Record Details

Antimatter Production at a Potential Boundary
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Author and Affiliation:
LaPointe, Michael R.(Ohio Aerospace Inst., Brook Park, OH United States);
Reddy, Dhanireddy [Technical Monitor]
Abstract: Current antiproton production techniques rely on high-energy collisions between beam particles and target nuclei to produce particle and antiparticle pairs, but inherently low production and capture efficiencies render these techniques impractical for the cost-effective production of antimatter for space propulsion and other commercial applications. Based on Dirac's theory of the vacuum field, a new antimatter production concept is proposed in which particle-antiparticle pairs are created at the boundary of a steep potential step formed by the suppression of the local vacuum fields. Current antimatter production techniques are reviewed, followed by a description of Dirac's relativistic quantum theory of the vacuum state and corresponding solutions for particle tunneling and reflection from a potential barrier. The use of the Casimir effect to suppress local vacuum fields is presented as a possible technique for generating the sharp potential gradients required for particle-antiparticle pair creation.
Publication Date: Aug 01, 2001
Document ID:
20010091016
(Acquired Oct 05, 2001)
Subject Category: NUCLEAR PHYSICS
Report/Patent Number: NASA/CR-2001-211116, E-12962, NAS 1.26:211116, AIAA Paper 2001-3361
Coverage: Final Report
Document Type: Preprint
Meeting Information: 37th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit; 8-11 Jul. 2001; Salt Lake City, UT; United States
Meeting Sponsor: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics; United States
American Society of Mechanical Engineers; United States
Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.; United States
American Society for Electrical Engineers; United States
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NCC3-860; NAS8-98109; RTOP 755-B4-07
Financial Sponsor: NASA Glenn Research Center; Cleveland, OH United States
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Organization Source: Ohio Aerospace Inst.; Brook Park, OH United States
Description: 16p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: ANTIMATTER; ANTIPARTICLES; ANTIPROTONS; MATTER-ANTIMATTER PROPULSION; TARGETS; RELATIVISTIC THEORY; POTENTIAL GRADIENTS; COST EFFECTIVENESS; COLLISIONS; BOUNDARIES
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