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Learn All About Positrons and Antimatter in Three Minutes

MinutePhysics is a YouTube channel that aims to deliver complex science to your brain in short, easily digestible videos. The channel has hundreds of eye-opening bits of science you can click through, but the team's latest video seemed ambitious—explaining the concepts of antimatter in only three minutes.


Antimatter is a pretty important part of physics as it stands as the opposite of (obviously) matter, you know, that stuff that makes everything. The video doesn't shy away from some of the gritty details and describes some of the universe's anti equivalents, including anti-neutrinos, anti-quarks, and anti-electrons, also known as positrons. It turns out that what I've been picturing when hearing the word "positron" all these years was completely wrong.

Illustration for article titled Learn All About Positrons and Antimatter in Three Minutes

Knowing is half the battle: Positron is not a Decepticon

However, the MinutePhysics gang can't give us a complete overview because Antimatter plays a role in a bigger cosmic mystery. As the video describes:

The fact there is so little antimatter around in the universe to discover is both an obvious thing (because if it were around it would have destroyed us) a good thing (because it can't destroy us) and a puzzling thing. If matter and antimatter are basically identical mirror images of one another, why did the Big Bang produce so much more matter than antimatter? No one knows, but to physicists the answer matters.


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So, first you split nothing into matter and anti-matter, and then you combine them, photons are released, and you repeat, and you have infinite energy!!...