# How much antimatter would destroy a city?

For the centers of London or Los Angeles, you're looking at 1-2 kilos. You're looking at 5–10 kilograms to completely demolish an urban region. That's hundreds of pounds or tons of matter.

The amount needed to destroy those cities is so large that it must be coming from somewhere other than local source. Antimatter is the only thing that can destroy matter, so those concentrations must be coming from somewhere else on Earth or in space.

An antimatter factory using phosphorus as its fuel would release alpha particles and positrons into the environment. These particles are very dangerous for living things and would need to be kept isolated from normal matter to avoid any damage being done. Also, an antimatter factory would have to be well shielded against cosmic rays released by exploding stars.

Another possibility is that there are background fields of antielectricity throughout space that are responsible for generating the excess antimatter. However, we don't know of any evidence for these background fields except for the fact that we get excess antimatter from sources such as annihilating black holes or neutron stars.

The final possibility is that some unknown process is constantly creating antimatter out of thin air.

## How much antimatter would it take to destroy a continent?

Then, you would need 1.3 x 1015 kg of antimatter to completely destroy the Earth; a smaller amount could effectively destroy it, and a much smaller amount could destroy all sentient life on it. Antimatter is the antiparticle of matter, so it is just ordinary matter in its own right but with opposite electrical charge.

However, this number should be taken with a pinch of salt, as it has been calculated assuming that the entire mass of the planet is made up of antimatter. The truth is we have no idea how much matter there is on Earth, nor how much antimatter it might contain. It's possible that most of the mass of the planet is made up of normal matter, while its volume is mostly empty space—in which case destroying Earth would be like throwing away most of the stuff in here boxes: paper, plastic, metal...

Even if we assume that everything on Earth is made of antimatter, the fact remains that you would need an impossible quantity of it to destroy the planet. This shows that the hypothesis of parallel universes can't be used to explain what would happen if we destroyed our world.

Furthermore, even if we forget about the impossibility of finding enough antimatter in the universe to destroy Earth, there's another problem with this calculation.

## How powerful is a pound of antimatter?

Approximately 19 megatons. A megaton is 1 million tons. This would be the equivalent of about 6,000 aircraft carriers or 80,000 nuclear warheads.

Antimatter is the opposite of matter. It is the same thing as energy, but instead of being mass it has mass opposite information. That is why it can destroy matter with equal force. It is estimated that the release of this much antimatter would destroy Earth completely.

The amount of antimatter in the universe is much smaller than the amount of matter, but it is still there. It is hidden from view because it does not interact with normal matter. However, scientists are working on devices called positrons that behave like electrons but with positive charge. When enough positrons and electrons collide they can produce gamma rays.

Gamma rays are also called high-energy photons because they have more energy than light photons. They can reach higher energies before slowing down. Gamma rays with lower energies are called radio waves because they can be transmitted through air to receivers located far away from their origin.

Radio waves are only part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

##### Ronald Knapp

Ronald Knapp is a man of many talents. He has an engineering degree from MIT and has been designing machinery for the manufacturing industry his entire career. Ronald loves to tinker with new devices, but he also enjoys using what he has learned to improve existing processes.