What could antimatter look like?

Sophie Allan from the National Space Centre takes a look at this question for us

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It’s thought that both matter and antimatter are propelled almost to the speed of light by the Crab pulsar 

It’s thought that both matter and antimatter are propelled almost to the speed of light by the Crab pulsar

Asked by Carlos Gomez

Theoretically it is thought that something made out of antimatter would not look any different to its counterpart, made out of matter, but as of yet we don’t know for sure.

Following the particle physics theory, antimatter is made of the antiparticles of its matter equivalent. Antiparticles are the same as their counterparts, only they hold the opposite charge. So far we have only been able to create very simple forms of antimatter, such as an anti-hydrogen atom and an anti-helium nucleus. The problem with finding out what this antimatter would look like is that any exposure of antimatter to matter causes both to be annihilated. Because of this we’ve only been able to observe just a few particles of antimatter for a few minutes at a time.

Answered by Sophie Allan from the National Space Centre

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