Haven’t had a good science post in awhile so here’s one linking to a BBC News article on how scientists have managed to create a new form of matter called Di-positronium:
Di-positronium, as the new molecule is known, was predicted to exist in 1946 but has remained elusive to science.
Now, a US team has created thousands of the molecules by merging electrons with their antimatter equivalent: positrons.
The discovery, reported in the journal Nature, is a key step in the creation of ultra-powerful lasers known as gamma-ray annihilation lasers.
“The difference in the power available from a gamma-ray laser compared to a normal laser is the same as the difference between a nuclear explosion and a chemical explosion,” said Dr David Cassidy of the University of California, Riverside, and one of the authors of the paper.
“It would have an incredibly high power density.”
It’s hope they’ll be able to produce gamma-ray lasers as a step towards kicking off fusion reactors:
“A gamma-ray laser is the kind of thing that if it existed people would find new uses for it everyday,” said Dr Cassidy.
He highlighted an experiment at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the US where scientists envisage using 192 lasers to heat a fuel target to try to kick-start nuclear fusion.
“Imagine doing that but you no longer need hundreds of lasers,” he said.
Plus with the right optical tracking mirror you could potentially vaporize a man-sized object from space.
Kudos to anyone who knows which 80’s comedy movie I badly paraphrased that last sentence from.