Browse Definitions:
Definition

antimatter

Antimatter is any substance that, when combined with an equal amount of matter, results in the complete and direct conversion of all substance to energy. Antimatter is composed of antiparticles. Each particle of matter has a corresponding antiparticle of antimatter.

The antiparticle of an electron is known as a positron. It has the same mass as an electron, but opposite electric charge (positive rather than negative). The antiparticle of the proton is called an antiproton. It has the same mass as a proton, but opposite charge (negative rather than positive). The antiparticle of the neutron is an antineutron. It has the same mass as a neutron, and, like the neutron, has no electric charge. However, the relationship between two properties called spin and magnetic moment is different in the antineutron than in the neutron.

Antiparticles have been found in cosmic rays, and are also produced in particle accelerators (also known as atom smashers). An antiparticle never lasts for very long, because shortly after it forms, it encounters one of its equivalent matter particles, and both are annihilated, yielding pure energy.

Artificially produced antimatter has practical applications, especially in medical science, where it is involved in the operation of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning equipment. Antimatter has been suggested as a possible propellant for spacecraft, a source of energy for public consumption, and as material for a doomsday bomb that would vaporize the earth. However, all these potential applications require the isolation of large amounts of antimatter, and the technology for this does not yet exist.

This was last updated in March 2010

Continue Reading About antimatter

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that ...

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close