It’s long been a science-fiction dream to get power from anti-matter. After all, you just have to combine it with regular matter and you get 100 times more energy than nuclear fusion…and the joyous thrill of annihilating matter.
Well, scientists at CERN’s Alpha project have gotten a little closer to that destructive energy dream as they’ve finally found a way to corral 38 atoms of anti-hydrogen for a few tenths of a second, which is way more impressive than it sounds. They ended up having to cool the anti-hydrogen atoms to one degree above absolute zero and hold them in place with superconducting magnets. Scientists have previously been able to create anti-atoms, but had no way of keeping them from wandering off and being annihilated.
Why make anti-Hydrogen in the first place? Scientists are hoping to finally understand how anti-matter actually behaves in nature. They’ve never really had a chance to study it since it rarely occurs in nature, even though it should make up half the universe. Annihilating things for power is more of a long-term goal.