Antimatter ships: Still a long ways away


6 Responses to “Antimatter ships: Still a long ways away”

  1. Ben Grogan says:

    From New Scientist:

    “Between July 2006 and December 2008, PAMELA detected 28 antiprotons trapped in spiralling orbits around the magnetic field lines sprouting from the Earth’s south pole (Astrophysical Journal Letters, DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/737/2/l29). PAMELA samples only a small part of the inner radiation belt, but antiprotons are probably trapped throughout it. “We are talking about of billions of particles,” says team member Francesco Cafagna from the University of Bari in Italy.”

  2. Listener43 says:

    So PAMELA only detected 28 antiprotons, and that means that’s all there are? Clearly this hasn’t been thought out clearly. Not only are there likely vastly more there right now, it’s at least equally likely that there have been exponentially more in the same basic orbits in the past:

  3. hexwench says:

    You know how sometimes when you’ve worked a 15-hour shift your brain plays tricks on you? Somehow the word “antiprotons” shifted to the end of “Jennifer” in the second line of the article, and at a glance, I thought Jennifer Aniston had somehow jerked her attention away from her hair and figured this whole mess out. Time for go to bed.

  4. Snig says:

     It’s only 28 if you look at it from a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.  So ships could be leaving in a fortnight if we’re really clever. 

  5. Halloween Jack says:

    IIRC, Starfleet doesn’t actually “mine” antimatter from the Van Allen belts or wherever; they have means of producing it using solar energy, as well as a machine aboard their starships that can produce antihydrogen from some of the interstellar hydrogen collected by the Bussard ramscoops (the red glowing things on the front of warp nacelles); the process is really inefficient, using a lot of hydrogen to produce a little antihydrogen, and is mostly used to top off the tanks in between fuel stops.

  6. SeekerLancer says:

    My guess is we’ll be building bombs with it before space ships.

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