News Release 42
History of Antimatter
March 12, 2007
In 1898, Arthur Schuster, British physicist, coined
the name "antimatter." He theorized matter and antimatter could be converted
into an enormous quantity of energy, anticipated the concepts of special
relativity and quantum physics, and believed there were entire solar systems
of antimatter that were indistinguishable from our solar system.
During the last 75years, thousands
of scientists and engineers have been studying antimatter. CERN,
www.cern.ch, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory,
www.fnal.gov are multi-billion World-Class High Energy Physics
laboratories that have been making, storing, accelerating, and colliding
antimatter with matter for over twenty years. For more information, please
visit CERNís five web pages on the History of Antimatter from 1928 to 1995:
During the last 12 years, enormous progress has been made. Antimatter is a
mirror image of matter and can be a solid, liquid, gas or plasma. Antimatter
is composed of elements that have been incorporated into the Periodic Table
of Matter-Antimatter Elements. Each of the antimatter elementís nuclear,
chemical and physical characteristics have been defined to such an extent
that people know almost as much about antimatter as matter.
April 2002, the discovery that comets are natural sources of antimatter was
announced at the joint conference of the
American Astronomical Society
American Astronomical Society.
When comets enters our solar system, solar dust particles blasting
antimatter off the nucleus to create a plasma coma around the comet; and
solar wind pulls the plasma off the coma to produce the comet's tails. On
July 23, 2002, a sungrazer comet collided with the sun and released enough
energy to supply the World's energy needs for over 10,000 years.