What is antimatter?
We’re made of matter
Everything we’re familiar with, in our region of the Universe, is made of matter, not antimatter.
Particles and antiparticles
We know now (Thanks to Dirac, Anderson and some other researchers) that almost every matter particle has an antiparticle.
- For electrons there are positrons
- For protons there are antiprotons
- For neutrons there are antineutrons
and so on.
We know that these antiparticles can make up simple anti-atoms, and we believe that complex anti-atoms could exist.
Similar but opposite
Each antiparticle behaves in a way that is similar to, but also opposite to, its corresponding matter particle. It has the same mass, but the opposite electrical charge.
These antiparticles are not ordinary, “positive” matter.
They are what we mean when we talk about antimatter.
Antimatter is real
Antimatter is quite rare here on Earth, but it exists.
We can make antimatter, and we use it every day, in engineering, in laboratories and in hospitals.