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Thunderstorms Proven to Create Antimatter

Following up on a question from Charles; Is there a way to store and utilize the energy produced from lightning? we bring you this very interesting video proving the release of antimatter by lightning and thunderstorms.

A space telescope has accidentally spotted thunderstorms on Earth producing beams of antimatter. Such storms have long been known to give rise to fleeting sparks of light called terrestrial gamma-ray flashes. These flashes are intense – for a thousandth of a second, they can produce as many charged particles from one flash as are passing through the entire Earth’s atmosphere from all other processes. But results from the Fermi telescope show they also give out streams of electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons.

The tops of thunderstorms harbor electric fields. Under the right conditions these fields can become strong enough that they drive an upward avalanche of electrons which when these electrons are deflected by molecules in the atmosphere, emit gamma rays. Some of these gamma rays pass near atomic nuclei, in the process transforming into an electron and a positron – or antimatter.

Perhaps in the future there will be a way to harness the incredible energy of thunderstorms! What do you think?
The E&S Grounding Solutions Engineering Team

2 Responses

  1. David

    I think they did use anti-matter in Star Trek! It is interesting to see how science is unfolding before our eyes. Just a few years ago, anti-matter was purely theoretical. You can better your last dollar that right now, some scientist is figuring out how to use a lightning simulator in a lab to collect anti-matter. Who knows what the possibilities of that are?

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