Tech innovator firm Positron Dynamics (PD) recently announced that its plans to use antimatter for its CubeSat, a space exploration satellite, is more possible in the near future.
In a presentation published on science website Lifeboat.com, the company revealed that it will have an antimatter-powered CubeSat vehicle by 2016 to 2019 after funding and research advancements.
In 2013, the company obtained seed funding from Paypal executive Peter Thiel’s very own Break Out Lab, a philanthropic organization that supports early-stage firms in various areas of science.
"We’ve run some initial simulations, and it looks like we could be able to create as many as 10 micrograms of positrons a week with a linear accelerator," explained PD co-founder Dr. Ryan Weed.
The antimatter-powered CubeSat project
The company said that it will be able to keep its future CubeSat in low earth orbit for seven years, which is an immense improvement from its initial calculations of several weeks.
It is still perfecting the technology that will allow the CubeSat to efficiently cool down, detect, and eventually capture positrons. The idea is to avoid the annihilation that occurs when positron and electrons meet, thus cooling them down at a specific level. For PD, it will be best done by having the CubeSat navigate in a block of frozen neon or moderator which has a minimum number of electrons.
“[We] will use an array of 50 or more thinly sliced semiconducting solids. At each layer in the array, particles will lose a little bit of heat to each one until they're cool enough to trap. From there, the positrons can be pulled out of the empty spaces between the layers by a magnetic field. Many of these tactics have been tried before, but never in exactly this combination,” the company said in the presentation.
PD also revealed that they have discovered a new method of keeping the entire system in a vacuum, which would give positrons a higher survival rate in the presence of thinly-sliced semiconducting solids without bumping into any electrons. The company needs only one in ten to survive for them to prove that antimatter could become an essential industrial product.
If successful, PD will be the first entity to fly a miniature satellite in space through this elusive and then-non-existent particles.
No longer that elusive
For decades, antimatters have long been considered nonexistent if not difficult to prove by various revered scientists—Einstein and Newton, to name a few. In the late ‘20s, English physicist Paul Dirac successfully formulated a precise mathematical equation that can prove that these particles exist.
However, it was only in this decade when its verity outside a mathematical equation has been established. Earlier this year, Dr. Ruggero Maria Santilli, the mathematician behind the tech innovator firm Thunder Energies Corporation (OTCQB: TNRG), launched the Santilli Telescope, the first and only optical instrument for space exploration that could detect antimatter particles.
“We are glad to announce the search for antimatter galaxies alongside with the search for extraterrestrial life, dark matter and dark energy because our knowledge of the universe is insignificant compared to what remains yet to be discovered,” Santilli said in a statement.
With these recent discoveries and advancements in the field of astrophysics, it is now difficult to say that human’s search for another life outside earth is a farfetched idea, let alone a lost cause.