledge, do not offer solutions. If we're lucky we might have cost-effective fusion power plants by 2050.  Anti-matter rockets, if at all practical and possible in a safe way, hardly.
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3 facts maybe you don't know about antimatter

14 Apr 2019 13:27

Anti-matter is the most efficient reaction known to us currently. But we have no idea how to create sufficient quantities to be useful to us, store it en masse (we don't have the infrastructure now or possibly in 2050 to start building massive magnetic-confinement centers) and I have doubts as to whether we will have enough of a space presence in 2050 for it to be useful for us in interplanetary journeying. Fusion-rockets, ion drives and beamed propulsion would seemly be a lot more convenient and economic for such tasks. 
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3 facts maybe you don't know about antimatter

14 Apr 2019 23:18

Maybe that's the big filter. (Fermi paradox.)
An "intelligent" civilization discovers how to use antimatter and blows up its planet.
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3 facts maybe you don't know about antimatter

15 Apr 2019 00:35

JackDole wrote:
Source of the post Maybe that's the big filter. (Fermi paradox.)

I find that unlikely, since a civilization advanced enough to make quantities of antimatter sufficient to deal any real damage to their planet would also have sophisticated space-travel capabilities and the required magnetic storage facilities, logically making the antimatter in planetary-orbit or on a moon.  This is just a question of logistics - antimatter is VERY hard to make. Don't be fooled by the fact that we've made ~400 antihydrogen atoms, along with several other antiparticles. These experiments cost astounding amounts of energy for a few nanograms of the stuff. With current technology today (and into the predictable future), antimatter will not reach production levels wherein it can pose as a menace to civilization. By the time it does, assuming we survive until then, humanity (and by following the Law of Mediocrity, most other alien civilizations at our level as well) should be adequately equipped to contain it.
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3 facts maybe you don't know about antimatter

15 Apr 2019 02:02

Pure antimatter is bad fuel for starship. You want to have 1 petawatt of thrust power on engine with 75% efficiency? Say hello to 500 gigawatts of deadly gamma-ray radiation, which will be emitted from the reaction zone. Annihilation produces 2/3 of charged pions, which can be used to produce thrust in a magnetic nozzle, while 1/3 of neutral pions cannot be deflected and will beam to all directions, including ship itself. These neutral pions decays to gamma quants shortly, so you must have extremely massive gamma ray protection, and put engines very far away from your payload.

More here.

The better way we can use antimatter in ship propulsion is by using antiproton-induced nuclear fusion. This is "easy" way to achieve fusion temperatures in the fuel pellet. Also, amounts of antimatter needed to be stored onboard the ship is some nanograms instead of 40% of ship's mass in case of a pure antimatter rocket. This is much more easy technologically, we could even imagine onboard antimatter plant instead of a storage.
 
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3 facts maybe you don't know about antimatter

15 Apr 2019 07:08

As I estimate humanity, the first thing they will do as soon as enough antimatter can be produced is building bombs with it.
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3 facts maybe you don't know about antimatter

15 Apr 2019 10:02

SpaceEngineer wrote:
Source of the post we could even imagine onboard antimatter plant instead of a storage.


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3 facts maybe you don't know about antimatter

15 Apr 2019 15:51

Stellarator wrote:
JackDole wrote:
Source of the post Maybe that's the big filter. (Fermi paradox.)

I find that unlikely, since a civilization advanced enough to make quantities of antimatter sufficient to deal any real damage to their planet would also have sophisticated space-travel capabilities and the required magnetic storage facilities, logically making the antimatter in planetary-orbit or on a moon.  This is just a question of logistics - antimatter is VERY hard to make. Don't be fooled by the fact that we've made ~400 antihydrogen atoms, along with several other antiparticles. These experiments cost astounding amounts of energy for a few nanograms of the stuff. With current technology today (and into the predictable future), antimatter will not reach production levels wherein it can pose as a menace to civilization. By the time it does, assuming we survive until then, humanity (and by following the Law of Mediocrity, most other alien civilizations at our level as well) should be adequately equipped to contain it.

I forgot the length of time but I remember reading an article about Brookhaven achieving a new record for stability and containment of antimatter (I think it was antihelium), it was something like 300 microseconds if I remember correctly.

I dont think this is even needed as fuel, as within 100 years or so (according to the Breakthrough Starship Program) we should be capable of reaching the Alpha/Proxima Centauri system in less than 50 years.  We could get there via generation ships.
 
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3 facts maybe you don't know about antimatter

24 Apr 2019 11:22

SpaceEngineer wrote:
Pure antimatter is bad fuel for starship. You want to have 1 petawatt of thrust power on engine with 75% efficiency? Say hello to 500 gigawatts of deadly gamma-ray radiation, which will be emitted from the reaction zone. Annihilation produces 2/3 of charged pions, which can be used to produce thrust in a magnetic nozzle, while 1/3 of neutral pions cannot be deflected and will beam to all directions, including ship itself. These neutral pions decays to gamma quants shortly, so you must have extremely massive gamma ray protection, and put engines very far away from your payload.

More here.

The better way we can use antimatter in ship propulsion is by using antiproton-induced nuclear fusion. This is "easy" way to achieve fusion temperatures in the fuel pellet. Also, amounts of antimatter needed to be stored onboard the ship is some nanograms instead of 40% of ship's mass in case of a pure antimatter rocket. This is much more easy technologically, we could even imagine onboard antimatter plant instead of a storage.


Perhaps using a setup like a nuclear rocket, where instead very small antimatter pellets are ejected into space and detonated against matter, and the blast is used to propel the rocket?
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