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Old 09-01-2017, 04:03 PM   #41
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Anti-Lithium for Drives Does this work?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Any antimatter containment has to be using fields anyway, so I don't know if solid storage actually makes much difference.
Well, it's not that hard to cool something below the freezing point of hydrogen, so if solid storage is easier it's probably going to be solid whether it's antihydrogen or antilithium.
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:45 AM   #42
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Anti-Lithium for Drives Does this work?

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Well, it's not that hard to cool something below the freezing point of hydrogen, so if solid storage is easier it's probably going to be solid whether it's antihydrogen or antilithium.
I'm honestly not sure which strikes me as more plausible. Gas is generally harder to manipulate than solids, more likely to slip through whatever is being used to hold it. On the other hand, solids are more likely to have enough concentrated momentum to overcome whatever contains them if something sets them in motion.

When you're dealing with antimatter, basically anything short of 100% containment is Not Good Enough, unless we're talking infinitesimal quantities.
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:26 AM   #43
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Anti-Lithium for Drives Does this work?

Aren't you going to want to store any antimatter as ions/charged particles anyway, for confinement purposes? A chunk of solid isn't going to stay together unless it's close to neutral...
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:07 AM   #44
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Anti-Lithium for Drives Does this work?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Aren't you going to want to store any antimatter as ions/charged particles anyway, for confinement purposes? A chunk of solid isn't going to stay together unless it's close to neutral...
If the antimatter is diamagnetic (like most things are), very strong magnetic fields can levitate and confine it.

If the antimatter is superconducting (either through being manufactured as a room temperature superconductor or being made as something like niobium-tin and cooled to cryogenic temperatures) the confinement becomes much stronger.

If the antimatter is a ferromagnet, you can get strong magnetic confinement but you need active controls to keep it levitated.

If the antimatter is conductive, you can levitate it with induced currents, either with oscillating your magnetic field or constantly moving the antimatter past a static magnet array.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_levitation

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Old 09-04-2017, 01:20 PM   #45
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Anti-Lithium for Drives Does this work?

Wouldn't that first most likely form require an insane amount of power and hence energy over time for any real drive useful storage?
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:53 PM   #46
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Anti-Lithium for Drives Does this work?

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If the antimatter is diamagnetic (like most things are), very strong magnetic fields can levitate and confine it.
Solid hydrogen is diamagnetic. Lithium is paramagnetic.
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:01 PM   #47
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Anti-Lithium for Drives Does this work?

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Wouldn't that first most likely form require an insane amount of power and hence energy over time for any real drive useful storage?
Why would it? Don't use resistive electromagnets, and you're good. Permanent magnets (with electromagnets for the servo controls) or superconductive magnets would allow you to levitate your antimatter with zero to minimal power (in the latter case, you might need power to run the cryostats that keep your superconductors superconducting - but you probably want your antimatter chamber cold for other reasons as well (like preventing out-gassing).

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Old 09-04-2017, 07:06 PM   #48
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Anti-Lithium for Drives Does this work?

I thought super insanely strong fields required loads of power or intensities beyond that of any permanent magnets.
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:48 PM   #49
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Anti-Lithium for Drives Does this work?

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Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post
Why would it? Don't use resistive electromagnets, and you're good. Permanent magnets (with electromagnets for the servo controls) or superconductive magnets would allow you to levitate your antimatter with zero to minimal power (in the latter case, you might need power to run the cryostats that keep your superconductors superconducting - but you probably want your antimatter chamber cold for other reasons as well (like preventing out-gassing).

Luke
ISTR a speculation from decades ago that it might be possible, at sub-cryogenic temperatures, for matter and antimatter to come into contact and not react. Was that discredited since, or it is still debated?
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:11 PM   #50
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Default Re: [Spaceships] Anti-Lithium for Drives Does this work?

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I thought super insanely strong fields required loads of power or intensities beyond that of any permanent magnets.
It depends what you mean by insanely strong fields. Permanent rare earth magnets have fields around 1.4 Teslas and use no power (iron magnets are only about half as powerful). Superconducting electro magnets require little power, and can get to fields of about 10 Teslas.

To get higher fields you need massive copper electromagnets. These are huge facilities and pipes of water flow inside the copper could to cool it. These need lots of power but allow you to get to 30-70 Teslas. Higher, you can build a smaller electro-magnet and surround it with explosives. When detonated, the magnetic field implodes. This would not be suitable to hold antimatter!

Current antimatter traps (such as a Penning trap) use a superconducting magnets with an electric potential to trap to particles. Of course, now these only hold a minuscule amount of anti-matter.
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