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Q & A: using antimatter

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Most recent answer: 02/12/2012
Q:
Since antimatter is difficult to store for later usage would it be practical to focus on reducing the size of accelerators so that antimatter can be created on site for immediate usage?
- Albert Quiroga (age 23)
Arlington, TX, USA
A:
The main use for antimatter that comes to mind is positron emission tomography (PET scans) for medical purposes. The positrons in effect cannot be stored at all. Even the radioactive isotopes which emit the positrons have short lifetimes. That raises exactly the issue that you ask about, how to make the short-lived material on site for rapid use. Small accelerators are indeed being built for exactly that purpose, as described in this article:

Mike W.

(published on 02/12/2012)

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