Antimatter used in PET scans

Is Antimatter an Antidote to humans?

Among al other bizarre creations in the Universe, Antimatter is among one of them,which is yet an outlandish subject to human kind! For the starters, the question arises what is Antimatter?

Antimatter: An introduction!

Foremost thing to know, that every single component of this universe, no matter whatever it is, is composed of matter. The idea was first seriously put forward by physicist Paul Dirac, in 1928, while he was tinkering with wave equations for electrons. But recent scientific developments proved the existence of a new kind of matter, a mysterious variety of a matter made of Antiparticles, which though having the same mass as Particles of ordinary matter, but have the opposite charge. That is a negative kind of matter which is the direct opposite of matter,encounters between particles and antiparticles leads to the subjugation of both the particles and giving birth to varying proportions of high-energy photons (gamma rays), neutrinos, and lower-mass particle–antiparticle pairs. Setting aside the mass of any product neutrinos, which represent released energy that generally continues to be unavailable, the end result of annihilation is a release of energy available to do work, proportional to the total matter and Antimatter mass, in accord with the mass-energy equivalence equation, E=mc2.

In the real world, Antimatter is what seems to be threatened. Get it too close to anything in our world and it pops out of existence. It wasn’t until 1995 that CERN was able to cobble together so much as an atom of anti-hydrogen. Antimatter isn’t something that needs to be created by humans, nor is it particularly exotic. Positrons — anti-electrons, which annihilate when they hit regular electrons, are being created all the time. The idea sounds both insane and cool, and has been incorporated into all kinds of science fiction. Matter-Antimatter matrices power starships; alternate universes are made up of Antimatter; conglomerations of Antimatter threaten any world they get too near.

Usefulness of Antimatter in the field of biology

We use Antimatter right now, and we use it in hospitals. Learn how PET scans use positrons to help you. To create a decent amount of Antimatter one does not have to fly into some other outer space to find it. NO. Simple Elements found on our very Earth, used in medical purposes, can be used for making more accurate biological instruments. One such material is fluorine-18. Fluorine-18 comprises nine protons and nine neutrons, but not for long; soon it slides down the periodic table of elements, one of its protons turning into a neutron via radioactive decay. The type of decay is called beta plus decay, or positron emission. When a proton turns into a neutron, it spits out a positron, which has the mass of an electron and a positive charge, and an electron neutrino, which also has a little mass, but has no charge.

A Positron Emission Tomography Scan

The positron isn’t long for this world. When it encounters an electron, the two annihilate each other. In doing so, they give off a gamma ray, high energy rays that travel through many things… including human flesh! During a PET scan, a molecule very much like glucose (sugar) called FDG or Fludeoxyglucose (18F) is put into the body. This molecule is like glucose, so it goes where ever glucose would go. However, it has a fluorine-18 isotope in it, which emits positrons. So positrons leave the FDG, but positrons are Antimatter and annihilate anytime they encounter an electron (which is the matter). This happens, and gamma photons are produced. These gamma photons can be detected outside the body. So, the annihilation event between Matter and Antimatter can be used to map where the FDG goes and how much of it there is. Beautiful isn’t it!

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