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It's made up of particles called antiparticles that have opposite charges but behave similarly to regular matter. Pretty cool, right? Here's an interesting fact: every component of matter at an atomic level has an antiparticle counterpart, for photons. So, if a proton's symbol is p, its antiparticle symbol is . The same goes for neutrons and neutrinos, but not for electrons, whose symbol remains e-. Scientists are constantly studying and learning more about antiparticles and their role in atomic composition. Keywords: Antimatter, antiparticles, charges, atomic level, photons, protons, neutrons, neutrinos, electrons.

The discovery of antimatter

Paul Dirac first theorised antiparticles, but the first to discover an antiparticle was Carl Anderson when he found the antiparticles of an electron, also named positrons.

The ELENA system is used to trap antiprotons
The ELENA system is used to trap antiprotons

What is an antiparticle?

Antimatter is made up of antarticles, which are the counterpart every subatomic particle found in the nucleus and orbit of an atom. This means that protons, neutrons, neutrinos, and electrons all have their own antiparticle. Although they share similar characteristics to their particle counterparts, they have opposite charges. Antiparticles can be created through radioactive decay processes within atoms or through interactions with matter, which can lead to an annihilation process. Here's a table that shows some examples of particles and their corresponding antiparticles:

Keywords: Antiparticles, antimatter, subatomic particles, nucleus, orbit, charge, radioactive decay, interactions, annihilation, particle counterparts.

Characteristics of antiparticles

Did you know that particles and antiparticles have the same mass and energy when they are at rest? This means that the only difference between them is their charge. For example, a positron has the opposite charge of an electron. The charge of a positron is +1.6022 * 10^-19C while an electron has a charge of -1.6022 * 10^-19C. The same thing happens with protons, which have a positive charge in normal matter and a negative charge in the antiproton form. It's fascinating to think about how such a small difference in charge can have such a big impact on the behavior of these particles. Keywords: Antiparticles, particles, mass, energy, charge, positron, electron, protons.

Particle and antiparticle annihilation

When matter and antimatter interact, they destroy each other. This destruction has three main characteristics:

The particles’ masses are destroyed.The destruction converts all the mass of the particles into energy.The energy is released in the form of high energy photons.

When matter and antimatter collide, this produces an annihilation event that results in photons being released
When matter and antimatter collide, this produces an annihilation event that results in photons being released

Antimatter and matter pair creation

Pair creation is an interesting phenomenon that can occur when a photon interacts with a particle. This interaction can lead to the creation of a pair of particles, one particle, and one antiparticle. However, it's important to note that energy must be conserved during this process.

The photon that initiates the interaction has a certain amount of energy, which is denoted by X. The energy of the two particles created from the interaction, Y and Z, must be equal to the total energy of the photon. This means that the energy of the particles created must be equal to X.

Conservation of energy is an essential principle in physics, and it states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred or converted from one form to another. In the case of pair creation, the energy of the photon is converted into the mass of the two particles created. This phenomenon is one of the ways in which matter can be created from energy, and it has important implications for our understanding of the universe. Keywords: Pair creation, photon, particle, antiparticle, energy conservation, mass, physics.

Calculating the energy released by matter and antimatter

The energy released by a collision between a particle and an antiparticle can be calculated using the formula E = hc/λ, where h is the Planck constant (6.63 * 10^-34J/s), c is the approximate velocity of light in the vacuum (299,792,458 m/s), and λ is the wavelength of the released photon. In this example, the wavelength of the released photon is 0.005 nanometres, which is equivalent to 0.0000005 metres. Therefore, the energy released by the collision is calculated as followsE = (6.63 * 10^-34J/s) * (299,792,458 m/s) / (0.0000005 m)

E = 5.3 * 10^-19 J


What is an antiparticle?

An antiparticle is a particle that has the same mass but the opposite charge to a particle.

Does every particle have an antiparticle?

No, photons do not have antiparticles.

What is the antiparticle of a proton?

An antiproton.

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