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Antimatter bomb (bad science alert)

I recently saw “Angels and Demons” and in part it was about a plot to blow up the vatican with an antimatter powered bomb. CERN published their thoughts on the idea of an antimatter bomb.

http://public.web.cern.ch/Public/en/Spotlight/SpotlightAandD-en.html

I have a few extra thoughts, if we assume that the bomb would give a 20 kTon yield then it will need gram amounts of antimatter. If we had a gram of antiprotons then the electrostatic forces will push the lump apart, also a gram of a mixture of antineutrons and antiprotons as a single nucleus would be likely to undergo a spontaneous fission.

So we would have to store our antimatter in the form of neutral (or slightly charged) atoms of antimatter. If we could create a dense lump of antimatter and store it in a vacuum flask then it might be stable for a while (as long as we can think of a way to levitate it away from the walls of the bottle). The biggest problem I see is that no vacuum is perfect and the residual air molecules will react with the surface of the antimatter to make gamma rays.

I hope in the near future to make an estimate of the gamma dose rate which would be associated with this “antimatter bomb”. When I do I will post it on this blog.

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