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Antimatter
Written by Ekuryua   
Sep 15, 2007 at 09:30 PM

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Antimatter is one of the greatest mysteries of particle physics. It is asymmetrical to matter, the substance of which the majority of our universe is composed. Produced artificially, it is the main fuel source used to power the Labule's starships and hoskas and is consequently very important to the Empire. Unlike chemical or nuclear fuels, it can be produced from simple hydrogen, enabling antimatter production facilities to be constructed around virtually any stable star.

Antimatter is, put simply, the antithesis of matter. In the same way that matter is composed of distinct subatomic particles, antimatter is composed of antiparticles, which hold opposite charges to their particle counterparts. For example, a positron (antielectron) holds a positive charge, while its matter equivalent, the electron, holds a negative charge. In the same way that an electron and a proton form a hydrogen atom, a positron and an antiproton form an antihydrogen atom. Whenever antimatter comes into contact with matter, both are mutually annihilated at the subatomic level and photons are produced. During annihilation, the entire rest mass of an antiparticle is converted into kinetic energy, making an annihilation reaction far more efficient than a nuclear fusion reaction.

Since naturally occurring antimatter is rare in our universe, it is not practical to mine it. Instead, it must be produced artificially. In order to produce antimatter, radiation is collected from a fixed star. The elementary particles of this radiation are then slammed together in linear accelerators, which create high energy reactions and produce small quantities of antimatter. Due to its volatile nature, antimatter cannot be stored in traditional fuel containers; therefore, it is stored in magnetically-charged containers, which use a magnetic field to keep the antimatter separate from the matter and prevent premature annihilation. (Magnetic fields are composed of energy, not matter). These magnetic containers, usually built into asteroids, store the antimatter until it is ready to be transferred into a starship's magnetic containers as fuel.

Last Updated ( Oct 29, 2007 at 10:47 PM )