An international team at the CERN institute in Switzerland has managed to create 300 atoms of "anti-hydrogen" and stop them from collapsing into oblivion for a grand total of almost 17 minutes. Five thousand times longer than they had previously achieved. The research, published in the journal Nature Physics, represents a landmark in one of the most potentially profound areas of science. However, it also awakens the spectre of an antimatter weapon so destructive that it may herald the end of every living creature on the planet. Be that as it may… TheBigRetort
Is an antimatter weapon a giant leap closer for humanity? Antimatter was created in the laboratory for the first time last November. Long the preserve of science fiction writers, in Dan Brown’s bestseller Angels & Demons a tiny device with the destructive power of a nuclear warhead hinges on a plot to blow up the Vatican, it has often been dismissed as alarmist by the scientific community. That was until we happened to take a look at the 'What Ifs' out there.
The antimatter bomb of science fiction brings with it hysterical concerns that the long-term potentials of such a weapon are being downplayed in order to preserve a devastating and deadly secret: that scientists can now build a positron bomb.
CERN scientists claimed today that it is feasible to maintain the atoms for as long as a couple of hours in suspension. The atoms are the opposite of normal atoms, consisting of negatively-charged protons and positively-charged electrons. If they come into contact with normal atoms they are mutually annihilated.
Howver, the technology needed to contain antimatter in sufficient quantities for it to be a useful weapon has always stood in the way of a such a device being used as a powerful weapon and is deemed unlikely in the lifetime of our soalr system. However, in theory, the advantage of such a weapon is that antimatter and matter collisions would convert a larger fraction of the weapon's mass into explosive energy than that of a fusion reaction in a hydrogen bomb say.
I am become death the destroyer.
“A positron weapon would leave behind no nuclear residue, and would be devastating if it fell into the hands of terrorists,“ one particle physicist informed us. He asked not to be named. “The problem has always been the ability to store positrons for long periods of time, a significant technical and scientific difficulty."
But that was then... What now?”
Apparently, with the recent news that CERN has managed to contain antimatter for 16 minutes, having previously claimed that there was ‘no possibility’ to manufacture antimatter bombs due to not being able to accumulate enough of it at high enough density, concerns are being raised.
Should science continue further?
It is believed by some that scientists, not just at CERN, are secretly working to find a more efficient means of storing the antimatter and releasing its energy - thereby creating an antimatter weapon of devastating force.
Or so it is claimed in conspiracy circles...
Scientists at CERN scoff at such allegations. All the antimatter made at CERN, if annihilated with matter, would only have enough energy to light a single electric light bulb for a few minutes they claim.
But what if scientists at CERN, like those scientists who worked on the atomic bomb, wanted to keep a devestating secret?
What we think we know…
The only ‘known’ technologies for producing antimatter currently is the particle accelerator which are considered to be highly inefficient and expensive. In fact, it is publicly claimed that it will take two billions of years to make an equivalent of the current typical hydrogen bomb at the current production rate of antimatter. But now that CERN scientists have upped the ‘anti’ what then?
Unfortunately the additional problem is the containment of antimatter. Antimatter annihilates with regular matter on contact, so it would be necessary to prevent contact, for example by producing antimatter in the form of solid charged or magnetized particles, and suspending them in a near perfect vacuum. Enter CERN and its super collider where particles are regularly smashed together at enormous speeds. The process is very slow and enormously time-consuming making the production of a weapon that could tear the earth apart - could it?- as extremely unlikely.
But what of space ‘out there’ our 'deepthroat' physicist asks. “Outer space is a gigantic super-conducting super-collider, a near-perfect- vacuum, that has been working for billions of years with all sorts of exotic materials.”
Perhaps though al-Qaida may not have to wait such a very long to time or go so far before it gets its hands on such a weapon. TheBigRetort can reveal that a recent Patent that we uncovered suggests that the clock is ticking on the creation of antimatter bomb. It follows research into the production of thermal antineutrons and antiprotons.
Because we believe it should be classified, and has slipped through the security net, we have removed the author' details. The patent is for a method for obtaining free thermal antineutrons by ‘trapping the neutrons' and producing 'antiprotons‘. The background of the invention claims priority to previous applications dating back to 2004, and to which we have also declined to publish further detail. The invention disclosure relates to ‘a new method for the direct production of thermal antineutrons and thermal antiprotons from thermal neutrons‘.
In terrorists' hands?
The theory predicts that a neutron that is cold enough to be contained by the interior walls of a suitable vessel may oscillate into an antineutron ‘without violating any quantum conservation laws‘. The applicants demonstrate that the art in this disclosure represents the first reduction of neutron-antineutron oscillation theory into practice. And if it fell into terrorists' hands it would spell the end for us all.
In the previous disclosure, the applicants referenced neutron-antineutron oscillation only as ‘a theoretical possibility‘. In other words, once the a population of neutrinos is trapped, approximately 50% exists in the antineutron state at any subsequent time.
But what if the theory became fact?
The patent goes on to state... The resultant beta decay radiation has a characteristic half-life of 10.25 minutes as the previous patent disclosure demonstrates. The trapped antineutrons decay by positron decay. Positrons are electrons with a positive electrical charge; in other words anti-electrons.
Positrons are distinguishable from beta particles because they will annihilate with electrons. In fact, the applicants' research demonstrates that these annihilation energy emissions exhibit a 10.25-minute decay half-life. This is the same half-life as the trapped neutrons demonstrated in the previous disclosure. The accepted half-life of a free neutron is 10.25 minutes. Antineutrons, presumably, also have a 10.25-minute half-life. In words put simple… one manifestation of this invention is a process that easily and economically converts free thermal neutrons into free thermal antineutrons. These antineutrons may decay to positrons, antiprotons, and neutrinos. The antiprotons thus produced have low thermal energy. A method that is described as ’new art‘ by the inventors. They add, “The ability of neutrons to undergo this conversion is a heretofore-undemonstrated prediction of theoretical physics. “
If the trapping of the antineutrons is ‘new art‘ then the ‘current art‘ permits collection and storage of thermal neutrons but not the trapping and storage of antineutrons. Now this has suddenlly changed...
Another manifestation of the invention is what the scientists describe as ‘fullerene containing a trapped antiproton‘. The possibility that neutrons may oscillate into antineutrons is a prediction of grand unification models in gauge field theories. As long as the electrostatic charge of a neutron is identically zero, this oscillation violates no quantum conservation law. It does violate one experimental "law," the conservation of baryon number. However there is no theoretical basis for this "law." And no published peer-reviewed observations violate it.
The deep energy well
The scientific paper goes on to reveal that a ‘deep energy well’ exists at the centre of this fullerene molecule. Following a complicated process, to our thinking at least, the patent applicants' believe this same mechanism traps simple hydrogen, and tritium in the centre of fullerene molecules. Like neutrons, they are all electro-statically neutral and they all have magnetic fields. “The applicants are unaware of any other art that can produce a uniform beam of high-energy neutrons and antineutrons.”
A ’deep energy well‘… what can this mean?
Is it actually now possible to form a beam of fullerene molecules containing trapped neutrons and antineutrons in a particle accelerator, such as that used at CERN? Once the accelerator forms the beam, it can ‘direct the beam ‘- into a cataclysmic power.
Antiprotons provide a variety of propulsion options for vehicles as diverse as submarines, aircraft, and spacecraft and so have positive contributions to make beyond weaponry. The potential power or thrust per pound is literally many orders of magnitude greater than current art chemical propellants and even current art nuclear propulsion technology can deliver. But, and this should not be understated, a uniform beam of neutrons and antineutrons at energies above those available in natural nuclear reactions can now be turned into a weapon of true ‘mass’ destruction.
TheBigRetort, having uncovered this shocking paper, hopes that the patent is removed - immediately.