• Question: whats the difference between matter and anti matter and what happens if they collide

    Asked by Chicken Nugget to Hamid on 10 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Hamid Ohadi

      Hamid Ohadi answered on 10 Mar 2019:

      Antimatter is a material composed of antiparticles. Antiparticles are particles with the same mass but opposite charge.

      In physics, basic elements that form matter are called particles. For example electrons and protons are particles. An electron has a negative charge and a very small mass. A proton has a positive charge and a heavier mass. Electrons and protons form atoms and molecules which form ordinary matter. For example, an electron and a proton form the hydrogen atom.

      An antielectron (or positron as it’s often called) has the same mass of an electron but the opposite charge. One can also have an antiproton, which has the same mass of a proton but the negative charge. We can make antihydrogen if we put together a antielectron and antiproton, and physicists can actually make antihydrogen these days too!

      When antimatter and matter collide they annihilate and energy is released in the form of light (or particles of light which are also known as “photons”).